We are just as antsy as anyone to get back out on the water, and believe us, we are ready to go at a moment’s notice. But there are a few things standing in our way.
While most of the state of Florida is resuming business as usual in early May, the city of Miami is keeping non-essential businesses closed as of this writing until further notice. That puts a bit of a damper on us being able to dock the boat (marinas are considered non-essential), never mind board passengers, provision, etc. Once that is lifted…
The Bahamas has extended it’s State of Emergency until May 30. This means no visitors, sea ports are closed to all private vessels except essential trade, and all hotels and resorts are closed until further notice. They have released a 5-phase plan for reopening the country, and tourism falls into phase 5. There is no time-table set, though some family islands are in phase 1b as of this writing.
If Miami reopens but the Bahamas doesn’t, we can just go to the Florida Keys, right? Not exactly. The Keys will remain closed to tourists and visitors through the end of May at least. Plus Keys trips only work in close-to-perfect weather, which is never guaranteed. It’s a good alternative, not a great only option.
But we don’t touch land, so can’t we go either location because we’re so low risk? Yes, we’re lower risk than most tourism, but if something were to go wrong – we had a medical or mechanical emergency – we would have a long, slow haul back to Miami or risk putting an undue burden on a location that has made it explicitly clear they are not prepared for visitors.
This is hard. This is frustrating. But this will change and we will feel the wind on our face and the salt water on our dive suits as soon as we are able. Hang in there!