Day 16 — Voyage to Nowhere — Quarantine Flag Flying
Day 16 — Voyage to Nowhere — Quarantine Flag Flying

Bill Peterson

CATEGORIES: Captain's Journal


Log Entry : 2 Apr, 2020

Captain’s Journal : Our Coronavirus voyage to nowhere

One day past the two-week quarantine and one day into the new thirty-day extension.  Shelter in place–stay the hell home. We are bending the curve, saving lives, protecting ourselves and loved ones.  It’s how we get to be heroes in this age.  For our part, I have mixed feelings about it all.  On the one hand I’ve decided to pretend more or less that Julie and I are on a crossing, a voyage say, across the Pacific.  

The strategy here is to accept the days coming as you would if you were setting out upon an adventure rather than being confined to quarters. Naturally, once told you’re not to meander about and socialize you can’t help but want to tug against that idea at least emotionally.  You instinctively feel you lost something, control maybe, maybe the freedom to choose.  And you have.  So even if you’re not somewhat of a contrarian you have to feel some of that, so I shouldn’t be surprised at my disquiet over the situation.

This is a Different Sort of Voyage

~~~~ Colony II ~ somewhere in the Bahamas ~~~~

I keep trying to return myself to the idea of this as a different sort of voyage.  Pretend the dock and the other seven boats aren’t even there, well mostly, and you have something to explore.  An idea and experience you haven’t done before and compared to an actual Atlantic or Pacific crossing quite the luxurious alternative devoid of navigation, sea state and weather worries. 

Throw in plenty of hot water, air conditioning, high speed internet and a level bunk and little chance to be called out at three AM for a sail change, and well hot dang. 

You get the picture, it’s a voyage to nowhere.  Nowhere physical, at least.  I don’t doubt there’ll be new and different horizons and discoveries to adapt to.  And the attachment to the land world via internet and press briefings and updates on the state of things will thoroughly, pardon the pun, ground me to the reality of communal things.  Something I’ve been spared of on the real ocean.  You’ll miss the sensation of freedom and pending adventure when unplugging from the dock and setting off into another world of sea and salt air, leaving shore side concerns behind for the passage to come. 

~ So let’s find out.  Captain’s Log, second leg ~

Day 1 of the voyage to nowhere has gotten off to a start with me settling in with a cup of breakfast tea and putting some thoughts on paper or actually on screen.  And now the first mate AKA the admiral has tossed back the sheets and joined me in the main salon with a laundry bag in hand.  Yep, there are perks to be had with a bit of extra effort, but not out of step if we keep the theme in mind and think of outfitting ourselves with a face mask and antiseptic spray and limiting our time in the laundry machine room. 

Compare it to mask and snorkel and body suit and flippers required to explore beneath the waves and it’s arguably much less effort for the luxury of bunking down in clean sheets.  And like excursions overboard you will spend only a small percentage of time at it so it doesn’t have to upset the illusion of a voyaging adventure if you squint. 

Since I’m not standing watch and rotating between wake and sleep every four hours, setting a few tasks for the day seems the thing to do and something accomplished for the good of the ship and crew.  I think thing one, after breakfast and some screen time for email and Facebook, and maybe a YouTube video during the oatmeal, will be to tackle the install of the new shower sump pump. 

~ Everything I’m going to tackle will be under or behind or through things ~

Like just about everything on a boat it won’t be a straightforward undertaking. By that I mean you don’t just get your tools and like house things walk in and get going on the job. Everything I’m going to tackle will be under or behind or through things that can only be reached by twisting and contorting in awkward poses and finger tip execution of dexterous accomplishments that usually involve things dropped out of reach. 

Often they disappear into the nether lands like the bilge.  This one will traverse the spaces under the Perkins diesel, across the bilge sump and around the bulkhead, under the galley sole and up through the plywood under the sink to the yet to be installed vented loop.  Then make its final connection to the through hull fitting for overboard discharge. 

Six forty-five, cup of hot tea in the cockpit with the first mate for the lovely spring sunset.  The air has a distinct twist to cool.  Talking about going off world tonight with ‘ Star Trek Picard’ since CBS is giving us a free look-see.  The shower sump made some progress but resisted a check mark on the to do list.  Maybe we’ll sleep with the portholes open tonight.  


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Traditional sailboat anchored during a dramatic golden and blue sunset in Abaco Bahamas. The sailing Ketch Colony II off Powell Cay


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