Monday, May 9 we lifted anchor from St. Pete and made our way (motoring due to low headwinds) down the Florida west coast to Venice.
I stayed up at the helm while the Captain was able to get a bunch of things done around the boat. Then just 4.77 nm out from the Venice Inlet our engine light went on. It had overheated! Turned out it was just the alternator belt that had stretched and cracked, thus not getting water moving through the engine to cool it off. The Captain fixed it while I steered us away from land. This added a couple hours to our trip but we were just happy it wasn’t anything more serious.
We made it to our anchorage safely, deployed the dinghy, and got picked up by the Captain’s mom. I spent the next two days at his parents home just 5 minutes from the beach and 5 minutes to downtown. The Captain’s father let me borrow a bike so for a good chunk of the days on Tuesday and Wednesday I toured the city on two wheels, camera in hand. What a beautiful city and the people were wonderful. I had a great time getting used to my new Nikon D90 camera while taking some lifestyle shots of the Venice locals.
This also allowed me one last chance to get some good wifi, catch up with Romi, and my family, and share a few blog posts.
The Captain’s parents took good care of me feeding me, cleaning my laundry, and giving me a big room to myself. It was just what I needed to prepare for the next big leg of the trip.
In the evening of Wednesday, May 11th, I got back on the boat for one last good nights sleep before saying good bye to the United States.
The next morning we pulled the dinghy onboard, weighed anchor and headed back out into the Gulf of Mexico, this time towards Cuba.
Have any of you ever been to Cuba before?
Would love to hear about your experience!