26/04/2011/5:50 pm, Fernandina Beach, FL
Well ... I have spent the last 4 days writing. I have just put up 16 postings. My friend Tina gave me a Healing Touch treatment last evening and said my arms and legs seems closed and still. Hmmmm .... maybe because I've been sitting at Sandi's dining room table typing for hours and hours and hours??
I've been paying the price for not writing as I went along, but I was either busy busy busy, or flaked out tired.
I hope I've been able to reconstruct enough of our wonderful experience to give you a feeling for what it was like.
Because words will just not do it, I'll try to find some time to put pictures in the gallery. How I admire the folks who do that regularly! It will be a while, because now I must turn my attention to the boat. We are at the dock at Fernandina Harbour Marina until Friday morning when we move over to Tiger Point. Haul out will be that day sometime.
We have a whole lot of work - cleanup and tidy up and servicing all the systems in order to put Madcap to bed for the summer. And, just to make it difficult, Shrimpfest starts here on Thursday! We've never been here for it, but apparently thousands of people arrive in town. There are parades and music and vendors and fireworks and .... shrimp!
We have a car rented starting Monday - so we head north then.
The pic is of Chris and Peach and Kirby - on board Star of the Sea. We were so pleased to see them here and they got the first rush of excitement over our Cuba Adventure.
Off to work now. Jim is sighing loudly!
22/04/2011/4:00 pm, Fernandina Beach, Florida
We left Varadero, Cuba at 7:30 on Monday morning, and 74 hours later, we arrived in Fernandina Beach, Florida, USA. It was our longest passage so far - 3 days and 3 nights - and we did it mostly all under sail! (only 28 hours with the engine on)
Cuba was exciting, enchanting, enticing, and enigmatic. We are so glad we went. Check in here was smooth and easy. It's great to be Canadian!!
Now, we visit dear friends, connect with other cruisers, clean, catch up on emails, pay our taxes, empty the boat, haul out and then head north. Still trying to write blogs - they will come!!
We are well, happy, fulfilled, proud, tired, and ready for the next great opportunity life presents us!
So little time left. We were both feeling so torn. We have loved being here in Cuba, and yet there is a longing for home that is starting to rise. We want to see our family and garden and our "home friends". And the weather window this week looks excellent. Yet when Rick went off down the road to get the weather files from the internet, I was hoping that he'd come back and say - "Nope - can't go till the end of the week."
That didn't happen of course so we all moved into departure mode. I used up my bananas in muffins, and made chocolate chip cookies for those middle of the night pick-me-ups. Donna and I were both making bread, and I dug out my last package of hamburg to make a pot of chili for quick food on the crossing. I got a few more eggs from Debbie to boil and have for instant food if the weather was rough, and we stowed everything that could slide around. Speaking of sliding, our table has come off its base and Jim doesn't have the right screws or tools to secure it properly. So, when we are sailing, we wedge a boat pole between it and the wall, and when one of the officials sat down to write on it, I quickly sat on the other side and held it in place with knees and hands, praying that he didn't want me to move around and sign anything!
We sold our remaining pesos and CUC's to Debbie - our local banker - who will then resell them to the next boaters who need them. We were also able to sell her some of our remaining food - things that she can't get readily here - and she lives here 10 months a year so food "from home" is welcome. We left her with the remaining give aways to disperse - a few soaps, razors, paper and markers. And she gave us the lobster that Gail and Peter had left. Oh - lucky us! Thanks Jabiru! Jim plotted our course and he and Rick compared waypoints. He topped up the fuel tanks and water tanks and made sure all our lines were where they should be.
We signed the table - thanks for the dremelling tool Tom! We took our last round of pictures. We gave our papers to Maria, the Customs lady in the form fitting short skirt and jacket (and she had the figure for it too -no dowdy uniforms for female officials here) We asked Jordie the Immigration man (who looked all of 18) what was the earliest time he could be there in the morning. (He showed up at 6:30!) And then we went up to the on-site restaurant with Rick and Donna to make the last of our plans over pizza. Sam and Alex joined us and we were able to learn about their trip, and the fact that Sam almost lost his life in an avalanche in the Zermatt last summer, but managed to get on a little sailboat and sail across the Atlantic two months later. And we think WE are brave??
And then it was time for bed. One last Cuban night.