27 Dec 2011 - Arrival in Cuba

Tue 27 Dec 2011 00:29
With a good weather window on Boxing Day, we left for the 100 mile trip to Hemmingway Marina, Havana, Cuba. Although we had to fight the Gulf Stream for most of the time, the wind was blowing 15-20 knots allowing us to cover a good speed over the ground. At 12 miles off the Cuban coast, we contacted the Cuban coastguard on VHF CH16 and then headed for the infamous sea buoy at the entrance to the marina. Our arrival was as planned, calm weather and no northerly winds. The entrance is notoriously dangerous in Northerlies and many boats have grounded on the reefs in the entrance. We were guided to the Customs dock for the formalities. We were expecting these to take most the day, but in fact they only lasted a couple of hours. However, we did have to hand over, one or two little gifts to some of the officials (Customs, Immigration, Agriculture, Doctor, Dog Handler...?)
Hoisting up the Cuban courtesy flag and the yellow quarantine flag on a murky grey morning approaching Hemingway Marina
The Customs dock where the dog and handler had just come off Scott Free
We are now moored in a very safe canal finger in the marina with water and electricity and enjoying the many delights of Cuba. However internet is terrible, costly and slow! We are hoping to stay here for a month or two and spend time traveling around the island either by rental car, taxi or bus!