On January 28, 2016 I set off for Cuba single handed. Well, actually I did have a passenger. Chalupa the Pirate decided to join me for the journey.
The trip started off smoothly. Little did I know what was in store.
After 22 hours of sailing from Miami we arrived in Key West in strong winds and rough seas. After getting some rest, on January 30 I set out for Cuba at 4:00pm.
The trip to Cuba was smooth and without event. However, once I arrived in Cuba, the weather started to change rapidly. My brother-in-law Eddy and his friend met me in Cuba and we decided to sail across the Yucatan Channel to Isla Mujeres. Some consider the Yucatan Channel to be one of the top five roughest seas in the world, and it proved true on this 22 hour journey.
Once we reached the western tip of Cuba to Cabo San Antonio on Wednesday February 3rd, we attempted to sail across the channel, however in the face of 15 foot waves we turned back and rested for the evening. In the morning the local bar-tender told us that all was clear and we should have a smooth sail across the channel. This proved true for the first 11 hours.
Little did we know though, that Eddy’s mom left him a voice mail warning us of a bad storm in the channel that we would not receive until we landed in Mexico. After 11 hours at sea, it was upon us and did not subside for the remaining 11 hours. We were faced with 40 mph winds and 20 foot waves in addition to getting hit in the head multiple times by flying fish. It was pure HELL, no other way to describe it. The Yucatan Channel earned its reputation and changed the way I would look at the sea from that day froward.
After a week in Isla Mujeres waiting for a weather window, I sailed back to Cuba this time accompanied by my nephew, Eddy Junior. The weather was much better on the return trip with only 25 mph winds and 15 foot waves. Needless to say, I doubt Eddy junior will do much more sailing after that trip.
Once back in Cuba I rested up for about another week, enjoyed the sites and local Cuba culture, and headed back home to complete my single handed journey from Miami to Cuba and back.