• Ana

A Quarantine diary - week 2

Day 8 (2020-03-20)

Went shopping with our french neighbour to avoid getting taxis.

We were all positive after passing the nearest supermarket, the shelves looked stocked up and just a couple of cars parked. Since we needed to do a U-turn and still needed to get veggies and fruits before being able to get to the supermarket, we decided to go really fast to Carrefour on the other side of Hammamet centre (a more European supermarket) to stock up on sauces like soy sauce, oyster sauce, etc. Big mistake!

When we got there, there was a queue to go in, at first we thought that the supermarket was not open yet but quickly realised that they were controlling the number of clients inside. We immediately gave up got on the car and rushed to the street markets to get veggies and fruits. It was but more expensive than usual but plenty of freshness and quantity.

We then rushed to the supermarket we passed earlier in the morning only to find that now there was a massive queue there also.

The decision was made to do another attempt early tomorrow.


Day 9 (2020-03-21)

Today is the last day before the government imposed lockdown starts. We went straight to the closest supermarket and arrived just before 9 am, immediately after we entered the staff closed the doors to start controlling the number of clients inside. I think the supermarket opens at 8 am and by 9 am there was no more couscous (the Tunisian food staple), flour of any kind or eggs.

I don’t know if that was due to the influx of clients the previous day and stock had not been replaced yet or if it was the result of the first clients hoarding/stockpiling. Due to the reduced purchase power of families here I suspect the lack of stock is the result of the two previous days because those are the cheapest staple food in the supermarket. There was plenty of yoghurts, biscuits, toilet paper, cleaning products. People here can only care with the real first necessities they cannot afford the rest in a time of crisis, most families live paycheck to paycheck except here a lot of them get paid daily/weekly not monthly so they’re buying only what they can afford: food.

Today the supermarket lady laughed when she saw my shopping bags full of junk food, usually, they’re full of staple food like rice, pasta, couscous, canned tomato. For the last 5 months that we’ve been in Tunisia, I’ve been preparing for the 2020 season like a little squirrel. By now we have 300kg worth of staple food on board and toilet paper for half a year, that is what we do before the beginning of each season, slowly, slowly without affecting other people’s shopping plans we stock up.


Forgot to buy butter.


Day 10 (2020-03-22)

I fear we will eat all the junk food we bought before the mid-week. We are bored, too bored to edit videos of the nice memories of last winter and last season.

I went through the work/project list for this winter and the only items missing are related with gel coat repairs and polish (pending on the insurance repairs) and cleaning of teak decks and rails (pending on sunny days). The other outstanding jobs are related to stainless steel fabrication that we can’t do here, sewing jobs that need us to purchase a machine, changing the gas hoses and adjust/correct the position of two winches.

I’ve finally put to use my new label maker.


This is like being in a dream that is becoming a nightmare and you can’t wake up. When listening to people comments on the news it feels like a tsunami is coming but people are saying it’s just a wave why are you worried.

It’s surreal.


Day 11 (2020-03-23)

10.30 am and we’ve already painted/sealed the new bedroom shelves although we hadn’t planned for it. I’ve planted another pot of succulents, trimmed Ella's paws, cleaned the woodwork.


The rest of the day was just epic levels of procrastination.


Day 12 (2020-03-24)

We pretty much watched the news and the stock market sank to the ground.

Trump is a joke, such a joke its not even funny.


Talked to a friend about buying a boat. The highlight of the day was talking about his dreams of a change of lifestyle. Our lifestyle.


Tomorrow somehow I’ll go back to editing or blogging.

The first step was to turn the laptop 5 times and then turn it off after feeling deflated about the current events. We should be sailing by now.


Day 13 (2020-03-25)

Kept busy with my spreadsheets for spare parts and maintenance jobs.

Prepared the spreadsheet for an upcoming repair to compare the prices for the needed parts from different suppliers.

Think I’m becoming obsessed with spreadsheets, go figure I hated them when I worked but now I’m finding them very entertaining.


Kitchen/galley roadblock: beyond our staple recipes that we are fully prepared for, we stocked up on a few different items to spark things up, the problem is that so many items are missing to make those recipes for the single fact that Tunisia relies very much on seasonal products and very basic ones.

So improvising is the new deal, usually when we are too bored to cook our basic stuff we go out and enjoy local food. We can’t do that now so we have to be creative if we want to break our routine cooking.


I don’t find that being locked on the boat is that difficult, provided I have stuff to keep me busy (that is not cleaning), unfortunately, by now we have already finished most of our winter jobs list missing only the projects that can only be tackled after the repairs by insurance or when we lift the boat out of the water to the anti-fouling paint.


Day 14 (2020-03-26)

We finally decided to tackle that boat project that we’ve been pushing down the list every year. We had two winches that were impossible to fully service because one of the gear units could not be removed from the base due to lack of space between the winch and the boat GRP moulding.

The job meant removing the winches completely from their position, drill new holes and reinstall it in the new position that allows us to service the units.

We did only the winch, the one on the starboard side just in front of the helm because it was the easiest of the two implicating only emptying the lazerette.

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