Lilli Mae - Departing her spiritual home - New Crew, New Kit and Good-byes

Lilli Mae
Sun 30 Apr 2023 20:19
Hi everyone,

Hope you are all well? It has all been happening on the good ship Lilli Mae and so there is a lot to tell. New crew members and leaving Jamaica are the big changes. More of that later.

Lilli Mae has collected a few more blog followers over the past few weeks. So for those of you who are new to receiving the emails you can get access to the full blog “back issues" using this link You can also track where ever Lilli Mae is using For those have had enough of our “bragging" then please let me know. Thanks to everyone for messages of support and encouragement.

Anyway since we last spoke our friend and sailing supremo Rick joined Mike and and Howard. Rick flew into Montego Bay on Sunday 23rd. The three of us will be the crew on Lilli Mae for the nearly 2,000 nm adventure to Long Island Sound, US.


After a bit of rest Rick got into the swing of things; Red Stripes in hand he got us sorted with fixing the broken spinnaker furler, sorted our fishing kit and a few other items. Thanks Rick! Before departing Mo’Bay Lilli Mae had an internet upgrade which is proving a real hit; we had purchased a Starlink system from Mr Elon Musk and Mike brought it from the UK and installed it. Now we can get great internet most anywhere we are! We had a bit of a fright when the freezer stopped working the night before departure. Fortunately we had not yet purchased the fresh foods and fortunately we were able to track the problem and resolve it.

And so yes, we are now underway. In fact we landed in George Town, Grand Cayman yesterday (28th April) at mid-night. We left Montego Bay the evening before. Of course it was and emotional departure. However we had a great time in Montego Bay. We made our good-bye WhatsApp calls to all our new found family members, connections and friends in Westmoreland and Kingston.

We said our good-byes to Heather, Dawson and Zeirain who made our stay at the yacht club very special. A big “Thank-you” to them and all the yacht club staff who made us feel so welcome and who took good care of Lilli Mae. Don’t worry Dawson we will look after your boat! 

Big Sister Yvonne, Bob (Brother in Law) and Steven (Nephew) came to Mo’Bay (from Mandeville) to see us off. We had lunch and then we started the process of leaving the dock. It did take us a long time to get organised; making sure we had everything and then we had to clean all the growth on the anchor and mooring lines. We had had the bottom of the boat scrubbed a couple of days before.

We said all our goodbyes with the customary hugs and kisses and set Lilli Mae free from her moorings. The engine started first time! Bob helped us cast off the main mooring lines whilst Steven played the role of official photographer. It was almost dark when we finally engaged the gearbox and headed out of Montego Bay. Yvonne, Bob and Steven dutifully stood by all that time to see us off. Thanks Yvonne, Bob and Steven. And that was it. Lilli Mae and her crew slipped out of Mo’Bay and back into the Caribbean Sea at about 1830. 

We motored west through the night. On Friday morning (28th April) we had enough wind to try our chute. In fact we sailed all day with the chute and practised furling and unfurling in order to optimise our procedure. 

Rick celebrated the fruits of his labour with the now customary cold Red Stripe! En route we fished but no results yet. We all marvelled at our access to the internet 100 miles offshore! We had eggs and bacon for breakfast and shrimp fried rice for dinner.

As mentioned we landed in George Town at about mid-night. No anchoring is allowed around this part of Grand Cayman but mooring balls are available free of charge. We had a bit of trouble locating the moorings in the dark but we go a little help over the radio from one of the boats already in the bay. We checked in with immigration and customs the following morning and had a Burger King breakfast whilst we were ashore before starting the search for courtesy flags for the countries we planned to visit.

Today (30th April) we have just been chillin’ and doing some preparation for our passage to Havana, Cuba. We plan to depart Cayman tomorrow (Monday 1st May) at about 1700 hours local time. Before departure we have some shopping to get, we have to check out with customs and immigration and then fuel up. We have 420 nm to cover which we estimate will take us about 65 hours. We are estimating our arrival on early Thursday 4th May.

We cooked ackee and festival for brunch this morning which went down well and prepared our jerk chicken for dinner tonight!


Definitely some room for improvement on the festival. It did taste good though. Will report back on the jerk chicken next time.

Anyway, that’s it for now. We will update you again when we are en route to Havana. In the meantime take care wherever you are.
All the best.

The Crew aboard Lilli Mae.

email: illi_mae {CHANGE TO AT} mailasail {DOT} com