We have been holed up on our boat for 17 days and have another 9 days to go (due to another quarantine extension). Of course, that could be extended again based on the number of confirmed cases, but as of now the quarantine ends 15 April. We decided take a few, small, safe liberties, being that we have been isolated on our boat with no contact with other humans.
Another cruising boat, HooDoo, with two young Americans (Missy and Yanell) has been anchored near us since they arrived. They were quarantined on their boat for 23 days during their passage from Galapagos to FP and then again for 14 days once they arrived. So, we were confident they we no sick.
We moved up to the northern motus in the Gambier archipelago which are all uninhabited. They are small spits of land with shells, dead coral, bushes, (some debris), and a few palm trees. Last year, we anchored near three palm island and got some of the best photos of Sugar Shack. This year we returned to the same motu but had to rename it to two palm island as it lost one of its palms.
Even though we are still in quarantine, we took a few liberties – only because we are far away from the population. We are able to swim, paddle board and go to the motus to stretch our legs. For the most part we stay to ourselves, but we have had HooDoo over for cocktails (maintaining the 6’ distance).
Night Out on the Town
Yanell had a great idea to do a beach BBQ. We were getting cabin fever and needed to get off the boat. Yanell has a nifty charcoal grill. We set up camp and tried to maintain the 6’ distance even on the beach. We went to 2 palm island because there is some coverage with the bushes, a little sandy area, and it is close to the reef. The bottom photo shows our view. With the outgoing tide you can see more of the reef and in the background you can see where the waves are crashing.
There are a bazillion crabs on each motu and this one is no exception. These crabs are curious little guys and are willing to explore anything. They climbed on top of the cooler, on the grill (see photo below) and on our blanket. They seemed to like human food too – we gave them the chicken bones. Why aren’t they in quarantine?
We had a feast with marinated chicken, coleslaw, pasta, hot dogs, and cookies.
Parking Lot Issues
When we anchored our dinghy she was in water (see top photo). We are the dinghy in the background. HooDoo’s dinghy in in the foreground. However, within a few hours, she was beached on the reef as the tide went out.
The moon is nearly full and the sunset was spectacular.
Just after the sun completely disappeared it produced an amazing purple hue that changed our perspective! I did not alter these photos at all. Matt is moving our dinghy back in the water in the top photo.
After our meal, we took flashlights and went to walk out on the reef. We were lobster hunting. You have to walk to where the waves break which was about a mile from our motu. It was really strange being out at night, using the moon beam and our torches to see the critters of the sea. We did not find any lobster but we had fun looking for them.
Odds and Ends in Quarantine
We had many amazing sunrises. The sun comes up behind two palm island.
We did a lot of paddle boarding as it is the only exercise we can get right now. We paddle boarded up to several of the motus and collected lots of sea shells.
Not very productive while in quarantine. But we have managed to do a few boat projects. We have no internet which is disappointing, but we do have our satellite communication which is a life saver.
I know it does not seem like we are in quarantine, but we are. We just have different restrictions. Like you, we maintain our 6’ distance and where our mask and gloves when near the population. However, we cannot go to shore except for food, fuel or medical care. Only one person can go for one hour at a time with prior permission from the local police. In addition, a government issued form must be completed and carried, with your passport, stating your business and time ashore. It is very restrictive. So imagine not being able to leave your boat for weeks at a time. This is why we moved our boat to a remote part of the archipelago where there are no humans so we have a few more liberties….
Reservations at our Favorite Eatery
We were joined by two other boats later in the week. Our friends on Sea Jay (Chris and Fred) and our friends on Luci Para 2 (Ivar and Floris). We made reservations at our favorite restaurant, Two Palm Island for the next day.
Sea Jay and Sugar Shack have dinghies with long drafts, about a meter each. What does that mean? It means that it is difficult for us to go in shallow waters because our outboard shaft or the dinghy bottom will hit the coral or the bottom of the sea. In addition, we have heavy dinghies and outboards. Sweetie weighs in at about 300-325lbs and McRib (Sea Jay’s dinghy) weighs about 550-600lbs. So, trying to maneuver them is difficult if the dinghies get beached.
So, we try to anchor the dinghies in an area where we hope there will be water during low tide. For the past 3 nights we had successfully chosen a place where that worked. However, tonight, we did not do so good.
The evening started out just beautiful! We warmed up the grill, started cooking the chicken, dogs and various meats and settled in for a gorgeous sunset. Top photo (foreground to rear) Floris, Ivar, and Yanell. Bottom photo (left to right) Fred, Chris, Missy, Matt.
After Dinner Show
It is stunning to watch the sky change into various outfits throughout the setting of the sun. It provided a beautiful back drop to Sugar Shack. You can also see the change in tide from the top photo (early in the night) to the bottom photo (just an hour later).
After dinner, a team of people went looking for lobsters. Yet, again they evaded us. We built a bonfire and chatted. Around 800p, we were about ready to leave and realized we had a problem. McRib and Sweetie were beached with no water under the boats. Crap! We looked up low tide and it was at 9p and water did not start to come back up until 10:30-11p. Well, we settled in for a few more hours, chatting, and stoking the fire.
Just another night in paradise, despite the quarantine.