22. Change of Plans

My plan was to cross the Atlantic this winter coming. In fact, I originally planned to cross this past winter but had to postpone due to the ongoing pandemic. In order to comfortably make it from Italy to the Caribbean this winter I should really be starting to head towards the Strait of Gibraltar within the next month or so. I have of course monitored the spread of the virus around the world as well the restrictions imposed along the route. It has been hard to find anything positive at the moment, anything suggesting that traveling from country to country is going to be easy or indeed encouraged. I want to feel welcome as I enter a new country and not considered a potential death treat that is best treated with a nose swab and isolation. Particularly not when you consider that pretty much every island in the Caribbean is its own nation which means that I would have to be prepared to be tested and quarantined every time I move.

I have also heard that the Caribbean is crowded with boats at the moment. The main reason for this is that there is no natural flow out of the area when the cruising season comes to an end and the hurricane season starts. Normally there is an exodus at the end of May with boats leaving for Europe, North America and the Panama Canal but at present there are numerous cruisers reporting difficulties in finding safe havens for when the storms start rolling in.

I have therefore decided that the wise decision is to stay in the Mediterranean another year. This was a frustrating decision to make but as an EU citizen I am not running the risk of outstaying my welcome and I qualify for medical care. Not for any corona vaccines yet but for general health care. The season for cruising ends sometime in the autumn but there is generally no risk of hurricanes in the off season. Also, Gaeta is a really nice place, perfectly located between Roma and Napoli and staying another winter here will enable me to see my oldest son, Morgan, more frequently as he will attend a university in Roma next spring.

So what what is the alternative plan until I am back in Gaeta in the fall? Well, I left the marina almost a month ago and have no intentions of staying in any marinas until I get back. I shouldn’t have to. I can make water and electricity myself, I have a new tender and later today I get my new outboard engine for the tender. The pandemic has made it virtually impossible to find outboard engines anywhere in Europe but I finally managed to locate one in Germany that is being shipped to Gaeta. I have therefore stayed in the area and limited my trips to the islands around here. Ischia, Procida, Ventotene and Ponza. I will start heading south towards Sicily within the next few days. Together with Morgan who also arrives later today. I am particularly looking forward to an island group called Egadi Islands, west of Sicily. Then we will see. That is all the planning I need for now.

Saoirse 2.0
Selfies from above
Procida by day…
…and by night
Carla and Saoirse anchored in Procida. Capri in the background

2 thoughts on “22. Change of Plans

  1. Life is what happens while you make plans? Nice to hear from you! Just go with the flow! Sunny greetings! b šŸ™‚


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