A Marine Surveyor’s Voyage Through the Corona Virus

Day 1              December 23, 2020

First day of symptoms, unusually low energy. Work from home.

Day 2              December 24, 2020

Initial symptoms continue, low energy, Christmas shopping.

Day 3              December 25, 2020

Not so merry Christmas. Symptoms increase, mild fever. Contact primary care provider to request Covid test – denied, did not meet testing requirements. In isolation, wife evacuates bedroom.

Day 4              December 26, 2020

Wife and I drive separate cars to Covid test site, take my fifth Covid test.  Contact clients scheduled for 12/28/20. Seller had Covid, buyer is Navy corpsman comfortable with exposure, both request that survey proceeds.

Day 5            December 27, 2020

Symptoms include mild body aches, prior symptoms persist.  Mental certainty that I have some medical condition, no breathing issues causes Covid questions to remain. Physically feel able to work.

Day 6             December 28, 2020

Mild symptoms continue, normal work day and mindset. Perform pre-purchase inspection of 40’ trawler including sea trial from Chula Vista to Shelter Island and back, receive positive diagnosis at the end of job, wife tests negative. Cancelled jobs scheduled that week and mental outlook shifts negatively.

Day 7              December 29, 2020

Work from home, symptoms persist. Heed CDC guidelines for isolation, requiring 10 days from first known symptom and 24 hours with no fever.

Day 8              December 30, 2020

Fever resides, optimism returns, wife tests positive and moves back into bedroom.

Day 9              December 31, 2020

Fever returns, mental state confused, doubt ability to ever survey a boat and write a report again. Skip a scheduled zoom party call, worse wedding anniversary ever.

Day 10            January 1, 2021

Symptoms persist, confirm proper medical care with niece (an active Covid nurse). Eat Hoppin’ John (black-eyed peas and rice dish), family tradition for good luck on New Year’s Day. Checked back that we missed this tradition in Bali on January 1, 2020.

Day 11            January 2, 2021

Awakened with no fever, mental acuity returns, work remotely for 3 hours. Cancelled golf outing scheduled for 1/3/21 and advise clients scheduled for 1/4/21 of current situation, all request job to proceed.

Day 12             January 3, 2021

Remain fever free, only symptom remaining is limited smell and taste, retest for Covid, all cleared for exiting quarantine per CDC guidelines.

Day 13          January 4, 2021

Awaken with clear head, no fever and symptoms abating, minor limited smell and taste, Covid test returns negative.  Survey Seamaster 46 sailboat in Ensenada.  Wife tests positive, low grade fever persists until January 8, 2021.

In an attempt to add interesting detail and color to the daily Covid journal, I’m providing relevant family and business history. My wife and I have three 20-something children and a 30-something nephew (and marine surveyor) living in a split level 5-bedroom home. Our room abuts the main living room, dining room and kitchen on the upper level. The children have bedrooms on the lower level. The living room and dining room include large tri-fold doors which open to a deck.

Our family has been fairly Covid aware and cautious, wearing masks, staying socially distant and in a relatively small “germ pod”. The first few months I wiped down the common areas every morning before anyone else arose.

We have a Sunday night family dinner tradition which usually includes guests. Initially this was suspended but utilizing the indoor / outdoor style of our dining room, the Sunday dinners were resumed during Covid. Often visiting 20-somethings and also the more “exposed” children sat outside, while the more at risk humans would stay inside.

Marine inspection protocols were developed which included mask wearing, distancing as possible, ventilation and common sense.

Our business paused when the first lockdown occurred but quickly rebounded due to an unexpected and unprecedented surge in demand for boats. Business and vacation travel was significantly curtailed, resuming with a family trip in November to visit elderly parents. We all tested negative prior to departure and twice during the travel.

Business travel resumed with a day trip to La Paz, Mexico in early December and 5-day trip to Mazatlán beginning December 16, 2020. Both trips included use of the cross border express a walking bridge to the Tijuana airport. We missed the scheduled flight to Mazatlán after arriving at the Cross Border Express 1.5 hours before the scheduled 5:30 am flight, primarily due to the line to check luggage (tools) combined with a crush of vacation travelers. The missed flight caused many hours in the airport. I was  accompanied by my wife on the trip, we both wore double masks, the flight was full.

The Mazatlán job was a pre-purchase inspection of a 2016 107-foot class built and maintained steel luxury expedition type motor vessel with an asking price of over $10,000,0000. We shared one meal with the crew in the galley and spent two nights socializing with friends in Mazatlán. Alcohol softened my Covid defenses.


On the day I received my positive Covid diagnosis I was surveying a 1977 fiberglass Marine Trader 40 trawler in San Diego with asking price of less than $50,000.


Both survey jobs were normal, Covid protocols were mostly adhered to with the exception of travel.

After having a fever in conjunction with other minor symptoms I began isolation, including only briefly and remotely attending Christmas dinner.

Medically we consulted with a close friend of the family who is a doctor and an active Covid nurse. We stayed hydrated by forcing fluids, took extra vitamin C, D, zinc and one aspirin per day. We regularly checked our temperatures and oxygen levels (with a pulse oximeter). We ate three regular meals even though our appetites were reduced. Some of the meals were s

mall and some of the low energy levels may have been related to limited caloric intakes. We rested extensively, tried to get vertical and move around / take a short walk each day and tried to return to positive mental health, a challenging aspect of the disease on many days.

All four children tested negative twice subsequent to my positive diagnosis and were a god-send in their support during the brief voyage through the corona virus.

I have no intention of providing any advice including medical, travel or behavior. We received many wishes and three delicious and appreciated pots of soup from friends. I received many inquiries as to the experience and its severity and thus was motivated to produce this account.

I also have no illusions that our experience is typical, and am eternally grateful for the relatively mild symptoms, intend to continue exercising caution and remembering the unfortunate families who suffered far more significantly in this crisis.