No, we normally don't make plans, but for now if one wants to visit Cuba, one must make plans.
Our thoughts — We'll, we're going to be in Key West anyway, if we can, let's make a quick hop to Cuba.
So Mel did her due diligence and in short order, pulled it off.
I was amazed. We were legal in the eyes of the US Coast Guard and our insurance carrier agreed to cover us.
All good to go? Of course not, nothing's that easy.
The previously posted engine problem was a harbinger of the trip's undoing, but we overcame that, even had some engine maintenance done in anticipation of spending time on the island time forgot.
The real killer was the weather.
Odd weather for the The Keys and Florida Straits this time of year. July is usually windless and hot. Sadly, our USCG regulated 2 week window held 20-25 mph easterly winds and thunderstorms almost every day. Stiff easterlies are showstoppers when attempting to cross the Straits, kinda like northers when crossing to the Bahamas, and severe thunderstorms are a power boater's curse.
Every morning we'd check our sources for wind and seas and every night we'd do it again. Day after day ticked away until it became apparent that time was about to run out. —Punt—
So as we've done many times, we adjusted and motored back to Marathon to enjoy our old hideout.
Cuba can wait.
It's surprising how quickly Cuba travel restrictions have changed in the just last month or so and we expect things to ease up even more soon.
Disappointed? A bit... We wanted to see the once forbidden island nation before the onslaught of US yachtistas race over and we've been thinking Buena Vista Social Club for 15 years, but Cuba's not going anywhere and we're not far away.
I'd imagine that Havana's is in our near future and doing The Bahamas-Cuba Loop would allow us to visit old friends and expand our horizons.