1 LiveBloggin' the ICW: Cuba Bound!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Cuba Bound!

A quick post, as I'm getting the boat ready for travel...

At last - the stars have aligned and it's off to Bimini after far, far too long in Miami. From Bimini, it's then over to Chub Key - or possibly Andros and then over to the Exumas. I'll be avoiding Nassau like the plague - far too many murders there recently, including several on boats (see story here). Besides, why go to an island paradise and spend time in a city? I want beaches, sun, sand and rum!
From there, it will be on to the Exumas. This trip, I want to visit the northern Exumas, I've missed them in past years. Some lazy cruising down the islands follows, with a stop at Staniel and other popular spots to revisit some past haunts. Maybe drink some rum, chase lobsters and find the best conch fritters in the world. That sounds about right...
Of course, Georgetown comes next - it'll be quiet at this time of year with most of the winter transients having returned north, or moved on further south into the Caribbean.
Lots of room at the Chat and Chill for a cold brew in other words, and less crowding at the market when de mail boat comes in!  Maybe take in a rake and scrape....Ya mon, we be limin' dere, goin' wit' island time.
Talking about the market, sad news that the Georgetown straw market burned down - I'm sure the folks who traded there will rebuild and I'll certainly let everyone know what I find out in a forthcoming post.
Following Georgetown, it's Salt Pond on Long Island. The resort there, Long Island Breezes, has apparently closed, which is unfortunate - it was a great spot to hang out. I'll reprovision from the anchorage in Long Island, since there are two stores and prices are considerably less than in G-town.
Next, it's on to the Jumentos, which with the advent of the Explorer Charts for that area are much easier to transit. The bottom end of that chain brings us to Ragged Island, and this trip, I'll probably take a day or two to explore there. My last trip, the weather was just right for crossing to Cuba, so I was gone the next morning barely 12 hours after I'd arrived. Ragged Island has the bar with the airplane on (or is it 'in') the roof. Met the owner my last trip, so it'll be fun to reconnect.
Sixty-five miles from Ragged Island and up comes Puerto de Vita, Cuba's easternmost port of entry. The folks at Puerto de Vita are very friendly and make the process quite simple, for which I'm quite grateful.
I'll be using wifi as it's available to keep everyone in touch, and also, you'll be able to follow my trip using the 'Where's Wally' feature on the Delorme InReach unit I carry.
To find my location, and where I've been, click on the 'Where's Wally' tab you see at the top of this page, just below the photo of my boat. Currently, as you can see, it's set to my last location at the end of the ICW Snowbird Rally, but that will be changing as of Saturday at about 0100 hours.
You can also keep up with my posts on Facebook, at Sailing and Cruising, and also Sailing and Cruising: Cuba, even while I'm in Cuba.
Using the Delorme InReach unit, I'll be able to post regular updates via satellite, so you'll be able to follow what's happening. Unfortunately, photos won't be possible unless I find internet, which is difficult in Cuba outside of a resort or major hotel. Even then, given the poor bandwidth, photos might not be possible.
It will be possible for you to email me via the Delorme, and I do hope to hear from you while I'm underway. I'll try to answer questions, but at 160 characters per message, it's gonna be a challenge to give a lot of detail.
For those wanting more information about cruising to and in Cuba, my FB page is the most up to date site for information about cruising in Cuba on the net. I actually have people who live aboard in Cuba posting to it, as well as people who are cruising there now, or who have very recently returned from cruising in Cuba. It doesn't get more up to date than that, so accept no substitutes!
I make a serious effort to keep the information current, and to give you the facts, not the rumours and incorrect scuttlebutt you'll find everywhere else. Check it out, if you're planning - or just dreaming - of cruising to Cuba, then you'll appreciate Sailing and Cruising: Cuba

(ps - posted while at anchor in Bimini, Bahamas, after an uneventful crossing :>)