Thursday, May 7, 2020

What happens when you tell a Nomad- "No!"?

1. A member of a people having no permanent abode, and who travel from place to place.
2. A person who does not stay long in the same place; a wanderer

While we may be in the marina for the long term, fortunately this is not our boat and we are at least in the water!
Four years ago we gave up our permanent abode and began traveling from place to place, never staying long in the same place, wandering and wondering. Learning and exploring, becoming nomads, and truly enjoying it.

And then came the world-stopping Corona Virus and the nomads are told no, you cannot pass our borders, you cannot wander to or through our country.  Cruisers are, by nature, adaptable. There is a well known saying in the cruising community- "Plans are written in the sand at low tide" meaning  as things come up, plans change. Weather, boat problems, arriving guests, or just on a whim, things can very quickly look entirely different from what was expected.

So, here we are, unexpectedly marooned in a marina in Panama. Unable to leave the country, unable to wander freely. Cruisers all over the world are faced with similar situations. Some, like us, are in marinas, some are out at anchor and some are caught in no man's land, wandering the seas, not allowed into any country. Fortunately the latter is the exception to the rule, most people had enough warning, or countries had enough leeway that cruisers have been allowed in, subject to many different forms of quarantine.

The rules vary widely from country to country, many involve variations on a 14 day quarantine and as the rules are changing quickly I write this with the caveat that some of this information is probably already outdated! In the Caribbean, on the island of St. Lucia cruisers are required to stay for 14 days in a hotel, not on their boats. In French Polynesia it is 14 days on the boat, and no swimming allowed around the boat. In Panama the quarantined only seem to apply to trying to get into marinas, or through the Panama Canal. Mexico is one of the few countries that has remained open, although the port captains in individual harbor seem to be free to make up their own rules, thus, some ports are open while others are not. Apparently in some areas of the Sea of Cortez no water sports are allowed, surfing, kayaking, pleasure boating, and this also includes swimming around your boat.

We are all adapting. Land folks are adapting, cruisers are adapting. People all over the world are having their movements restricted and none of us, nomads and those more stationary, like to be told "no", and yet, rather than getting mad, we make the best of the situation and try to maintain a good attitude until we can all roam again.

We love to hear your comments.