As the world shut down around us, I like many of you, was confined to my home; and for the first week or so I couldn’t take my eyes off the news as we saw cases sky rocket around the world and deaths started to ramp up. This was bad and the feeling of panic and dread started to haunt me again just like when hurricane Irma hit back in 2017, this felt worse in some respect and it was clear the world would take years to recover.
As the days rolled by during April we would get news of a few cases being confirmed but then news came through that they had all recovered and the government announced that we would be allowed out again. With just one day to go there was an unexpected news conference and it was announced that another case had surfaced but the woman had arrived at hospital in a bad way and sadly passed away 24 hours later. The government then swiftly cancelled our easing of curfew as they frantically tried to trace all the people she had been close to - the lockdown continued. The final total of cases ended up being eight in the BVI.
As the virus locked down most countries around the world, one thing was very clear, the BVI was going to remain shut for a long time and business wise we needed to come up with a plan fast…
The majority of our students are from America and it was clear they would not be allowed into the BVI and also many would not want to travel even if they could get in due to the risk of infection on planes etc. I called up instructor Scott and brain stormed the “Coming to America” idea and we talked for days trying to see if we could actually make it work! I spoke with all of my American instructors and they were behind me, Sweet & Salty is a US flagged boat, Chesapeake is the Mecca of sailing along the East coast…..the plan was forming so the decision was made! If Americans can’t come to us we will come to you! We had a few hurdles to jump, Abi Gale would need her county of registration changing to US, we would need to set up a US company but we could do it and we would do it. We tentatively set a date and watched and waited for America to start opening up again and like magic it started to happen. We sent out an email, set July 19th as our first date and bingo, we had our first bookings within hours of the announcement!
America here we come!!
To be continued, Part 3 setting sail…..