Did they really need the BODY ARMOR?!? - April 16, 2020

OK, we’ve done some bloggin’ and we’ve done some vloggin’ but I think we are a little behind and a bunch of stuff has happened over the last couple of days, so here’s an update. Our last vlog showed us leaving Leinster Bay and heading to Round Bay on St John to meet up with our small Divemaster class. We spent Monday and Tuesday nights in Round Bay, which was a nice change of scenery. We did the next to last dive that’s part of our Divemaster course on Monday and we took a written exam as well. On Tuesday, just as we were suiting up to do our FINAL DIVE for the course, we heard a loud “WOOP WOOP” and behind us was a Dept of Parks and Natural Resources boat with lights and sirens kicking everyone out of the anchorage. They had guns and body armor too!

The story is that the bay we were in is not intended as a long-term anchorage (long term being defined as 14 nights or more), but we were there only for a couple of nights. That notwithstanding, we hauled anchor and left. It’s all good. We have a spot at beautiful Leinster Bay on the Northeast side of St John where Dirk has actually worked his way into the position of Bay Host! This means that he is responsible for keeping track of what boats are coming in and out of the bay, and we can stay here without having to pay the nightly mooring fee of $26 per night, but he has no responsibility to enforce that they pay the mooring fees, so it’s really just a matter of keeping tabs on who’s in and out. We do not have to do enforcement of any kind, but just give people a heads up as to what is expected if they moor here. Earlier this week, we kind of got the hairy eyeball (via email) for leaving the mooring field for 48 hours, but Bay Host is a volunteer position, and we are doing our best with the reporting, and the official responsibility is 40 hours per week, so hopefully we will not get fired for our little walkabout. We are now back at our appointed spot.

The day before we headed out to Round Bay we had gone on a dinghy dive on the East side of St John with another couple who are self-quarantining here in Leinster Bay. We caught a couple of lobster and had a great time on the dive and on the way back, we passed a catamaran heading the opposite direction and all of a sudden we found ourselves tangled up in what must have been 100 lb test fishing line. Our friends were in the bow of the dinghy and they moved quickly to deflect the line and thankfully no one was hurt, but that could have turned into a really bad situation really quickly. Thank heavens no one was hurt by the fishing line itself or the hook at the end of the line. We are counting our blessings!

Tomorrow brings another gorgeous day here at Leinster Bay and we hope to do the LAST DIVE that is required as part of our Divemaster certification! It’s been a long but rewarding and edifying road toward obtaining the next level in our Diving careers.

Finally, another big piece of news is that just this week, the BVI announced that they will not be open to non-residents until September at the earliest, which is understandable to keep the BVI residents safe, but makes for some interesting changes for our plans for Catatonic’s annual haul to perform her yearly maintenance. It looks like we will need to get that work done in Ft Lauderdale or the Northeast. We may also check into what can be done in St Thomas. That is certainly the least of our worries as we continue to hear stories of people who have been stricken with this disease and as we worry about our friends on the front lines. Stay safe, everyone!

PS. Last night we had boat-made Chicken Pot Pie last night for dinner and tonight was Chicken Curry stuffed Crepes, so we are still enjoying treats from the galley while we self-quarantine here on Catatonic 500!

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