We were in Southern California on April 20 when the County Supervisors repealed it’s ban on golfing which had been set to run until June 19th.

As you might guess, cabin fever was instantly replaced with euphoria!

Fast Forward to mid-May and we’re now back on Buzzards Bay witnessing a similar dynamic as boat lovers launch their babies for the 2020 season.

Undoubtedly, this will be a season like no other, but nevertheless, we will have a season on the water (can somebody give me a hallelujah?}

Our Long Launch

Ned Kaiser (Mattapoisett Boat Yard) hauled Vigilant out of her winter beauty sleep early this season…

March 20 to be exact…

Ned had a premonition that things may be delayed by the pandemic and he was right. After about a week of work, the state deemed boat yards as “nonessential.”

Fortunately, Governor Baker, reversed his position and allowed boat yards to resume operations – following social distancing guidelines.

And by early May, Vigilant was ready for launch, which we did last Friday…

Docking and Dining – Covid Style

Mrs. Horne and I left our new slip at MBY around 1:00 on Saturday and it was glorious…

Our modest plan was to attempt to Dock and Dine at The Chart Room for opening weekend. We strive to take in this annual Cape Cod tradition for both opening and closing weekends.

I say “attempt” because we had no idea whether or not we’d be able to dock at Kingman Marine. I did have reason for hope due to this single post on Kingman’s Facebook page…

As we approached Kingman I hailed channel 71, but no one answered. Although there was clearly signs of normal Marina life on the docks, there was still plenty of open space on the main float, so we just went in and tied up.

UPDATE May 21, 2020: I just learned that the reason our experience was near normal at Kingman was because they were closed.

Starting today, you must order from the Chart Room by phone and circle in your boat until it’s ready. They you can “touch and go” on the front dock to pick it up.

No tying up and eating – no Dock and Dine!

You Can’t Smile With A Mask On…

When I go to the grocery store (with my Poncho Villa Bandito mask on), everyone looks like Anthony Hopkins…

Have you noticed how friendly “strangers” have become under the global lockdown? I think it’s a little like the post 9/11 era, but I also think the whole mask thing has had a chilling effect on social interaction since you can’t see a smile through a mask!

It’s not just chilling, but a tad depressing. That said, I also think it’s led to a visceral joy when we actually see happy (mask free) people smiling again.

Happy People Everywhere…

The ocean, bay, and Kingman docks have plenty of space for social distancing and accordingly, it’s pretty much a mask-free zone.

As Mrs. Horne and I pulled in, 2-3 happy people ran to tend our lines and help us tie up. Everyone was smiling and enjoying the beautiful weather and our little slice of mask-free normal living.

The Chart Room Take-out Experience

Although the docks were near normal on Saturday, the vibe at The Chart Room was nearly post-apocalyptic.

We ordered our lunch by phone as soon as we docked thinking it might take a while to get it. It didn’t. In fact our lunch was ready in about 15 minutes.

The Chart Room take-out operation was designed for curbside service, so the pick up table is in the parking lot by the valet parking drop off.

As with most contactless dining, you give them your credit card when you call in your order. I have been giving a 25% tip on takeout since the good folks making us food aren’t making any money off of their traditionally lucrative cocktail business.

The food was delicious as usual and hot thanks to proper takeout packaging…

Mrs. Horne correctly suggested that I take photos of my Ruben and her Fish Tacos, but I stupidly waived her off and dug in (what can I say – I’m rusty).

Socializing at a Social Distance on The Docks

After lunch I told Mrs. Horne that I was going to go down the dock and try to socialize with other boaters.

I spent almost an hour chatting with this good fellow, but I never got his name – like I said, I’m a little rusty after my 6 month hiatus from My Buzzards Bay. Anyway, if you see this my new friend, send me your contact info.

All tolled there were over a dozen people on their boats enjoying adult beverages and socializing from a distance. There was never more than 3-4 standing on the docks at any time, and everyone kept 6’ apart, so we were more or less following the state’s boating guidelines.

Gas Powered Mudslide Making

I can also tell you there were no boats rafting behind Bassett Island, but about a half a dozen anchored or beached enjoying the summer weather.

It was great to see people enjoying our beautiful seashore again.

My Buzzards Bay – At Your Service

As the situation continues to evolve, Mrs. Horne and I plan to venture out and continue to research Dock and Dine options under the Massachusetts Covid 19 Lockdown.

And along those lines, I’d encourage you to do the same and send me your reports. I’m happy to serve as a clearly House for evolving news about boating this season.

Stay tuned…