It’s the second half of April and after nearly two months in Cuba, I have to admit that my thoughts are beginning to be focused on CT and home.
Getting back to our “land home” for the summer, after months aboard down south is always a nice change of pace and something we look forward to with anticipation. The idea of UNLIMITED INTERNET is particularly alluring and to be able to take a long shower and not worry about how much water we are using, is seductive in a big way. And while Pandora’s custom mattress in our cabin is really very comfortable, Brenda and I are definitely looking forward to our “cloud bed”, as Brenda calls it, at home. Oh yeah, and it will be just wonderful to be able to plan a menu based on what you want to eat verses what’s on board or available locally (not a lot). As someone from the U.S. once said, “I want what I want, when I want it.” Yes, sounds like a plan, indeed!
However, getting north and making our way the 1,300 or so miles that separate us from CT is no simple feat and to cover that distance in a reasonable amount of time is yet another kettle of fish. And finding a weather window that will last a week to head north is not common but it is certainly easier than coming south in the fall with all of the cold fronts pounding the coast. And, to add additional complications for a long run, I always worry about the wear and tear on the boat and the need to find crew that have the time as well. As most of my friends are still working, it’s tough for them to take what can sometimes stretch to two weeks to make the trip. In the last three years, I have found that it goes pretty well and usually takes about a week or so.
As far as crew is concerned, I have been lucky and generally can find a few friends who are willing to make the trip with me. Perhaps it’s my good nature. “Don’t get to full of yourself Bob, it’s your biscuits”.
As far as getting back to the U.S. , Brenda and I will spend a few days in Havana and then head out for FL. For sure, Brenda doesn’t “love” overnight sailing but after our nearly three day run from the Bahamas to Cuba and a few overnights here, Brenda seems willing, or at least “resigned” to doing overnights occasionally. In reality I believe that it’s the “allure” of getting back to her “cloud bed” that makes her willing to “brave the darkness”. Yes, that’s probably it.
From either Ft Lauderdale or Miami, it’s an easy flight back to CT for Brenda and a convenient (read: cheap airfare) place for my crew to join me. One way or the other, I will likely be home with Pandora by mid-May or so. And getting a weather window from Havana and then from FL shouldn’t be too hard as the prevailing winds are from an easterly direction in the south and then from the southwest as we get farther north. And, as the trip from FL to CT, winds should be generally in our favor. Well, that’s the theory anyway. And, from FL to Cape Hatteras, there will be the Gulf Stream giving us a boost so we should be able to make good time for much of the run.
Of course, all of this depends on the almighty weather so only time will tell. Fortunately, my crew can book their flights at more or less the last minute to meet me in FL so they should be able to avoid a long wait in FL for a window to begin heading north.
So, for now, we are still here in Cayo Levisa, anchored in sheltered waters and waiting for the winds to settle down from the cold front that came through a few days ago. Even though it’s only about 60 miles from here to Marina Hemingway and Havana, our last stop in Cuba, it might as well be a thousand miles from here with the strong winds that would be on the nose if we were to venture out now. However, all has not been lost as we have been enjoying the resort, eating in the restaurant and walking on the beaches.
The view from Pandora to the south is magnificent. If you were to draw mountains that looked like these everyone would think they were fake. I’ll bet that mountain climbing here will become very popular down the road.They have a very nice restaurant and bar on the beach. Brenda and I had lunch and read a while yesterday. It was very tough going, as you can see.Finding some great shells yesterday was good too. Oh yeah, and an “occasional” mojito didn’t make it any worse. Such is the life of the weather bound cruiser, tough as it is. “Yeah Bob, sounds horrible. Just shut up already!”
Ok, ok. Anyway, the good news is that I spoke with Chris Parker this morning and his report suggests that we can run to Havana on Friday where we will spend a few days prior to heading north to Miami and the good old U.S-of-A.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been great being here in Cuba but the simplicity of “home” and all that it represents is beckoning. Did I hear someone say “Amazon Prime”? Yes indeed, it will be great to be home again. And, when I get there, perhaps I’ll run to the store for “whatever”.