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Safety and Cruising Etiquette during COVID-19

We all share a passion for sailing and cruising especially during the summer months. This is especially true this season as we begin to emerge from the strict guidelines of sheltering at home in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 which has proven to be far deadlier and more contagious than other pandemics or epidemics that we have seen in our lifetimes. The good news is that all this hard work with social distancing and using appropriate precautions has made a significant impact on the ability to begin to loosen some social restrictions while attempting to define a new "normal". While this is all true, we should not however lose sight of the fact that the virus is still present and no less dangerous in society. This unfortunately will be the case until we have a successful vaccine or treatment that helps eradicate the virus in its entirety.

With the above in mind we can look forward to getting out on the water again with consideration of appropriate guidelines underscoring the CCA’s commitment to the culture of safety. What follows are recommendations:

  • Follow local government, CDC and boatyard guidelines in your cruising waters. Many states require a 14-day quarantine when entering from another state. Keep in mind however that the virus does not follow government rules and is no less virulent or deadly than when first discovered

  • Continue to social distance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19

  • Continue to wear masks especially when social distancing is not possible or in public areas. It should be noted that it is now thought that not only does the mask help prevent spread of the disease, but it also does offer some degree of protection from acquiring the disease

  • Limit crew on board to those who live under one roof or a “quaranteam” which I would define as a small group of individuals who you trust and have practiced strict social distancing and safety precautions

  • Continue strict sanitizing of hands and surfaces that may have come into contact with the COVID-19 virus. This includes anything that you might touch while getting on or off your boat as well as surfaces on your boat that may have been contaminated by others. (60% alcohol disinfectant or wipes are preferred)

  • Respect other people's anxieties and concerns regarding protection from COVID-19 and desire to not be in close proximity with others. There may be people on board other vessels who are high risk given their age and/or other comorbid illnesses and may be reluctant to socialize with others. Do not assume that the CCA Burgee is an automatic invitation to get together. Remember this is a very emotional time given the ongoing crises.

  • If invited to greet others on another vessel, refrain from coming alongside in a dinghy as this is a perfect opportunity for viral spread especially with 1 person on board a vessel projecting their voice and/or leaning over to talk to the person in the dinghy. Consider salutation's by standing off and maintaining a safe distance (> than 20 feet and not downwind).

  • Although it is safer to be outdoors than in an enclosed environment, beach gatherings and rafting are not recommended with crews of different vessels as the virus spreads easily and can aerosolize and travel upwards of 20 feet. This is facilitated by talking loudly. Put alcohol into the mix and you may have the perfect storm.

  • Refrain from potluck meals and/or the sharing of utensils, grills and food.

  • Most importantly be responsible and mindful while practicing our culture of safety while we enjoy ourselves on the water and help prevent further spread of this virus.