So this is it! The alignment of the port engine was completed this morning, and we are now offshore, heading southwest toward the western tip of Cuba in 10 knots of northerly wind.

Dallas is relieved to be leaving Key West!

Dallas is relieved to be leaving Key West!

In keeping with our track record, we had some difficulty getting offshore. This time our problem was not with the spinnaker–that was set pretty easily. The trouble this time was with the steering! We were only a couple of miles from the marina when Wes alerted us to the fact that he could not control the rudders! Dallas immediately jumped into the engine room to look for the source of the problem while Wes jumped into the water to see if anything was wrapped around the rudders. After several minutes (during which time we just floated around–fortunately in sufficiently deep water), they had assessed that nothing had fouled the rudders and that it was just an issue of “sticky auto-pilot”. Once the auto-pilot was reset, we were good to go.

Spinnaker Set on a Starboard Tack

Spinnaker set on a starboard tack

We moved slowly at first, but once the wind picked up, we were sailing at a great pace of 5 knots! Wes just put out a trolling line, so hopefully we’ll have some fresh fish to tell you about soon. In the meantime, Tiffany and I are going to make some dinner, so better go for now…

Love to all back home! You can expect to receive frequent updates during the next 10-14 days as we make our way to Panama (although no pics until we get there). It will be interesting to see how it goes given that the passage will be over twice as long as we’ve done thus far!