The US of A

Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Sat 28 Apr 2007 15:21
Our trip across from Cuba was great sailing with winds about F4/5, and starting off fairly close hauled, giving us a fairly bumpy ride. As a result we got across very quickly arriving within sight of Key West just as day broke. Despite all we had heard to the contrary entering the USA was not so bad, simply filling out the usual foms, paying money (as usual) and getting a cruising licence. Our first trip ashore was in many ways as much a eye opener as our trip to Habana, the contrasts couldn't have ben greater. For starters most of the fishing boats have huge engines, 2X150hp on boats around the twenty foot mark is the norm and 3X200hp is not uncommon. The boats would cost more to run per hour than most Cuban earn over several months. We had arrived at the time of a festival which was held to commemorate a battle of some sort, real or imagined we couldn't figure out, but it consisted of food being thrown between boat cruising around. The amount of fruit and veg floating around afterwards would have wiped out the entire supplies of the local community near us in Cuba!! As I mentioned earlier, I was impressed by the numbers of motor cycles with sidecars we saw in Cuba, but these were all used as essential means of transport carrying all sorts of goods, there are just as many m/c's in Key West but I doubt many of them have even carried two people never mind a pig or two, and definately no sidecars. If you can imagine wandering around Cuba as a piece of blotting paper, you would never be able to absorb it all, however ten minutes in Key West and it's dripping out the bottom. Just imagine Blackpool meets Skegness and add heat-----brilliant!! whats next.