Retired From Chartering
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Our Sail to Cuba
Planning
Staging
Sail to Cuba and Check-In
Gaviota
Gaviota to Darsena
Santa Marta and Varadero
Farmers Market Day
Trip to Habana
Bus Trip Day One
Bus Trip Day Two
Back to Florida?
Trip Home and U.S. Arrival
How was the trip?
   
 

Staging For The Trip

We planned on leaving from Marathon in the Florida Keys around January 16th.  Per our Coast Guard permit we were supposed to leave Cuba on January 30th and be back in Key West on January 31st.  In discussions with other boaters, we found that the Coast Guard didn’t want you confined to these dates if the weather would not allow safe passage.  We even heard of one boat that stayed for 5 weeks without any problems when they returned.

High east winds made getting to Marathon for our departure a real struggle.  We eventually arrived just off Boot Key Harbor on January 17th – only a few days late.  Our friends at Burdines Marina allowed us to tie up on the wall of the marina for a few hours on the 18th so we could run for groceries, hardware and marina stores, do laundry and fill fuel / water tanks before leaving.

D and Don’s friend Bruce had driven down from Maryland and met us at the dock.  He was going to join Southern Cross for the trip to Cuba.  It was great to have his car available for our last-minute shopping.  We would not be able to use any U.S. credit cards in Cuba so one ride was to the bank for additional cash.  Next was Public, Home Depot and West Marine to check off all items on our list.  Oh, I think we also went to the liquor store….

Both boats pulled out of Burdines in Marathon around 1:30pm and anchored just outside the harbor for final preparation.  Plans were to leave around 4pm for the 88 mile run to Gaviota Marina in Varadero.  Figuring the boat would average at least 5 knots, we should arrive around 10am to noon the next day.  At 3:30pm we hauled anchor and set a course of 178 degrees to Varadero, Cuba.

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