Its summer again
The last 6 weeks separated us 8.000 km from the Rivercafe. Now we are only 3km away from our favourite boat, but we are not allowed on board yet. We landed in Grenada and I am writing this from quarantine in the hotel. At least in Grand Anse Bay and I was able to arrange a room next to the beach with a terrace. Even if we not allowed to touch the beach. A fence is a fence. But it’s a tolerable prison until the arrival PCR test is there.
But as well it’s unexpected time for us to think about the Europe visit. Almost three of our 6 weeks of visiting, we let our two grandkids Henry (9) and Hannah (5) keep us busy. Boy, do they have power. It’s more exhausting than an Atlantic Crossing. We both really enjoyed the playing, cuddling, romping, chatting and daily program with the kids. I would have loved to have grandparents like that. 🙂
Even the time we spent with our friends was fantastic. Thanks to all of you we had a wonderful time and now easily 5 kilos more on the ribs. It was very nice to see you all. Time and distance do not change friendship.
However my shorts returned unused, no use at 13 degrees celsius in the “summer” in the Eifel. If our friend Ulli had not supplied us with warming socks, we would probably have frozen to death miserably. For that I had never been in a sauna before in August, formerly known as summer. It was a new warming experience. No wonder that many friends want to visit us. If only half of you make the announcement to visit us true, then it will be a funny season. Well then, book your flights, we look forward to seeing you.
As soon as we left Grenada in July, C19 hit the island. It’s actually the first wave here and people don’t take it very seriously. 18 people in a minibus, mostly unvaccinated, is a party for the virus. During the first two C19 years, there were less than 200 cases here. In the last two weeks, 250 have been added. Sounds few, but only 120,000 people live here. In European incidence rates, we would go from almost zero to 300 in two weeks.
The vaccination rate is with 15% ridiculously low, although there is more than enough vaccine. Unfortunately, many girls and boys in paradise have not yet realised what this will mean for them. And there are too many conspiracy morons here, too. The Virgin Islands and Antigua are almost at European vaccination level, while many in Grenada still rely on God as their preferred means of prevention. I could not find “God” on the WHO vaccination list.
Immediately after landing we were reminded that Caribbeans tick differently. For almost 3 hours after landing, we were crammed in a waiting area in long lines to work through the Corona procedure. It took us 8 forms to get to the exit – although we had to work through everything online beforehand. No idea why. So everything double, some triple in manual work. In very slow manual work. The process had obviously been planned by untalented 10-year-olds. After three hours in the waiting hall, several hundred passengers would have been infected with whatever, as long as all (vaccinated) travelers took the second PCR test within 72 hours. Always keep the goal in mind, whatsoever.
Ka: jail makes smoker
But of course it is up to each country to make its rules. If we are then an acute security risk with our three vaccinations and two PCR tests in the last 2 days, so be it. So our arrival will be extended by 2-3 days. But we are already used to that.
What’s next for the Caribbean?
We know that many sailors are currently planning their crossing to the Caribbean. All ARC rallies have been fully booked since December, so about 400 boats are planning to cross from Europe. The idea of traveling in the post-pandemic period has charm. But it is not yet post-pandemic time in the Caribbean.
Travel is still arduous and expensive. We told you about our Europe trip. The return trip was a little easier, but not any cheaper. On the outbound trip, we had about €1,500 in additional travel costs for PCR testing, hotels, and C19-related incidentals. On the return trip, it was about €1,400 in pandemic ancillary costs, plus the normal travel costs. So it remains difficult and expensive. Unfortunately, the last six weeks have not changed anything.
For every change of country you need 2 PCR tests. In addition, a lot of paperwork and constantly changing entry rules. When we entered Grenada by boat, we were allowed to spend the quarantine at anchor on the Rivercafe until the test result. When entering by plane, you have to stay in a hotel. And proof everything beforehand.
Our brilliant idea to sail from Grenada to the Tabago Keys from time to time, we canceled for now. The 40 nm from Grenada to the Tabago Keys and back, would cost us 840 USD only in PCR tests, two in Grenada, two in St. Vincent. Plus quarantine days. Sounds not very thrilling.
So we are waiting patiently for our Corona clearance and then finally get back to our beloved Rivercafe. Everything will be fine, eventually. /Holger Binz