We’ve got the stuck-on-a-boat blues

I have to admit, we’ve had it better than most since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

While most people were cooped up in their houses under shelter-in-place orders, we were stuck on a sailboat. Which is a shelter that by design moves.

Our summer looked like this: Cruising to remote islands, hiking in beautiful state parks, snorkeling in chilly, but crystal clear waters, kayaking in protected coves, beachcombing for critters … you get the drift.

But now we are stuck on a boat during the worst wildfire season Oregon and Washington have ever seen. Smoke in Seattle is so thick we can’t see much past the breakwater in our marina.

Forget sailing away from the smoke. The air quality from Olympia to Vancouver, B.C. is some of the worst in the world. We can’t escape it.

World air Quality Index on IQair.com. Even if we could get into Canada, it wouldn’t be any better.

So we are staying in the marina, where we can stay connected to shore power and run fans to cool the boat—because we can’t open the windows right now.

This is what we’ve been doing to cope:

  • Doing school and work from the inside.
  • Baking brownies from scratch.
  • Started building a video game from scratch.
  • Reading. Lots.
  • Playing. Lots.

And planking.

We’ve also been watching some shows and doing some badly-needed cleaning and organizing.

The kids have commented that 2020 is synonymous with bad luck. I’m not sure luck has much to do with it. I think most of us can agree that our country should have done a better job of coordinating its response to coronavirus. (I encourage anyone to read The Atlantic’s great coverage of the virus, especially if you disagree.)

Meanwhile, the horrific wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington demand that our leaders update forest management practices, rules and regulations guiding how close homes and what kind of homes are built to forests. And get serious about combating climate change, already.

I really, really miss getting outside. Walking, hiking, kayaking are more than just things I enjoy; they help me maintain my mental health. I know I’m not alone.

So there’s one more thing I’ll be doing over the next few days: Praying for rain.

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