Saturday 18 April 2020

Decision Update - When do we go? Where do we go?

Timeline to a decision

Our timeline to a decision has not changed but the passage of time brings new options and closes others.

End of April – our official clearance to remain expires.  With no formal extensions granted to yachts, no one has been asked to leave either.   We still hope we will be able to remain here until the end of May and maybe the end of June.  

Mid-June - If we were to go west mid-June would be a good time to leave especially if we can provision safely in Tahiti but French Polynesia is looking less and less like a good place to stop and there are no open ports beyond that.  So far there is optimistic talk of New Zealand opening following lobbying to allow this, but as of today its only talk.  The borders are closed, so are the Australian borders.  Mexico is stopping movements, it is in the hurricane belt and out of reach unless we could motor for up to 1000 miles, which we cannot.

Mid-June technically we can go East to Ecuador, except that that is closed too, even to internal traffic.  We might be able to reach Panama too though that is partially closed.   We are hoping we will be allowed to do this, additional risks of travelling to Ecuador include the severity of the Covid 19 outbreak there and the financial stability of the Government.  Flights home seem unlikely any time soon.

End of July – the last chance to sail safely across the Pacific.  We do not want to arrive in New Zealand or Australia in their winter either so timing will be critical.   If we stay later to go East and this is not possible then we will have to hope we can stay for a year, unable to move out of here from late September onwards because of the Cyclone season.  The boat will need significant maintenance for a safe Pacific crossing, and that is not possible here.

What are we hoping, a safe passage to Ecuador in late May or June.  Perhaps the second best is a safe way to leave the boat here, a great option if we can find a way.  The final fall back is sailing with an approved stop in French Polynesia, otherwise direct to Australia or New Zealand arriving at the end of October.

1 comment:

Alison & Randall SV Tregoning said...

We completely sympathize with your difficult decision. Have you considered Hawai'i as I do not see it on your list? We sailed to Hilo (Big Island) non-stop in 41 days (it could have been much shorter if our propeller shaft had not sheared and there have been the usual tradewinds) so 35 days might be reasonable with good wind but you may have to motor through the doldrums. I do not know what restrictions they may have in place (14 days quarantine may be needed but you will have been at sea for much longer) and I realize that you may have limitations to length of stay in the US but you should be able to find a place to leave the boat if you want to, and can, go home. Although the US is generally not a great place to be in Covid-19, it might be worth looking at the various islands to see if some are better than others and see what travel is permitted in and out. One advantage of Hawaii is you have plenty of options where to go when things return to normal, anywhere from Alaska to the South Pacific. Good luck with it all. We are thinking about you.