There Will Be a Better Day …

… To sail to Cuba.  After checking the weather one last time, SE 10-15, waves 2-4 AND checking the current conditions out at Key West light (Sand Key for those checking on NOAA) – NE 11-13.  All was go for dropping the dock lines.  But almost as soon as we cleared the channel buoy, squalls started appearing.

Squall Line off Cristobal Jetty, Colon, Panama

Squall Line

And instead of the forecast 10-15, we had steady 25 gusting to 30.  And waves?  Instead of 2-4 David swears they were 6-8.  He’s probably right.

We were taking water over the bow – all the way to the dodger regularly, but the 2nd time a wave broke into the cockpit (leaving us ankle deep in water before the drains could drain it out), we did another check of the radar.  Instead of the couple of squalls we were originally hoping we could sail by, new ones were popping up all over all the way to Havana.  Then we tuned into NOAA weather radio and heard “Small Craft Advisory” just posted for the Florida Straits and seas were now forecast at 5-6.  I didn’t get a photo of this morning’s squalls altho’ they looked similar to this photo but with more BIG confused waves.

Before it got really sporty, we were averaging 7.5-8 knots with NO current … you might not find that remarkable, but hull speed for Winterlude is 6.2 knots.  Even after reefing, GPS said we would arrive in Havana at 11 PM.  Ugh, that doesn’t work either.

So the better part of valor … we returned to the dock in Key West.  🙁

There will be a better day to sail to Cuba …. hopefully sooner rather than later!

Cheers (although I’m not feeling particularly cheery … good thing I don’t get seasick!) — Jan


  1. Keith & Nicki says:

    Ah, the challenge and the wisdom of sailing. Here’s hoping better weather comes soon!

  2. I love the term “sporty” to describe the wind and waves. I will have to remember that for future use.
    “Yes, Clarence Strait is very sporty today. Care for a spot of tea?” LOL

  3. yup…good on ya!
    best of luck next time.

  4. Tony Passafiume says:

    Good call. Stay safe. We miss you guys!

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