UK lockdown – month one

This April is our third in the region, and much the same as the past two years, the weather is fine and sunny. The sailing conditions are perfect; conditions that would have us down in France and the European continent in just a couple of days. The wind is our ticket to travel and right now we have no choice but to watch the wind blow by…

Whitehaven looking north

Looking north west across the Solway Firth to Scotland

Whitehaven Marina

The UK Government’s recommendation is to stay home and save lives – fair enough. After months of cold winter, it’s hard for locals to stay home and not enjoy the sunshine, but they are keeping their distance. A walk along the cliffs is an hour I enjoy to escape from the isolation.

Locals heading to Vagabond pub during lockdown

Restrictions on movements generally are that “no one may leave the place where they live without reasonable excuse”. As such, recreational boating is not recommended. There’s also the case that there’s nowhere to visit. I suppose we could leave Whitehaven and head towards Europe, but with the situation as bad down there and restrictions entering the country(s), we need to question what advantage it would be to travel now. Unlike cruisers locked down in other countries, we have no problems in the UK regarding length of stay, nor do we have issues with language or are we stuck on anchor. We are safe in a marina, have close access to supermarkets and can get out for a walk along the cliffs. Whitehaven is a great place to hang out. Although we are keen to get moving and begin the slow journey back to Australia, like most people, we must be patient and wait.

Looking south-west towards Isle of Man

One month since the UK lockdown and shockingly there are now over 18,000 reported deaths across the UK attributed to COVID19. Across Cumbria’s two acute NHS hospital trusts, which includes Whitehaven, a total of 233 coronavirus deaths. On the tiny Isle of Man, a day sail away from Whitehaven, 15 people have sadly succumbed to the virus.

The art of queuing

On a brighter note, it’s nice to see people out painting their fences, washing cars, enjoying time with their kids as they practice physical distancing. Brits have mastered the art of queuing, so waiting in line at supermarkets is quite stressless as people maintain their 2m distance.

So, with nothing else to do, we keep busy.

Each fine sunny day we go outside – the weather is ideal for working on the boat and there’s always plenty to do. The topsides were scrubbed and polished; the Windex was bent back into position after a crow managed to bend it out of shape; the bikes were cleaned up; the cleats were removed, cleaned and re-bedded; stainless steel is now gleaming; new ropes spliced; fishing tackle box sorted; anchor chain cleaned; cables tidied up….and so on. I think we now have the cleanest boat at the marina! In the evenings we watch various series re-runs, movies and some news. I’ve got a few books waiting to be read too.

The current lockdown period ends May 7, however, it’s highly likely this will be extended, perhaps a few months yet. The situation in Australia seems fairly under control, at least by the reported figures and updates from family. I hope Australian’s continue their vigilance against this highly contagious virus as they head into the winter months.

That’s about it. Stay safe everyone and we hope that all is well wherever you are. Here’s some springtime pics from around Whitehaven.

April blossom

Social distancing Whitehaven

Walking in the park

Wellington Row, Whitehaven

Spring flowers

About blueheelerhr39

Sailing the world aboard Blue Heeler
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3 Responses to UK lockdown – month one

  1. Sue says:

    Looks like you guys are in a great place all be it that you cant sail. Take care and stay safe. Sue & Mark

  2. Jenny says:

    Glad to hear all well with you – your blog inspired us to clean out the anchor locker today – long overdue!! We’re still content here in France, and the boat is certainly getting more attention than usual!

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