April 24 – May 07, 2020; 2899 nm and 413 days after departure from La Rochelle
OMG! Just two hours after our last blog entry our hopes of being allowed to have a little freedom were again destroyed. The complicated 4-phase proposal of the Canary government (with suggestions like e.g. people living in even house numbers would be allowed to go out at certain times on even days and vice versa with uneven numbers🙄…) was directly rejected from the Spanish prime minister Sanchez. That was frustrating! Another week waiting for the politicians to make up their minds to create a plan (and maybe also making sure to build up their personal political power?) how to loosen the very strong restrictions which we had and have for such a long time. At least the kids were allowed to go out now. I still can not believe that the poor kids were caged for 6 weeks. What a challenge for parents to keep the kids in a good mood. My respect!
At least it was great to see families and kids again. Only after we saw them actually on the streets we realised how much we have missed to see other people. Now the parking lot of the marina was busy with kids running, skating, biking, jumping and playing. Our walk to the bathroom had changed from a deserted boring street/parking lot to a pleasant noisy playground. It was definitely an improvement and a sign for the beginning of the end 😉.
The week passed by in a blur with doing more or less the same every day. By now we know all our platform neighbours pretty well. A chat here and a chat there made the days go by faster. Everybody was and is happy about a distraction of any kind. The subjects are either about when we’ll be free again or – with our french fellows 🙂 – about food. Just the other day I was offered to taste their lunch, “Bœf Bourguignon” Très délicieuse! I can’t wait for our platform party, which we plan to do after we’re allowed to get together. Might be best to assign the catering to the French guys. Great food and drinks with everybody. Yeah!
Also nice is the fact, that I don’t need to wash by hand anymore. The young crew of the Danish catamaran (which is a school boat for a few pupils who need more attention) offered me to use their washing machine😊. It is a proper washing machine with all the programs a good house wife can think of, 30, 40, 60 and even 90 degrees celsius. Just to explain it to the non sailors, in marina or other laundry facilities the washing only takes 30 min, whatever program you choose. The result is always the same – it is wet but never really clean🤷♀️. So you can imagine I was and am very pleased about the super very kind offer.
On the other hand we clandestinely had the captain and the teacher over on Altimate for a drink a couple of times when they needed a distraction of their 24/7 job from the kids. They do have a tough time! Teacher, Captain and pupils squeezed together on a bout without being allowed to go out at all. No free time what so ever, far away from home and their families. And with the challenge to always be a role model for the students. That is, what I call, a difficult job! Despite the difficulties they seem to do pretty well and hopefully the end of restrictions is in sight.
Last Friday we felt like little kids waiting for Christmas. Only, that instead of waiting for Santa Clause to come, we were waiting to go out on Saturday. On Thursday the government agreed on a 4 phase plan for the next coming weeks. From Saturday (phase 0) we were allowed to walk together (yippee) within 1 km of our home or do sports between 6 -10 am or 8-11 pm. A quite complicated plan. People aged 70+ were allowed to go out between 10 to 12 am and 6 to 8 pm, families with kids the time in between. And much more regulations…
Our alarm clock set, we got up at 8:15 am Saturday morning. We dived into our aft cabin to search for our running gear and got dressed for our first sportive outdoor exercise since March 15th without pretending to go to the grocery store or to the bathroom. What a day! It was incredible! The pier which was deserted for the last weeks was packed with people either running or walking or just strolling. It was even allowed for people to walk hand in hand together – what a change. We got it, we were not the only ones with an alarm clock on this first Saturday😉. We did go for a little run, I went north and El Capitano south. It was a slalom run and it was not possible to keep a perfect distance of at least 1m (meter not mile😁!) to the other humans. Too many people were desperate to go out. Anyway it was awesome, it felt so good! It may actually have been as good as was having Santa Claus visiting your home when we were kids😁. 1,5 hours later after a hot shower and with stiff bones we were happily sitting in our cockpit enjoying our coffee and feeling like being in heaven. AND it was only 10:30 am wow! Well, the next couple of days were not as funny. Our bodies were complaining and screaming. I was almost not able to climb on and off Altimate because my muscles were aching so much😂. Still it was more than nice to have this new opportunity. Walking TOGETHER in the evenings was and is soooo lovely and just to see other people… I would not have thought that one would miss other humans that much.
Meanwhile we’re desperate to reach the next phase 1 which will start on Monday. Today or tomorrow the politicians will hopefully agree on the next stage. We’re hoping to move completely as we like and that we maybe even can go to a bar with some friends. Of course with lots of regulations on how to do, but still. Even sailing might be an opportunity although only in the same province/island, but that would already be a big achievement.
Seeing the end of the tunnel, we’re in a good mood 😁! Stay tuned and still don’t forget to wash your hands!