Background on Sunshine
Five years ago they started to crossfrom Key West/Dry Tortuga's to Isla Mujeres, Mx based on weather forecast
They made it to NW coast of Cuba
with boat problems & sea sick captain
After stop things got better.
but stopped again at Cabo San Antonio with engine
Required Cuban mechanic
to bleed lines and start engine
After repair they made it to Isla.
Observed in Isla at marina with banged up boat while captain read books
, but no repairs
done by same (he is a former attorney).
Later, day hopped (one overnight at most) down MX and BZ coast to Rio Dulce.
Stayed in Rio Dulce for year then left for the Bay Islands of Honduras
. After one day en-route front trapeze ripped through and dingy fell under hull
. More wx & mechanical problems delayed arrival to nightfall at Isla de Utila.
Last year Sunshine made their way to Isla Mujeres for return to Florida
. Failure of family
to assist as crew and lack of other volunteers resulted in Sunshine spending the last year and a half docked in Isla. Fuel
in boat has been sitting for year and a half. One engine was removed and rebuilt by local Mx mechanic
. It was re-installed a week prior to departure on March 12,2015. There was no away-from-the-dock test and it sounded like a rattling sewing machine
The crew of Sunshine planned to depart with another boat heading for Cuba so as to avoid a multi overnight passage
. The buddy boat departed around 7:30 A.M. and they called Sunshine to see if they had left yet at 8:50 A.M. Sunshine replied that they would not be departing the dock until sometime after 9:30 A.M. At about 10:30 A.M. Sunshine was heard calling the buddy boat. The buddy boat did not reply as it was out of radio
was about 12 kts out of the NE and waves were about 3-5 ft out of the E. Both wind
and waves were essentially on the nose for Sunshine which had previously declared that they were going to overnight to Cuba, go up the coast, inside the reef, then cross over to Key West
. With conditions as they were, it appears Sunshine was going much slower than planned. They didn't have their sails
up because they were heading NE toward Cabo San Antonio directly into the wind. They apparently enjoyed the Yucatan
current not realizing it was driving them well north of their rhumb line. The Sunshine poster indicated they were about 40 miles from Cuba. If they were due west of Cuba they would have been in a 2 kts northerly current. If they were northwest of Cuba there is still a northerly current. However if they were trying to reach Cuba they would have been into a 4-6 ft head
sea. There is a westerly counter current on the northwest Cuban coast but it only extends about twenty miles offshore
One other interesting point. Sunshine posted on Facebook, about four months prior, asking about the experience of other cruiser switching to a motor
home. Recently Sunshine posted that they were touring in the Smoky Mountains. I have no idea if they were in a tent or a motor
is a wonderful thing, especially if it is a total loss....no deductible and no pro-rating.