Lilli Mae - in Cuba

Lilli Mae
Mon 8 May 2023 03:09
Hi Everyone, hope you are all well?

We made it to Marina Hemingway, Cuba (Friday 5th may). We got in at about 1000 local time. Lots of paper work, questions and boat searches before we got our official sign off and could move to our parking spot. The marina is not bad; it could do with some “sprucing up”. However the setting is nice and it is an “alongside berth” aligned with the prevailing wind. We did not do much for the rest of the day apart from tidy up and make sashimi with the remaining fish steak we had from our catch-up. The Thai red curry that we had the night before went down a storm. So now we are out of fish and so we need to double our efforts for catching some more on passage north. 

Yesterday (Saturday 6th) was a full day. 

The main job was to de-rig the second headsail; we are not going to be doing much downwind sailing up to Long Island and so we took the decision to simplify and de-clutter. In addition to that we (actually Rick) did a lot of work on the freezer pumps we have collected and got them all working. And then finally we tried to figure out our auxiliary fuel tank. This proved less than productive and our experiments resulted in the engine stopping because of no fuel. So we still have some work to do to figure this out!

Yesterday afternoon we headed to Havana. George (our Taxi driver) came in his Chevy 49 and drove us in style.

The excitement was too much for the Boys sitting in the back!

We grabbed a horse and cart tour offer from a very charismatic chap whose name we did not get. Anyway we had fun seeing the city, visiting the Beatles’ bar and eating lobster for a great price at a family run restaurant recommended by our guide.

Today (Sunday 7th May) we fixed a few more things on the boat and started getting ready for our departure. Our passage plan takes us north east to the very small Bahamian island Bimini. We have 230 nm to go that we estimate will take us between 35 and 40 hours. We depart sometime tomorrow late afternoon / early evening which will mean arrival early Wednesday morning. It will be quite a bumpy passage; north easterly winds over the current influenced by the Gulf Stream. Our route planner suggests a direct north easterly route. We shall see.

John Labonte stopped by. John, a Canadian living part of his year in Havana came by the boat and we got talking about Lilli Mae, sailing and from there a whole lot of other things. It was a great afternoon. He had some cold Cristal beers that he had brought along for some friends who live in the around the marina. In the end John shared them with his new friends! It was great to meet you John. Thanks for the beers. Let’s keep in contact.

Anyway that’s it for now.
We will catch again in Bimini.

Take care everyone.
The crew aboard Lilli Mae.

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