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  • Writer's pictureFatjax

18 || Paradise Lost

4th April Frances Bay St John

The US Virgin Islands soon joined the rest of the world in full lockdown. This situation became more stringent as the days passed. We too, were contained to our boats. We were not allowed to use the water for recreational purposes and movements in the dinghy were restricted. We were only permitted at certain dinghy docks for food shopping or medical assistance.

We kept abreast with developments at home, in the Caribbean and the USA. Iain was particularly diligent at checking official websites, blog pages, Facebook and WhatsApp groups for any information he was able to glean to help make the decision for our plan to leave the hurricane zone by the end of May.

Throughout the month of April, nothing and lots happened. We have travelled short distances between bays on St John. We have made friends at a sociable distance, and enjoyed the beauty surrounding us from the deck of our home.

We exchange ideas with our sailing companions who are all facing the same obstacles as us.

Micheal Littlepage, David Marris and Terry Smith all kept a regular eye on us and with possible suggestions and alternatives. It’s wonderful to have such guardian angels!

Both my brothers Bryan and Gerard, and Iain’s brother Alasdair celebrated their birthdays. We have learnt to use Zoom to catch up with our FatJax family and to stay in touch on Easter Sunday, which was a very strange and new experience for everyone. On both occasions we laughed and felt a renewed sense of wellbeing seeing our loved ones at home and safe.

I celebrated Easter Mass on line with Father Seelan, in Peterborough. We participated in the Easter scavenger hunt on Sunday afternoon with our bay community’s children, all from the safety of their dinghies. The children were given a list of Easter related items hidden on the topsides of the boats in the bay. Their mission was to find and record the items listed to win a prize.

We have been enjoying snorkelling together. Iain bought me a revolutionary new face mask which covers my whole face making me very confident in the water.

I still haven’t mastered getting back into the dinghy from the water, but apparently, this is upper body strength which I am sorely lacking. I will persevere. I feel a weights online class calling.

On a positive note, I have become quite confident handling the dinghy. I have been practising on my own, spurred on by so many children manoeuvring quite large expensive machines with ease. If a nine year old can do it, so can I!

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