COVID and the Rendezvous (also all travel)


Contributing Partner
Being declared in the highest risk group for this nasty little Coronavirus bug, I have been following the development of the pandemic greater than normal interest. Several indicators bode ill for the Rendezvous and cruising in general this year.

-The COVID 19 does not appear to be seasonal. It is occurring just as rapidly in South Africa and Argentina as it is in North America and Europe.

-It is highly contagious.

-No one has immunity.

-It's symptoms are similar to colds, flue, etc. so many ignore them. We found that out here in Port Angeles. When the bars were shut down in Seattle, a group of Seattleites made the four hour one way trip to Port Angeles to drink at the bars here. Now we still have no cases but we have 14 employees in isolation waiting the results of the virus testing. One of the fools said "I thought I had a cold". The high cost of visiting an ER will keep many away from the healthcare system (in the bad old days, I had a $5,000 deductible that cost $1,400 a month. One ER trip that lasted 2 1/2 hours and included one x/ray cost me $5 grand. I swore that was going to be my last ER visit and it was until I got Medicare. There are many people out there that that kind of cost is ruinous. Do you think they will head to the ER for a dry cough?

-Both Canada and the U.S. have placed travel restrictions on non essential border crossings. I don't think cruising is going to count as essential travel no matter what we think. San Francisco has placed everyone on a shelter in place order. Try to send your kid to school.

We have developed a vaccine already (great work). Now it has to go through the rather awkward testing system. The latest accelerated time estimate is 18 months. In the meantime, tens of thousands are going to die.

Everyone needs to relook at their summer travel plans. It looks like travel to Canada will be restricted. Large swaths of the US will have major restrictions and the welcome mat for travelers has been removed. As an ex-commodore at our YC I am getting letters from other Clubs saying transients are not welcome until further notice.

Perhaps a couple of weeks at your berth would be great if your area allows travel from your house to your boat.

Good luck everyone and take care.

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
I was thinking back to a month ago, when the current situation was only hinted at, and the extent of the impact was, and continues to be, unknown. In Canada, and I think world wide, the number of cases of this virus, associated deaths, new government policies and restrictions, and government financial assistance are all changing daily. We were expecting our children and grandchildren to visit at the end of March, but of course those visits have been cancelled, as here, most people are trying to work from home, minimize leaving home, staying home for 14 days at the first sign of any illness, and washing hands more than any of us can recall. Hopefully these steps will help to stem the tide of this far-reaching virus, but everyone's cooperation and help will be needed. We are also seeing many instances of people helping each other--voluntarily shopping for a housebound senior, sharing supplies when someone runs out, providing advice, etc.
I think all we can do now is to be careful, stay safe as possible, help each other and take things a day at a time.

Sean Engle

Your Friendly Administrator
Most likely the organizers will have to set a drop-dead date for the Summer Rendezvous - and if things with the virus are not turned around fully by then the event will likely be cancelled. This virus is not something to screw with and is only just getting started.

There are huge populations (like prisons) which are likely to become hot zones; other countries have tightly packed poor populations which this stuff will tear through and replicate itself in the process, etc.

By comparison the need for a social engagement is pretty minimal.

Frank Langer

1984 Ericson 30+, Nanaimo, BC
Hi Sean,

Actually, the Ericson Rendezvous is an international summit of great importance where significant discussions occur and important decisions are made, not to mention the significant support to the economy through the large potluck dinner and occasional alcohol consumption. :)

Although it will be sad if the 2020 rendezvous has to be cancelled, it may well be the right step to take at some point. Let's see how it all develops. In the meantime, lets all be careful and remain safe and healthy.



Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Under the scope of potential restrictions being discussed today... even travel to the local marina for a day sail or boat maintenance might be banned. Travel restrictions imposed yesterday could dry up agricultural labor and impact this years crops. Besides which, there is a pretty serious draught shaping up. Lots of uncertainty. Lots of things to think about. The data as of today sure looks as if the US is entering the logarithmic growth-phase of an epidemic. But the data might have more to do with how much (or little) testing is being done than with actual infection rates.
It might be better to secure the boat as if for long-term storage, than preparing for a cruise. (And then start working on the garden...)


Member III
In the South Bay Cruising on Long Island a member with a good sense of humor.. Recommended that all boat in the spring race stay 10 no 20 feet apart.

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I just emailed Genoa Bay to say we will not be there this summer. Border now closed to tourists, for who knows how long.