We have spent the last couple of days getting everything we need in shape for our delivery. Just to recap, we have a sister ship to our boat here in Charleston that we have been hired to deliver to her new owner Antigua in the eastern Caribbean. The boat is in good shape, and pretty much ready to go.
The trip itself will be about 1400 miles and 9 to 11 days of sailing. The health authorities in Antigua can potentially require a 14 day quarantine before releasing us from the boat. Quite reasonably, they do count the time you spend at sea toward the quarantine period. If we add a bit of buffer that means we are provisioning for 3 weeks. Everthing has now been bought, and stowed on the boat. We are waiting for a rather nasty cold front to pass by, and we will be off on the 26th. The morning we leave the temperature is expected to be in the high 20’s Fahrenheit here. Seems a good time to head for the tropics!
Based on what we have seen, Antigua and Barbuda (that’s the official country name) has had some of the most reasonable COVID regulations around. Rational, careful, and not responding to the international “whim of the day.” They have had excellent success in keeping local spread in the population to a bare minimum, and still allowing commerce. Hopefully that attitude will still be present when we arrive!
One of the requirements for arrival by yacht into Antigua is that you present results from a rt-PCR Covid test taken within 7 days of departure from your last port. We found a local drive-in testing site offering same day results, and went and had our noses swabbed this morning.
Sure enough, we got the results by 2PM. Negative, so all is good. OH NO! Wait… the test report says they ran the less sensitive antigen test NOT the PCR test that Antigua health authorities require. It’s afternoon on Christmas Eve, and we need the results in two days so we can leave, and they close within the hour! We ran back to the test site. They were completely helpful, and re-ran the test we actually needed without extra cost, even let us jump the line of cars waiting, and again had the results by the end of the day. NOW we really are ready to go!
We expect to arrive in Antigua on or about January 5, endure whatever quarantine the locals request, and then spend several days introducing the new owner to his boat before flying back to Charleston and rejoining Harmonie for our own adventures.