Cuba is on our right. Haiti on the left. It takes me a minute to realize that the scattering of lights I see above the horizon are not stars – they’re houses on the *hills* of Cuba. You know you’ve been in the low country for a loooong time when you’re jump-up-and-down excited to see land above sea level!
We spent a week in Great Inagua. We had checked out of George Town, headed for the Dominican Republic, when the weather window started to close. Why not stop and check out a new island, right? Customs at Inagua was great, graciously allowing us to stay despite our clearance, and the inner harbor dock was a solid $10/night. What more could you want??
The risk of stopping of course was that it gave us some real time to look at the charts. Look at the weather. Look at the charts. Shake our head about the east winds that never stop. And ultimately, begin to question why we were going to fight our way another 300 miles east…
The crazy thing about sailboats is you can adjust your course to suit the winds any time [insert cutesy quote here]. The hard part — for me at least — is the letting go of all the imaginary plans we’d made. The fruit we’d eat, the friends we’d make…
It was one of those decisions that we knew would likely impact the direction of our lives for a few years to come… so we agonized over it for a few days, tossing all possible paths on the table.
Back to Florida? Ship the boat? Truck the boat?! East and north? South to Grenada? Some mad googling of covid restrictions, flights, costs, and weather patterns… and a new path began to emerge: West, not East. Downwind in those steady trades rather than straight into them.
It’s a picture-perfect passage. Broad reaching, clear skies, and 1-2 knots of positive current pushing us through the windward passage. “We’re not going to change our minds and have to beat back into this, right?!” we nervously half-joke to each other, reassuring ourselves that we can just enjoy this passage. Doing this trip in reverse would be… less fun.
We thought we were doing a decent job of keeping all this from Zephyr until I asked him if he knew where we were sailing to. “Jaminican Republic?” he replied. #accurate. Sorry your parents are all over the place, kiddo. On the upside, you’ll have a few stories to tell!
As the sun rose this morning, Jamaica came glistening out of the clouds.
Sun-dappled mountains framed dolphins leaping below. Dolphins are my favorite but the MOUNTAINS are really exciting.
We cleared in, bought a courtesy flag (we never planned on coming here!!), and hit the streets for the number one priority: mangoes (by the bag!) and jerk chicken. With a few passion fruit and a sousop thrown in for fun.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I have felt a mild amount of food insecurity for our entire Bahamas travels. Love the country – hate the complete lack of anything resembling fresh produce.
Jamaica, we are so happy to have this chance to explore your shores!