Like many people in eastern and southern Ontario, we have been revelling in unseasonably warm weather for the past week. For the crew of Wild Horses, it has pulled us back outside for full days of hiking, exploring the countryside and, yes, hanging out at the boat.
Although the boat was technically “ready” for winter a few weeks ago – all checks and doublechecks for our decommissioning list were done! – we have come to realize boat work is like laundry. There is always more to do. Hence, we have visited the boat a few times during the warm weather of this past week to do some extra clean up: shining up the boat decks a little more, deep cleaning the interior with wood conditioner and taking a bucket of soap and water to hard to access hoses and bilges. Warm weather makes us miss Wild Horses so we will use whatever excuse we can come up with to hang out with her on a warm, sunny day!
Along with the warm weather, news events over the past week are also making us think of Wild Horses and our delayed journey to the Caribbean. Our original target date to leave was Labour Day 2020 but due to the pandemic and the closed Canada-US border, we had to put our departure plans on hold. Our optimistic natures always had our hopes in taking off in the very next available window (Labour Day 2021) but the past few months have made us worry that our glasses may have been a little too rose-coloured. With a worsening second wave in Canada and an extraordinary explosion of cases in the United States, we had started to add some not-so-hopeful-sounding caveats to our date plans of leaving in fall 2021. Things like “fingers crossed”, “if we can”, “hopefully”, “we’ll try to work something out”. Ugh.
But with recent news events, we have reason to be somewhat optimistic for the latter half of 2021. For sure the upward trajectory of Covid-19 cases in Canada, and throughout the world, is alarming and cause for concern (please be safe and do your part to stop the spread!!) but thankfully some good news items have also popped up to give us renewed hope.
First and foremost, the world is on the brink of having a Covid-19 vaccine. Health experts and virologists are calling this a game-changer and the hope is that approval will happen shortly and distribution would start in the first half of 2021. Wow. I mean, wow. This is huge for all of us and certainly means that the crew of Wild Horses will be better protected as we navigate through the States and on to the Bahamas.
Ah, the States. I am glad you brought that up 😊. Mike, Ocean and I are not political in any sense but we do know the importance of real leadership and the positive impact it can have in tough times. Suffice to say, our confidence that the pandemic will get more under control for our neighbours down south has increased significantly with the United States election results. Compassion, financial support and guidance on how to handle the virus. We have had these comforts in Canada and now it seems that the States will have a bit of this too.
Mike and I are now more confidently planning to throw off the dock lines, for the last time in Canada, in September 2021. We will head for the Caribbean – a multi-year adventure aboard Wild Horses.
In the meantime, we have one last winter ahead of us. We have just about finished our new boat shelves (Mike is at the sanding and staining stage!) and we are knee-deep in planning the conversion of our starboard aft cabin into a “garage” i.e. a storage area for our kayaks, snorkelling gear and, yes, our compost and recycling. We are also continuing to hike the many conservation areas throughout Ontario and to explore some of the great small towns this province has to offer.
And when the snow makes a more permanent arrival this year, we will smile. It will likely be our last Canadian winter for awhile 😊.
Victoria is a hiker, dog-lover, blog writer and planner extraordinaire. Oh, yeah and she is kind of fond of living on a boat.