13-Dec-2007 -- A few days ago I joined again my ship, the "UBC SYDNEY", whilst she was berthed in Venezuela in order to load 31,000 tons of petroleum coke for Searsport in Maine (USA). For this voyage I choose a track through the Windward Passage, which is about 45 nautical miles (83 km) wide and situated between the northwest end of Hispaniola and the east end of Cuba. Windward Passage is one of the main routes used by ships trading between the east coast of North America and the Caribbean Sea.
The closest and only visible land to this Confluence 20N 74W is the east end of Cuba. Although not very well discernible from this distance, the coast of Cuba in this area is steep-to and backed by a mountain ridge running parallel to and cut in places by small rivers and creeks. It consists of cliffs and sheer rocky walls, interrupted here and there by sandy beaches. The views to WNW and NW give us at least a slight idea of.
Another ship has just overtaken us, the "CSAV Chicago", bound for New York. She is German flagged and chartered by CSAV, which stands for "Compañia Sudamericana de Vapores" (based in Valparaiso, Chile).
As it is common in the Windward Passage, the sea is getting rough when reaching its northern part, as it is fully exposed to the northeast Trade winds. Whilst my crew can still comfortably work on the ship's port side (left) in leeward, on the starboard side the breakers do already splash on the main deck, and the seaman here walking on the wrong side of the ship is getting wet feet. ;-)