Fin and MechanicO: Last Boat To Cuba

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FinTec, Feb 27, 2021.

Tags:
  1. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    24 hours till launch, not lunch. Packing is taking its toll on the brain. Do I need this, do I need that, etc. The issue I have is it is one thing to go to say California and back on several BDRs. Anything happens, in reality I have AAA, AutoZone, FedEx, etc. Are we really that remote?

    But Cuba, dang, if I loose a fuel pump or a wheel bearing or, god forbid, drop a valve......nuts. My curse is knowing every single moving part of MechanicO and also knowing what CAN happen to any one of those moving parts. I did get over this many years ago and just have to go with what the great mecha-gods serve me. But if I do have an issue, please, oh please let it be mechanical and not electrical! Even then I will have my laptop with me and can take a deep dive into the Motec M130 ECU I rewired MO for. But still, all that can tell me is "yep, your crank sensor is jacked!".

    So here are a few shots of two tables worth of the crap I am bringing. My goal was to maintain my usual kit: side paniers and top bag ONLY. If I need more than that I am doing something wrong.

    PXL_20210301_144417316.jpg
    PXL_20210302_144145162.jpg

    PXL_20210301_144450385.jpg

    And then of course I had my last online Spanish class with the best dang Spanish teacher, Cynthia.
    I have talked about this in other threads but I really like the app iTalki. You pick your language and then select an instructor that looks to fit you as well as budget, then just schedule lessons. A lot of the instructors give an inexpensive or special priced intro lesson to see if you click. Cynthia has been fantastic. She has the patience of a saint. She just sits there and lets me stumble and butcher a simple phase like "How was your weekend and what did you do?" for the next 3 minutes. Then when I am done, we go back, break it down and fix anything that needs fix'n. Trust me, I am really familiar with the word "Incorrecto".

    PXL_20210301_190010709.jpg

    I'll see if it is worth reporting anything while on the road next few days. Just a lot of Colorado and then even more Texas sitting in a truck listening to polka music or podcasts on early 15th century knitting history and techniques.
    #21
  2. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    And yes, JamieZ and I have chatted a little bit via PM. We both have our fingers crossed that this all goes through. So far Captain Ludwig of the Stahlratte has reported this is all a go and his contacts in Cuba give it the green light. My nightmare is I am halfway to Cancun and get the email that ain't good. Well, no bad thoughts here, keep it up and up.

    And the last email I got from Cpt. Ludwig, there was one spot left.......just saying, anyone on the fence.....once in a lifetime......boat is apparently 1/2 full with the Cuban National Bikini Team returning home.....beer and rum on board.....anyone....

    Only You Can make it Happen!

    20190528_184509.jpg
    #22
  3. RhinoVonHawkrider

    RhinoVonHawkrider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,172
    Location:
    Eastern Pa
    Good Stuff - Safe Travels - We'll be watching.....
    #23
  4. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,479
    Location:
    Calgary
    great! Are you taking a hatchet to Cuba?
    #24
  5. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,532
    Location:
    north vancouver bc
    looking forward to this.
    are Americans still banned from staying in state owned hotels? what happens if you get caught?
    #25
  6. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Oddometer:
    2,911
    Location:
    Sherwood, Oregon
    Effin' awesome @FinTec! I imagine there will be little shut eye tonight, I know I'm like a kid before Christmas before leaving for any multi-day trip. Have never done something of this scale before, I'm guessing the brain cells will be firing in all kinds of directions late into the night and likely early tomorrow morning.

    I'm really glad you mentioned the language app, haven't heard of that but given recent life-going-f*cking-sideways events, I told myself I'm diving back into Spanish again (part of a very new 10 year plan). I'm going to rock through the Rosetta Stone lessons I downloaded awhile back, then check out that app.

    In any event, safe travels as you make your way south to TX. Those poor folks really took a pounding from mother nature, hope that doesn't impact your travels and it's all good.
    #26
  7. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    374
    Location:
    East Coast, South Africa
    Safe travels, will be watching this.
    #27
  8. ApexJeff

    ApexJeff Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    507
    Location:
    Tucson, Bahia de Kino
    NO,, but believe me its not fun!!! Wherever you go they call in your passport number, so they know where you stay, Stay in Casa Particulars!!! Great families,
    I actually got this Cycle Guide on the Stalhratte, perfect for finding fantastic rides,
    looks like the op has a great attitude, he will do well!!!

