April 2, 2015
We arrived back in the USA after five months travelling from San Diego to Key West. As some may know, our trip from Mexico to Key West involved an extensive detour into Cuba (the result of various weather and mechanical issues, which was acceptable to US Customs and Immigration, we were relieved to hear).
Cuba was wonderful, and showing signs of significantly increased prosperity, compared to the situation 19 years ago when Birgit and I were both in Cuba. But as then, people were healthy, friendly, and warm. There was considerable and widespread satisfaction that the “Cuban Five” had been returned to their homeland, and a lot of interest in the potential for improved relations with the US, after nearly 55 years of blockade, attempted military interventions, US sponsored terrorism against Cuba (including the bombing of a civilian airliner resulting in scores of deaths).
We’ll have photos posted soon. The sailing was sometimes difficult, slogging into big seas with wind on the nose, but our trip from Havana to Key West was easy – we were able to sail the whole way – aided by a strong push from the Gulf Stream. There was a little excitement when we were circled by a US Coast Guard plane, which called us on the radio wanting to know more about us…
One of the treats in Havana was seeing Ernest Hemingway’s boat, Pilar, sitting at the dock in Marina Hemingway. Anyone who has read “Islands in the Stream,” his posthumously published last novel, has read about the boat and his love for it and the sea.
A little culture shock being back in the US. There’s toilet paper in the bathrooms (as much as you want, and it’s free!), and we’re looking forward to a good hamburger.
We leave Key West tomorrow, and with any luck at all will be in Miami on Saturday, April 4. We’re looking forward to seeing our good friends Peter Seidman and Nancy Cole, spending time with them and working for a month on preparations for crossing the Atlantic in May.
Once again, we had great weather help from Anita Straupenieks.