Cut and Run

On the morning of March 21 2020 we started North on the AICW with the plan to find somewhere to pull the boats and put our Loop on hold.

On the radio it was all “doom and gloom” with cancellations and travel restrictions, On the water is was a normal Saturday.

We had intended to anchor out in Lake Boca Ratan, but when we got there it was a little too busy for us…

Apparently not everyone was worried about “Social distancing”.  We ended up in Pelican Bay for the night. A nice little anchorage in the middle of a residential area.

Up early the next morning, we travelled North again, when we got to Palm Beach we entered a different world where Marinas were full of Super Yachts.

I did some internet research and found out the Little blue one, the “Laurel”, cost about 95 Million and had an annual operating budget of 5 to 6 Million.

Nautoncall has a considerably smaller budget.

Shortly after that we sailed by Mara Lago, but the President must have been too busy dealing with Pandemic plans because he didn’t come out to wave at us.

It was a beautiful day for boating. We arrived at Port St. Lucie inlet late in the afternoon, it was absolute chaos. The tide was falling and there was considerable current opposite a stiff west wind, that combined with every boat in the area coming back from a big day on the water, made for a very rough trip up the St Lucie River.

We anchored for the night in Pendarvis Bay across from the Stuart Mooring field.  A quiet night on the hook, Once all the “Yahoos” went home it was very peaceful. I did hear a train go over the bridge by US#1.

The next morning was a short hop to the St Lucie lock where we raised 8′ or so, then to Indiantown Marina to prepare to haul the boat and run for the border!

It was very stressful making plans to get home, things were closing fast, I got one of the last rental cars before the branch closed, and the only way to get a car, would be to go to the airport. We could only rent a truck as far as Port Huron Mi. where we had to transfer everything into a Uhaul to drive across the border.  We drove straight through with only a short roadside nap when the lines got blurry. 

24hrs after we left Nautoncall we were safely quarantined in Bud and Lees cottage for 14 days. 

When we were talking about going on the Loop and someone would ask, “Aren’t you afraid of being away from home that long?” I always said, “at any time you are only a 24 hour drive away from home”, but I really didn’t expect to need it…

Don McCulloch
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