    Attached Files:

    #28
    yamalama and Throttlemeister like this.
  9. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,333
    Location:
    Gardnerville NV
    :lurk
    #29
  10. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    For you weight weenies and packing nazi's (Steve?), here are some final weights of the load:

    PXL_20210302_230825107.jpg

    PXL_20210302_230915494.jpg

    PXL_20210302_231018137.jpg

    PXL_20210302_231434117.jpg

    I added 11 lbs each for each of the two RotoPax full. By far my heaviest pack, but this long, on an island with little direct resources for MechanicO, I need to bring extra stuff. However, I was proud I still kept in within the "3 containers". Note I do not run with a back pack or a tank bag. Just how I roll.

    As you noticed, I am about 15 lbs bias to the right. Of course the idea is this is taken up by the exhaust on the left, but with a lighter silencer now, probably still 10 lbs to right. Not too bad but to be worked on.

    The only other issue is my rear spring only has enough capacity to add about another 105 lbs. So as long as she weights that or less we are good ;)
    #30
    GringoRider, td63, scudo and 8 others like this.
  11. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    And we are off!

    PXL_20210303_163526661.PORTRAIT.jpg

    Made it to Lubbock, TX last night and here is a shot of the rig in the parking lot. Time to find some breakfast ....

    PXL_20210304_132558300.jpg
    #31
  12. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    Yes, I am. If I sense an issue before getting off the
    boat I'll leave it there. I always run with this for multiple reasons.

    Don't know about that, but I have reserved an apartment in Havana for a few days with no issues. And the Casa Particulars (rooms for rent) are independently run. And of course I have my camping kit.
    And MechanicO has never been "caught", he does all the chasing ;)
    #32
  13. Graniteone

    Graniteone 3,2,1...Beer me! Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    841
    Location:
    Golden, Colorado
    If you would just leave the three torque wrenches, 12 pack of cotton white knee high tube socks and the giant inflatable shade tree you take on every trip we go on. You would be at a more respectable weight and pack size. But seriously leave the while cotton socks at home next time. Another handy Spanish phrase I think you will need.
    “ mi quemadura de sol me está matando y necesito que me orines”.
    Giddy up!
    #33
    glittleman, liv2day, Charmin and 3 others like this.
  14. Johnnydarock

    Johnnydarock Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Oddometer:
    561
    Location:
    Redondo Beach CA
    IN! I too want to hear when/where you use that giant hatchet.
    #34
  15. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,479
    Location:
    Calgary
    Using it for self defense lol
    #35
  16. CdnGS

    CdnGS Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Oddometer:
    239
    If questioned make sure that you say the hatchet is a tool for hammering, chopping, splitting firewood around the campsite, breaking beads,etc. Do not even jokingly say it’s for “self defence” (even though it obviously would be) and you should be good to go.

    Looking forward to your report. Safe travels.
    #36
  17. Wattner

    Wattner Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2003
    Oddometer:
    7,629
    Location:
    Key West, Florida
    Man, sounds like a great trip! Just throwing it out there...I have a few Cuban buddies that travel back and forth, one guy at my Marina was there 2 days ago with his 36' sport fisher boat. Seems like there could be a boat locally that would be able to make the trek. It's only 90-100 miles away. I'll start asking around to see if anyone has knowledge of a sufficient boat that may go back and forth and be interested in taking a bike and rider or two and what it may cost. Granted, it's not a ride across Mexico, but maybe an option?

    I'll bookmark this thread and tag along. Thanks for the ride, and way way cool bike and build sir!
    #37
    steved57 and ApexJeff like this.
  18. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    Who brings a hatchet to a gun fight, ha! No, seriously, I use it for making fires and the other side makes a great hammer.

    CdnGS: you are correct, always state it is a "tool". I actually asked RTWPaul about this once as he carried a hatchet on a ride. He said he visited dozens of countries with no issues. They consider it a tool. As do I.
    #38
    Pete_Tallahassee, liv2day and Cal like this.
  19. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    If the Stahlratte is truly out of the game, it would be great to see someone else fill in the vacuum. But I think the magic of the Rat is the experience. Lounging and hanging with other riders with quietly sailing. Going 50+mph in a speed boat would work, but not the same experience. But what do I know, I have yet to do it myself!
    #39
    nutmagnet, Pete_Tallahassee and Bt10 like this.
  20. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2013
    Oddometer:
    566
    Location:
    Colorado
    Finally made it to McAllen, TX, and end of the line for truck and trailer. Found a great storage spot that was very easy to work with. Actually an inmate here found it for me, "severely". I posted in the TX forum on this and he was nice enough to locate this place. The guys who runs the joint is Randy and is super pro and helpful.

    MechanicO out of the hot box and ready to go.

    PXL_20210305_192055145.jpg

    At a hotel right at the border and plan to cross first thing in the morning. But first, tacos for dinner....
    #40
    GringoRider, severely, scudo and 17 others like this.