When it comes to the extended COVID-19 lockdown in Ontario, those looking to ride the waves are currently in the same boat as golfers. Pleasure boating is not allowed. Boaters are not even allowed at some marinas.
Boats being launched, though, is not an uncommon sight, especially at this time of the year. Marinas in the Kingston area are putting more and more boats into the water getting ready for an eventual lifting of the lock down. Lori Buzzi is the owner/operator of the Collins Bay Marina.
“People say the outdoors is safe and it is,” Buzzi said. “It’s safer than being in a building, but there are still precautions that we felt we needed to take to make sure nothing got missed.”
And that means that at least for the Collins Bay Marina, no boaters or members of the public are allowed on the property. As a result, boaters and members of the public can’t help with the launching of their watercraft. It’s all done by marina staff.
Buzzi says it’s just another way of keeping people safe.
“We do normally have a six-week schedule and the boaters are usually a part of all of that, but crew is taking over and they’re doing all the work,” Buzzi said.
And for those antsy boaters that need to know what’s going on with their vessel, that’s been taken care of, too, says thanks to an eye in the sky. And Buzzi says a camera is working just fine.
“When we’re doing the launches, we let them know like we would normally what they’re schedule is going to be and they watch from home,” Buzzi explained. “We’ve had a few people say that they’re having popcorn and watching it.
“The camera zooms around the boat yard so they can see their boat being launched, or they can see it at the mast crane or see it at their docks when they’re not able to be there.”
According to the province, marinas cannot be used for recreational boating purposes. For now, what’s permitted is placing boats or other watercraft in the water to be secured to a dock until provincial COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.