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Florida 28.4. - 10.5.2005
28.4. 5.5. 10.5.
28.4.2005 Key West, Florida, USA
And then to the passage from Isla Mujeres to Key West. It was great! 342 nautical miles in 48 hours! 171 miles in 24-hours! Max speed 9.6 knots, average speed 7.1 knots! We got 50 miles extra thanks to Gulf stream. There were no odd ugly waves, like we had when we crossed the Gulf stream from Key West to Havanna, but that was a wind-against-the current situation. The cold front with thunderstorm and rain came on us 40 miles before Key West. Wind decreased and veered from SW to SE. Next day - today - it has been blowing hard from NE. It would not be nice to be out there, struggling headwinds and mad waves.
Yesterday, immediately after
arrival, we phoned the customs 1-800 report number, and today we went to customs
and immigration. We have a valid cruising license from our last visit to US, so
the clearance was easy. You are not allowed to bring fresh fruits, vegetables,
meat or eggs into the country. We had some bacon and ham left from Mexico, and
the officer gave us instructions: we have to consume them on the boat, not to
bring them ashore. Yep!
The engine problem was not solved with changing the rubber cups of the heat exchanger, also the tubes were worn out and dirty. First we thought that just rinsing them would be enough, but when small pieces of copper fell out from the end of the tube, it was clear that we have to get a new one. A call to Perkins dealer in Miami, who fortunately had the part in stock. Price 600 dollars + tax + delivery. Now we are waiting for the part. We came to a marina from anchorage, fee "only" 40 dollars per day, because Riviera Beach Marina is municipal. Oh yes, and after the last update we have sailed from Key Biscayne to West Palm Beach, 74 miles north (look at the map 5.5.).
The luxux of Palm Beach isn't very vivble here, the marina is located by a busy highway with dodgy surroundings. Several watertaxi, diving and fishing companies have boats here as well as many liveaboards. Suits us, you can do work (other than polish) and dry clothes on the deck. A bus takes you to the croceries and internet. Waiting makes us more eager to start sailing, but it has been very windy spring on Atlantic, as the weather fax below from Boston shows.
In a couple of days, the 12th of May, it's four years since we left Finland, look at the brief summary page.