Wandering Through a Pandemic

Wandering Through a Pandemic

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I love being a Wanderer. There could be no better life for me. Unless, that is, there's a GLOBAL PANDEMIC! Yeah, there's a thought I'd never had until a few weeks ago.

This was a great cruising season in the Caribbean. We'd traveled from Guatemala, to Honduras, to the Cayman Islands, to Jamaica, to the Dominican Republic, and eventually to Puerto Rico. All of those miles had been against the prevailing winds, but we'd managed to nail perfect weather windows and get where we wanted to go without any issues at all. No breakdowns, no brutal beatings out at sea, no puking over the side of the boat. Life was good.

And work was good too. Despite the warning signs of being very deep into a bull market, maybe too deep, we continued to ride long positions for nice gains, always with one wary eye out for trouble. Many of our Wanderer subscribers were off on adventures of their own, and sharing them with our Basecamp group as we all worked to balance our world travels with trading and earning a living. All in all, we had a good balance going.

That all came to a screeching halt in early March when the coronavirus went global. The stock market collapsed, which thankfully we at Wanderer quickly got out of the way of. Watching the market fall day after day was breathtaking—history in the making. Our Basecamp options traders did very well in the decline, but aside from that one positive, there wasn't much else to be happy about.

Puerto Rico quickly locked down. We had just happened to pull into a marina in order to load new batteries onboard. That afternoon we found out they could no longer take any new boats per government rules. We briefly considered heading for the Virgin Islands, but that idea was quickly squashed as we realized the full extent of the coronavirus lockdown. Every island south of us shut their borders, as well as pretty much every country in the world. Wherever you happened to be wandering, was likely where you were going to remain.

Those with homes somewhere retreated from their RVs or boats back to land, but for those of us full-time liveaboards there was little option. Salinas Marina became our home. There are only 5 other people on the docks. The office and hotel are closed. There are no restaurants. It's basically my family, on a 42' boat, with one dock to an empty parking lot. That's the extent of our world for the past four weeks now. I've been to the grocery store about a mile away, twice.

skateboarding
A deserted freshly paved parking lot at least makes for a good skate park.

Puerto Rico has taken the virus very seriously. Almost nobody is out and about beyond getting food or medicine. There are driving restrictions limiting travel to 3 days a week. Boats are not allowed to move. Period. No travel between ports, or even so much as around a bay. Police patrol routinely.

But hey, I can't complain. My family is healthy. We're easily quarantined from others. We've got internet and the means to continue to work and earn a living. As far as hardships go, ours hardly qualify. So, while it isn't the greatest time to be a world wanderer, it's still good to be a digital nomad.

Stay safe. Stay healthy. We'll see you out in the world somewhere when things settle down again!