Friday, April 28, 2017

Pensacola to Havana Race 2017 - Start Approaches

The start of the Havana race is rapidly approaching.  Its been a hectic time as I became the Chairman of the Race.  Having never done anything quite like this before, I can only say its been somewhat daunting!  Communications with the Coast Guard, Havana, Marina Hemingway, travel agents that have come and gone several times, Spanish language with a Cuban twist, race participants, volunteers, club officials, sponsors, weather consultants, trackers........I am sure you get the picture!  But thank good ness  for some great volunteers - our webmaster "Bob", communications specialists, "Murt and John" and terrific support from our sponsors and the Satori Foundation.

But the start is now hours away and geez - look at the weather!

The picture shows a screenshot of predictions for the Gulf of Mexico at the currently planned start time.  Race Committee has already postponed the start until 2pm Sunday, but further postponement is likely.  Our weather consultant has told us to expect strong winds from the SE (on our nose), and squalls Sunday morning.  Monday should be better - lets see.

Meanwhile we are expecting over 100 competitors at PYC, 40 invited sponsors/ will be a crazy weekend!

So this may well be my last update before the race - please wish us well....we need fair winds and following seas - yeah right!!

Please follow our progress.  go to and click on "YB TRacker".  We will not be on Midnight sun this race - we will be on S/V Night Sky.
Please visit the above link often - our sponsors will love that....but really, you can get updates there!

You can also see us through DeLorme at

I will try to update when I can.
S/V night Sky
Night Sky is a beautiful 2011 Tartan 4400.  Thank you Julie for inviting us as crew!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Havana Race, SailLoot Podcast Interview, and Local Sailing....

Havana Race

Things have been busy with the planning activities for the upcoming Pensacola to Havana Race.  The Race leaves Pensacola on April 30.  So far we have 22 boats participating.  Yikes!....its getting close!

Old Havana
We are hoping we may pick up one of two last minute entries - but time is running out in terms of getting the paperwork together.  

I have somehow found myself as the Chair of the race - what was I thinking!....its been a real eye-opener to me in terms of the effort needed to do this.  Despite an awesome group of volunteers on our Race Committee - the phone rings and the emails come in with questions on the rules, entry to Cuba, equipment, travel, logisitcs........the list goes on.  But somehow we will get there and hopefully everyone will have a good time.  I know I have posted about this before, but if anyone is interested in the race, the best way to get current information is to go to the Race website at  From there, you can find links to online registration etc., and during the race there will be links to the race tracking site.  

Every boat will have a yellowbrick tracker that will be provided by one of our sponsors  So - if you haven't signed up yet, well its still not too late.  Mid April will be pushing it, so get your skates on.  and if you don't have a boat, or don't want to take your boat, come and support us - we have a large group of people flying in to Cuba to support the race.  Finally, if you still want to sail there - why not sign up for a trip on SailLibra?  Check out trips on Libra at SailLibra.  She is a 60ft Bill Trip-designed Ketch operating out of Orange Beach and she is already signed up for the Cuba Race.

Sail Loot Podcast Interview

.......And all of this led to a recent Podcast interview with Teddy J of the Sail Loot podcast - see SailLoot.  
I spent about an hour or so talking to Teddy about our first trip to Cuba in 2015 when we were dismasted on Midnight Sun II, but continued the race on S/V TraSea.....If you know us, you will have heard the story, but we talk about that trip, the upcoming race, and the sailing community in PensacolaDoing the Podcast interview was a lot of fun. There's also an account of this trip on this blog - just go back to October of 2015. 

Teddy J - Editor, Creator, Captain - Sail Loot Podcast
Take a moment to check out the podcast at Sail Loot - Neil Davies.  The hour passed so quickly!  Teddy has a great way of making his podcasts very entertaining but also informative.  If you have not listened to any of his podcasts, check out the selection of almost 50 interviews with Cruisers and people planning to Cruise on their boats.  The emphasis of his podcasts is on inspiring people to turn their dreams into reality.  Most people that want to go cruising are held back by jobs, money, family and other ties.  but let's face it, money is typically the biggest obstacle.  As the name of his podcast suggests, Teddy explores ways that people have solved the "money issue" by finding ways to generate some level of income while cruising, or by topping up the "cruising kitty" in innovative ways.  As you can imagine, he has some fascinating interviews - perfect for a long car drive or even the commute in to work.  But be careful - his interviews are often thought-provoking and you may find yourself wishing you were on the water and exploring ways that you can do it.  Come to think of it, that's about how we got started.  Listening to podcasts from the Sailing podcast, and watching YouTube videos from Drake Paragon and SV Delos

I personally became a Sail Loot fan about a year ago when I discovered Teddy's website in search of more podcasts - I had become addicted!

Timeout for Local Sailing!

Time passes so quickly when you are busy!  Is it also true that time speeds up when you get older - remember when the summer seemed like eons and now its gone in an must be getting older that does it!  
Crossing Big Lagoon - Pensacola
But there's no doubt that a day sail on a beautiful Spring day is a great way to put everything back into perspective.  

So that's exactly what we did this week - take a little time to go sailing.  Its takes about 3 hours or so to sail from home to Pensacola, crossing Perdido Bay, the IWC, Big Lagoon, and Pensacola Bay.  But what a wonderful way to spend a half day.  Then tie up at PYC and enjoy the club facilities and marina for the night before returning home the next day!  on this occasion, we had perfect weather for Midnight Sun II, with winds of 12-15 from the south enabling us to sail both ways - even in the ICW portion of the trip