“Curlew” set sail from Florida as the sun sank in the West and the full moon rose in the East. We headed across the glittering sea on a perfect starlit night. Things cut up a bit rough as we crossed the Gulf Stream, a vast ocean river which flows at walking speed between Cuba and the USA, and which eventually washes the shores of Northern Europe. The wind was blowing over this warm powerful current and soon we were punching into large waves. The wind increased and veered in front of us so I had to put on the engine and fight the combination of current and 25 knots of wind. As dawn came up we saw a huge cruise liner passing nearby with maybe 3,000 souls aboard. We felt very lonely. Eventually we found an entrance through the reef and landed on Cuban soil, where we had vists from six separate Cuban officials representing everything from the ministry of Agriculture to the Customs.
After a few days we started to enjoy Havana. We saw Tosca at the opera house, drove around the Western end of this huge island and last night saw the incomparable Buena Vista Social Club band in the old city. Those of you who have heard of them will know that the average age is around 90, and that they are very good at what they do. Next job is to head East if we can against the prevailing Trade winds.