Day 11 - Marathon Florida - Varadero Cuba
Phil, Di and Annelise
Wed 5 Apr 2017 19:43
The day started with a short taxi ride to the Marathon "international" airport and a visit to the U.S. Customs and Border protection (only open on Wedn-Sun from 09:00-5:30)!! A very pleasant customs office - but not at all familiar with the process of surrendering a small vessel cruising licence - why were we doing this? Where were we going? Did we have our passports (left on the boat) - but had all the ships documents! Eventually, after filling in a departing manifest form (more appropriate for cargo ships!) we were "cleared to leave", thankfully without having to go back to retrieve and present our passports!!
At last, we edged carefully out of our "number 1" slip at Burdines (under the fuel dock sign) and made way to cross the Hawk Channel, the Florida reef and out into open sea again - what a relief to see the depth climb under the keel until eventually not reading anymore (over 250 meters) - we could relax! Full sails, course set for Varadero in Cuba - 90nm plus the Gulf Stream correction (15 degrees) - we had an early Thursday morning estimated arrival. U.S. courtesy flag taken down as we sailed outside the 15nm limit - at least what was left of it - the white stripes shredded)!
Not long before we entered the Gulf Stream, sea temperature rose (my ad-hoc win for the usual running competition) and course corrected to take account of the west-east water flow at 1.5knots. The south easterly 10-15 knot wind (gusting to 17-18 knots) was perfect for a south-westerly course ordered and southerly tracking. Sundowners and a hot meal set us ready for the night at sea.
Phil and Di