Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Plan - by Geert

This winter I plan to sail to Haiti and Cuba with a crew of family members, friends and volunteers. Travel to Cuba is restricted by the US embargo, but I think I can go legally, as a writer. Haiti is shockingly poor and unstable, but there hasn't been much shooting since the recent elections. Both countries have fascinating history and culture, and their coasts, reefs and islands are virtually unknown to cruising sailors.

I tried to make a realistic plan taking into account natural constraints like the hurricane season and the prevailing winds and currents. Also, I want to involve my family as much as possible. Finally, I hope that frequent stopovers and relatively short stages will enable many friends to join Sea Scout for part of the adventure. Here's a map that summarizes the plan. You can click on it to make it a little bigger:

We would leave the Chesapeake early November, as soon as the hurricane season is over, and head for Bermuda. Stopping in Bermuda allows for a crew change, and will give us a better wind angle for the 1,000 mile trip to the Virgin Islands. Sea Scout would stay in the Virgins in December. Olina, and Nico and Jana (both at university) would fly in for their winter vacation. Early January I'll need crew again to sail to Haiti. We'll have a following wind most of the time, and can stop in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to change crew as necessary. From Haiti we'll sail via Jamaica and the Caymans Islands to Cuba.

I hope Olina, Nico and Jana can join me in Cuba. This is still a legal puzzle. The alternative is that we meet for Spring Break in Cancun or the Florida Keys. I will certainly need crew to sail from Miami to the Chesapeake in the Spring of next year. We'll hopefully get a good lift from the Gulf Stream. Charleston is a possible stop along the way.

P.S. If we follow the route of the above map, we avoid the infamous Bermuda Triangle, where ships and planes mysteriously vanish, without a trace...