Dear Friend of CHARIAD:

From the response to my note about getting a group together to sail from Key West to Havana, I can see that many of us are excited by the idea.

I am leaving tomorrow for about 10 days in CA and want to give you an update on where this caper stands. Please excuse the list, but I want to make sure I cover the key points.

  1. If you are interested in being part of the Key West to Havana sail, let me know by email. Going forward, I will only communicate with the folks who have said they want to go/learn more/etc.
  2. The dates we are talking about are the week of Sat. Feb. 23 to Sat. March 2. We are not committed to that week, but that is the preferred week.
  3. The schedule is: arrive in Key West Fri. Feb. 22. Get on the boat Sat morning. Return the boat the following Sat. Fly out Sat evening or Sunday.
  4. Cost: Boston to Key West flight about $500; Boat charter cost about $1,000 per person assuming two people per cabin. If you are a single person with a cabin to yourself, the cost is about $2,000. Depending on the boat, there will probably be one or more single bunks. The folks on the boat will divide up the total boat cost to reflect the sleeping/privacy arrangements. The boat charter cost per person is significantly less expensive than renting a hotel room in Key West for a week. There will be additional costs for accommodations the first Fri night and the last Sat. night. Provisions – The crew on the boat will provision the boat for the week.  $300/person ?? Key West is probably the only stop with more expensive restaurants. We will have dockage fees in Havana $100/person ???
  5. Deposits on the boat charter will be required in a couple of weeks.
  6. Let me know if you are a “single” or a “couple.” We will need total couples and singles counts to figure out how many boats are needed.
  7. You will need a current passport. I was told we need some form of visa which takes 30 days to get. If there is someone in the group who can take on working those details out, that would be very helpful.
  8. We will have at least two boats. Each boat will have a designated captain and the charter company will have to approve our sailing credentials.
  9. This will not be a Carnival Cruise. Everyone going will need to chip in to make the adventure work. In addition to the captain, we will need a boat bursar and a team to provision the boat. We will need a navigator and someone to coordinate the visa/customs arrangements. Everyone cooks and cleans up. Everyone keeps the boat moving.
  10. The provisioning team will need to make up a shopping list and do the shopping in Key West on Friday so the boat is provisioned Sat morning and we do not spend our first charter day trying to find a super market and deciding what to buy. Some charter companies will put basic provisions on the boat for an extra fee.
  11. John Bishop is talking with bareboat charter companies to compile our best charter options. If you have suggestions or leads for charters from Key West, follow up with them and coordinate/share with John. We want to use mono hull sailboats and not catamarans with three or more cabins.
  12. We do not have a full itinerary, but we will probably not just sail to Havana and come back to Key West. The Marquesas Keys are west of Key West. We may go there the fist night to get acclimated to the boat and being on the water. Then go over to Havana and stay there for about two days. Perhaps stop somewhere else on the way back to KW. Transit time across to Havana is about 15 hours. We will decide whether we want to use a day to make the transit or do it overnight. Overnight would work if the conditions are OK.

This will be a lot of fun. Let me know if you want to be part of this adventure. What can you do to make this work for you and everyone else.

My best,