The Havana Cup 1999 Day 3 - Florida Straits - Iron Genny!

Yacht Race from St.Petersburg, Florida to Havana, Cuba - Marina Hemingway 5/30/1999

It is the morning of Day 3 and the wind has built ever so slightly. The race rules stated something like a 72 hour limit and at this rate I calculated that it would be near impossible to make up enough time to finish. I kept computing and recomputing the odds in my head over and over now time has caught up with us. Even if the winds happened along at the optimum for Mr.Hoot we would be very close to the race limit and the predicted forecast was for the same. Joe is on autopilot here, the Suzuki Outboard just behind is about to get a workout.

JJ keeping a lookout as we transit the Florida Straights. This can be a very dangerous area in a small boat with sail power alone. Ship traffic is at its most concentrated heading for all points in the Gulf of Mexico.

Take this as an example! 700' cargo ship vs 26 sailboat...yeah we have the right of way by rule under sail but who do you think would come out on top if!!! Vigilance is all important here. Key decisions need to be made quickly. These behemoths appear to be moving very slow due to their size when in actuality some are doing over 20 knots. It is even more fun at night. Most sailboats can sail much faster than they can motor and I think we are motorsailing here. We crossed paths with about 20-30 ships this day but this was the closest.

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