“It's uncanny the amount of progress we're making. After our nightmare journey from Panama to Jamaica, we didn't dare hope for too much. And yet here we are zipping along at 17 knots.” Clive Tully reports from Spirit of Cardiff…

“It’s uncanny the amount of progress we’re making. After our nightmare journey from Panama to Jamaica, we didn’t dare hope for too much. And yet here we are zipping along at 17 knots.” Clive Tully reports from Spirit of Cardiff?

“We’d had a number of options as far as our route was concerned, depending on the weather forecast. We’re following Plan A, going north to Cuba, skirting round the eastern tip through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Haiti, and then along the Bahamas chain. Another option would have been to hug the south coast of Cuba, and follow the Florida Keys from the other side, but that would have added over another hundred miles to the journey.

Cuba appears to us not long after midnight. We come within just a few miles of the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, and given its current status, we had wondered whether we might expect any visits or unusual activity during the night. But no, all is quiet, save for a few fishing boats.

The Windward Passage certainly lives up to its name, and provides a bumpy ride, so the second half of the night isn’t quite so sleep-friendly. But the consolation prize is that it doesn’t really cut down our speed – at times we’re making 20 knots. In fact, we’re doing so well we’ve revised our arrival time into Fort Lauderdale. We’d originally estimated Monday morning – now it looks as though some time Sunday afternoon will be closer to the mark.

The next few hours will also see us cross the Tropic of Cancer for the fourth and final time. Another little milestone to remind us that we really are on our way home.

And as we pass through a heavy if short-lived squall during the morning, it seems that the Gaffa tape used to seal the worst two of our three leaky hatches has done the trick. Let’s hope they stick with it.”