Mayor McDirk - March 26th, 2020
Today we learned that the British Virgin Islands will enact a 24 hour curfew for a period beginning Friday the 27th, so they are giving people basically a day to prepare. There must be a crazy flurry of activity there as people make final preparations for the lockdown. We saw a FB post from one person from the UK who is in the BVI and is stuck there as the ports are closed and no ferries are leaving the island. He’s concerned about the economics of being stuck there long term, which is certainly understandable.
The USVI government has discussed a curfew but the fear is that once the curfew is lifted, people who have been confined will come out in droves and undo any good that may have been done by the curfew. So at this point, in the USVI, non essential businesses are closed, restaurants are open for take-out only, grocery stores are reportedly open and well-stocked, and the ports remain open. At least for now.
Dirk is turning into the unofficial mayor of the anchorage, going around to greet new boats coming into the anchorage (from a safe social distance – he stays in our tender while chatting with them) and get their names and email addresses so that we can have a neighborhood comms list. We are sharing a couple of documents using Google Drive that contain helpful information, such as tips on reducing water consumption, coordinating logistics for trash removal and keeping water supplies and diesel topped off. All of these things are essential to surviving off the grid. We can even have ice delivered (at Cooper Island prices, of course).
Dirk goes around at least once each day just to say hello to the others and check in. This also helps keep tabs on whether there are any health issues cropping up on any of the vessels, and so far everything seems just fine. He’s doing a great job at building community around here, and has offered one boat 75 litres of water from our water maker since theirs is out of service. We also learned that there is a woman on St John with a powerboat who will grocery shop for boats and deliver the goods for a very reasonable rate ($1 per mile to cover her fuel plus whatever gratuity the customer would like to offer – this a good opportunity to tip your service provider well! We really appreciate this option.). Dirk has asked folks in the anchorage if they want to place a group order so that we can hopefully stock up on some fresh items. We feel that building community is extremely important, particularly at times like these. One boat here has an emergency oxygen tank, we have an AED (automatic electronic defibrillator – THANK YOU, WILL!!!), several boats have water makers, etc. so we all have things we can contribute if anyone in the anchorage needs to lean on our neighbors a little bit. Boaters are typically a great sort, willing to lend a hand or share what they have, even in times like these.
I will close with this: My mom used to have a saying. OK, well, she had quite a few sayings, but this was one of those “mom sayings” that you hear so many times you just rooooolllll your eyes every time you hear it again, even as an adult, when you should be more polite and courteous. It was… “Those were the days, my friend, I thought they’d never end.” Oh boy. I am sure I am not the only one feeling like we sure did take the “old” normal for granted. NEVER in a million years would I have thought that “those days” would really have ended or even been interrupted at all, other than possibly due to age and the natural progression of life, but never so very abruptly as to put our entire global reality into a tailspin. With that said, we are strong, we are fortunate, we are blessed, and we will persevere. Love to all. Stay safe.