It’s late August and I have yet to go sailing.
There is a small, small chance we will get out in September, but that will mean working remotely and frankly I am still up in the air about whether that might be more stressful than enjoyable. So maybe it will be a year without cruising.
A few notes
As we all know it’s Covid times. While it has provided hours of amusement speculating online about the short- and long-term effects and watching sailing YouTubers scramble to a) establish a new lifestyle and b) try and make that lifestyle viewable, I think we can all say it’s been a less than optimum spring and summer. For myself it has been mildly stressful at times but I mostly think of us sailing our condo and the lifestyle hasn’t been to oppressive. Less visually interesting, but not as oppressive as some have felt it.
However classes start in a few weeks and L is back to work, and the University experience isn’t going to be what it has been up to now. So how that will affect spirits and optimism, well, we shall see…
A boat in charter
Our boat is in charter. In a usual year we sail anywhere from 2 weeks to 2 months— mostly in the shoulder months and then the boat is chartered out by our friends at Nanaimo Yacht Charters. The revenue from the charters mostly pays the bills of boat ownership, give or take a few thousand here or there.
This year? Not so much. Given the timing of Covid, not only did we not get to sail but all of our booked charters were cancelled. In fact all of NYCSS’s booked charters were cancelled. The bills (moorage, insurance etc.) however were not cancelled. Really roughly, the boat costs us around $14000/year to own. That includes the above-mentioned costs, maintenance, repairs, shore power and storage of our stuff. In a regular year, NYCSS covers the costs out of revenues and come year end we settle up with the party owning taking care of surplus or shortfall. But this year with no revenue coming in and the marina (landlord) and insurance companies not willing to defer payments, it fell to us owners to fork out the money when it was due—June-ish.
An unexpected $10,000 bill can come as a nasty surprise, let me tell you. And it wasn’t done as we were now on a month-to-month basis for bills due and it was likely more expenses were coming down the pipe.
This was made worse by the fact that we decided (back in February) it was time to finally replace our leaky windlass. So while we have a spiffy new Lewmar CPX3 windlass, we also had $3000+ expense that we had budgeted for, but at the expense of our “emergency” funds. And then there was the emergency. And no funds. Sigh.
Worse, we had a brand new windlass and no time to use it. Ok, maybe not worse, but darn frustrating…
Butt thankfully BC eventually started to loosen its lockdown and NYCSS spent a lot of time marketing to Canadians and BCers in particular. And bookings for July/August started to slowly come back. Eventually we had clawed our way back to almost the number of bookings that had been cancelled. It was a pretty slim year year—our slimmest since the year we put her into charter mid season—but it was not quite as “devastating” as we had brought ourselves to expect.
Again, all this and it is highly likely we won’t even see the boat this year. But at least some people are getting to enjoy her.
The 2020 PNW season
My final winge is that I have been following along with a bunch of boaters I know and because the US/Canada border has been closed, all my favourite haunts in Desolation have been virtually empty even in high season. I have seen pictures of Prideaux in mid July with 3 or 4 boats in it. It looked glorious. It would have been the perfect year to go sailing if you enjoy the isolation part more than the socializing part. And we do…
So all in all not the best year…but it could have been worse and a lot of people are a lot more frustrated than we are: picture a Canadian boater who stored his boat across the border in Blaine—totally inaccessible but only a mere hundred yards away. Talk about maddening!
Final accounting will have to wait until year end, but I have a small hope that I won’t owe anymore money and maybe, just maybe see some of the cash spent so far come back to us. But I am not counting on it. These days with Covid and all, I am not counting on much of anything.