Sailing Blog: Going North; Back Home
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Sailing North Summary
Now, sailing Northbound was a whole different journey. Frankly, we were ready to go home. Tired of dealing with Cuban military on one hand and wary of being pestered like we were in Santiago we were not as excited to continue towards Havana. Nothing against Cuba. On the contrary: we loved the people, the culture and open hearts we found in smaller towns. I believe sailing the south coast would turn out to be lot different experience; either way we were filled with adventures and ready to make our way home. We missed our friends and families and wanted to get going.
You may have read in our previous updates on how we altered course few degrees that made the difference between going to Havana or Miami. I canít stop thinking how many Cubans would like to have that kind of choice.
In Miami we went through unexpected culture shock again as we entered stores filled out to the brim with food, the malls with every imaginable item anyone may care to spend their money on, expensive cars, well dressed and snotty people and bustling cafes. It seemed like people were buying, spending and buying some more. It was all out of control. It took us awhile to assess our experiences and evaluate differences of cultures.
After short visit with our friends in Key Largo where we returned the dinghy we hopped back on the ship to ride the currents of Gulf Stream as far as we can take it. With no self-steering or autopilot on board it was grueling experience. We were making the passage in two-three hour shifts at the tiller, around the clock, for six days. The seas were surprisingly flat and it was so calm that at times we were just bobbing on the water with sails down watching with disbelief our GPS telling us weíre moving at 3 knots in the right direction riding the currents. It was a blessed day when we arrived in Beaufort, NC and got a well deserved rest.
There were few towns we wanted to visit in Virginia before we headed back to the Ocean sailing pass aircraft carriers and destroyers in Norfolk, Virginia. We then made a decent progress along the coast and we timed our arrival to New York City on Fourth of July. Yes, thank you, thank you very much. We anchored right off the Statue of Liberty and enjoyed a spectacular fireworks; the biggest show in the nation!
Sailing up the Hudson River towards Erie Canal was such a different experience than going the other way just about a year before. Riding on tidal currents the length of Hudson we were clipping at amazing speed with no major dramas. Okay, we did grounded pretty bad one night when our anchor fouled in some debris, but you can read about this later. In no time, it seems, we were in Oswego restoring our mastís vertical position ready for a final overnight sail to Toronto.
Crossing the Lake turned out to be another adventure. How we arrived three days later with no wind and broken engine you can read on following pages but the fact remains that I came the whole circle; eleven months later I have arrived to the same port, with the same boat, and in one piece. On the boat with me was beautiful, tanned girl - the trip was a success.
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