What I’ve been up to! Sue Hardy 29 Apr 2020
What I’ve been up to! by Sue Hardy
Sue Hardy has emailed the Club from St. Maarten where she and John have been staying on their boat Jack. As a bit of background this is where Arthur and I had to stay aboard our boat one April/May with a broken engine many years ago and although it is, of course, a Caribbean island with sun, beaches and hotels, it is also prone to being hit by hurricanes. Underneath its winter holiday surface the Dutch side, where Sue and John are, has busy sailing businesses in the winter but not much in the way of health or social care – visiting yachts leave before the summer. (Anne Heasley)
Sue in the warehouse ready for action
Sue writes: I have been involved with the Red Cross and delivery of food and hygiene boxes. It’s been interesting learning what would happen after a hurricane as it’s the same sort of process – pricing up and ordering groceries and toiletries etc then the manpower used to pack and box up all the food then sorting out the vans etc to deliver them all …it’s very labour intensive and mostly done through volunteers.
There are a lot of people here who need food boxes because they are obviously not earning any money at the moment as the island has been locked down. I don’t know how much the government help them here – I don’t think it’s 80 % like the UK.
The last two weeks we have not been able to leave the boat although we are fortunate that we are in a marina and not at anchor so we can walk along the pontoon. All supermarkets etc have been shut although fortunately this week they are opening up for a couple of days which helps!
All islands here have been locked down – i.e they are not accepting visiting yachtsmen so we cannot go anywhere even if we wanted to. Most sailors here are in limbo not knowing where or if they can go anywhere before the hurricane season which starts beginning of June so time is pushing on. Some boats are booked into Grenada, some Curacao but unfortunately they cannot head there yet. We have been told if we leave here we won’t be allowed back!
Some American yachts have left and are heading back to the USA. There are a number of rallies being organised for people to join the Salty Dog and Ocean Cruise Club rallies. Our plans are still a bit unknown but it is likely we will sail back to the UK leaving end of May beginning June heading for the Azores (approximately 16-20 days) where you can pick up provisions and fuel or if not straight on to the south coast (approximately 26-30 days)
Let’s see what happens!
John and Sue aboard