Irma update - Sunday

SV Meshugga
Nicholas & Deidre Mace
Sun 10 Sep 2017 23:24
22:57.71N 83:9.39W
We and Meshugga are fine.
The last 36 hours have been exhausting.
After leaving Dry Tortugas we sailed in decent 30kn winds with a reasonable 4 m sea for most of the day, during which the barometer dropped steadily and seas got bigger and wind got up.
We made the decision to not go to Cancun, as that would put us in a possibly dangerous position for future hurricanes and to rather circle round slowly to Cuba, stopping on the north Cuba coast where possible and then returning to Florida later in the week.
SLOWLY did not work.
As darkeness fell, the winds increased to 45 knots constant, and seas to about 10 meters.
We had a small reefed staysail, handkerchief size, out to help with direction and we hunkered down and rode the seas and wind. We had hoped to slow Meshugga down to about 5 knots, but could not and we sailed/surfed up and down huge swells at 8 – 10 knots, but all pretty much in a controlled fashion.
Our only problems were the huge breaking waves/swells which at first were from our hind quarter, but as we neared the Cuba coast, much quicker than we had planned we had to turn more to the east, and as the wind was still north, the seas came beam on with Huge breaking waves over Meshugga, streaming tons of water through the cockpit.
One end frame on our saloon doors came loose, which meant we could not close our saloon doors – as you can imagine the water into the cockpit hence came pouring into the saloon all over our floors and down to our cabins. Not a safely big deal as we’ve got big bilge pumps etc, but a headache to clean up all the salt water on floors, and  in underfloor lockers. We also had a problem to lock our two after doors from the aft cabins to the cockpit and these slammed open and shut periodically, and so we ended up with quite a bit of sea spray in the cabins – again not a biggy, just a messy situation to clean up.
She handled like a dream. Autopilot performed, AIS and Radar were reassuring.
At day break this morning we arrived off Bai Honda, 35 miles west of Havanna, on the Cuban north coast. We entered with big rolling waves with reefs on either side of the buoyed passage. Nicholas has B......s. For me it was scary.
We are now anchored in the bay in bay an inlet surrounded by mangroves and went to sleep – the first in about 28 hours. Later today we got up and started sorting out the wet towels, mopping floors and taking stock.
We’ll stay here until the seas abate and then go to Havanna for a few days.
Irma has passed and is north of us.
Take Care