February 26, 2011
Dear Friends and Family,
Well, we need to change names with our friends on ANYTHING GOES because that seems to be the theme of this adventure. One thing and another lead to delays in our departure but we thought that now we were underway, all would be as planned? Silly me. For some reason, I keep falling to the the trap of believing I am in control! I can hear the celestial laughter even as I write this.
We were having a good passage, low winds in the day so motor sailed but calm water and a wonderful night of turning the motor off and sailing comfortably. Then we listened to a HAM radio group that has weather and check in for cruisers along the north west Caribbean. They were suggesting that the crossing of the channel between Cuba and Isla Mujeres might get pretty nasty on Sunday and then we listened to Herb, our HAM weather guy from Canada who does free weather every day for boaters in the Atlantic and Caribbean and he confirmed a rough passage. We had known that the strongest winds would be on Sunday but we thought we would be in by Sunday morning. Now, for some reason, we were falling back on time and as we were crossing the gulf stream heading south, we were losing more speed which meant already that we were likely to be coming in after dark on Sunday unless we could pick up a lot of speed later in the trip. The crews of our boats discussed the idea of slowing down and hanging out along the north west coast of Cuba to shelter from the winds, stopping and anchoring in Cuba or as Chat-Eau suggested, head east for the Dry Tortugas and wait there for calmer weather. The later was chosen and so at about 3:30 we turned the boat east with another 40 miles to go. Both the Johnsons and Russ had been there before and felt that with the GPS charts and their memories, we could come in at night. Rob and I had never been there but chose to follow them in. It worked just fine. We arrived about 1:30 a.m., anchored, and went to bed!
This morning we woke up to a spectacular view of the beautiful fort on the island, a lovely island beach with birds making a racket and flocks of them circling over the island.
The water beneath us is clear and we can see our anchor sitting on the bottom. There are about 6 other boats already anchored here. I am sure there will be a tour boat coming in from Key West which is about 90 miles from here and we have already seen a sea plane head out this morning. If you click on the link at the top of this blog and focus in to the blue bubble, you will get a satellite view of this beautiful location. Remember, this is not a real time picture so you won’t see our boat but the balloon will show you where we are anchored in relation to everything else.
We have not yet check in with Chat-Eau but will want to visit with them about what is next. We will look at weather and timing for the passage but my best bet is that we may leave on Monday with a Tuesday or early Wednesday arrival in Mexico. There is some frustration there but as I said, Rob and I have tried to get to the Dry Tortugas several times and have not done so because of weather. I guess this was just our time and we plan to enjoy it!
Sue and Rob
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