Thursday, April 2, 2020

Staying Home!

By Kathy

We just wanted to post a quick update on the SandStar crew. We are still in Puerto Rico at a very nice marina. We are in Week 3 of self-quarantining on SandStar. The most we have moved was from Dock B to Dock A to get better ventilation in the boat.  Kids are working really hard at school and using this extra time to accelerate their school year since our timeline to return to the mainland has changed. Since borders are closed, we do not have set plans but we are expecting to move a lot quicker once they start opening and it will not be the nice stroll we had planned through the Bahamas to get to Florida. More like a WHAM! BAM! GET THEIR NOW! Kind of plan. We know school will be tough to keep up with once we start moving.

We are safe and in a nice gated community. Since it is private we are still able to walk the beach and the streets. The curfew did move from 9pm to 7pm but that does not really impact us. Spirits are still pretty high on the boat but there has been some moments where you read too much on the internet (fake or real?? Who knows?) and all of the sudden you feel trapped instead of safe. This is usually me and Dan will talk me down to a more logical frame of mind.  

Highlights from the last few weeks:

The Internet – Yes, we have the internet on the boat for the first time in 2 years. My job as the Byte Police has gone away but now I am taking over the role of Screen Police. As frustrating as it was to try to do things like banking, blog posts, and cloud backups when you have limited internet I had forgotten what it was like with three kids face down on their screens for hours at a time when the internet is unlimited. It makes me miss the days when kiddie communication was done via VHF. The plus side is that they have been able to keep in touch with friends and family on land and on boats.

Netflix – Oh Yeah! The benefit of the internet. We haven’t had this for quite some time. It is a nice treat.

Leprechauns – We tried….we didn’t catch. Sam and Dan made a pretty awesome leprechaun trap on St. Patty’s Day. He tried to lure them in with Euros and Cheerios. They made a HUGE mess in the salon with cups and papers but got away.

More School -  Yes, you read that right. Normally this idea would be met with a lot of complaints and a possible mutiny. But the kids have embraced some extra online school with Crash Course lessons. I picked them out and assign them for the week. I try to balance between something they should know like Study Skills with something they are interested in like learning about Jobs in Engineering. 

Wheels – We were able to get the kids kick scooters to use around the marina. They have daily races around the parking lot. Emma took the trophy in last night's race. The good news is  that so far nobody has gone into the water. 

Exercise – The goal is to do something every day. A run, a walk, or an exercise routine on the dock. It is all goodness!

Organization - We have never had spreadsheets with our food inventory on each cabinet. Now we do! The bathroom cabinets have also been cleaned out. I am still perplexed why I had makeup, hair spray and a few bottles of dry shampoo on the boat for the last three years. 

Celebrations – We are working on plans for Emma’s 15th birthday next week. Since we have some extra minutes in our day we are coloring wrapping paper (and it is pretty relaxing) and making our own gift bags (thank you YouTube). We are not quite sure what the plans will be but some ideas are watching one of her favorite movies, a game of dominos, a favorite meal, a juice bar, and of course cake and ice cream. One thing that we learned in cruising when it comes to holidays is to plan early. Since we knew we would probably not have any visitors this year that could bring goodies from the US we had already planned ahead for her birthday. PHEW! We also grabbed some cake mix and frosting in Antigua not knowing what the other islands would have in stock.

We have spent the last three years living in very close quarters and really depending on one another for support, fun, laughs, school, safety, and general watering and feeding so this still does not feel too much out of the normal for us. Don't get me wrong, we do miss the luxury of being with friends and making new ones, the leisurely shopping trip at a grocery store, a nice happy hour at a local restaurant, and exploring our surroundings. We will not ever take those things for granted in the future. We know keeping to ourselves and staying at home is the right thing to do for our family and for others around us. We are not sure what the coming days will bring so we are taking this one day at a time. We will keep you updated either on Facebook or the blog. Stay safe!


  1. Love this update. Thank you Kathy. We miss you guys terribly and are sad not to help celebrate Emma’s birthday. We love you all

  2. Hi team Sandstar...Great post Kathy and sounds like you guys have that ship running like a well oiled machine!!!! I love the Byte police comment and especially the Leprechauns house...great job Sam & Dan!!! ;) We are looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Enjoy the last days....they will go so quick. Happy Birthday in advance Emma and Gaby is looking forward to seeing you at school soon.

    Cheers and stay safe