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19th Feb - Cuba Cayos

We had a leisurely start yesterday. Christine had worried in the night that we were dragging because of noises from the anchor chain as we moved around it - the wind boxed  the compass during the night and, in truth there was a slightly odd noise  I couldn’t place which may possibly have been the keel scratching the bottom when the wind was completely on shore.  We had anchored as close in as we thought was feasible and had had 1.2 metres under the keel with an offshore wind ( with the onshore wind this had reduced to 0.6m) The Navionics seem very precise however it’s possible that a lot of the contours are created by clever algorithms. Anyway the wind soon had us sitting parallel to the shore again and without ominous noises.

Breakfast was cereal for a change and Christine attempted to use most of the  rest of the onions, peppers, cabbage, leeks butternut and garlic making a curry sauce, luckily we stopped her and saved some fresh vegetables for future use. The boat Dilly Dally, that I was sure was the French boat from Santiago with a different name and flag (unlikely but she was a Moody with similar configuration and I thought it unlikely there were two in the area at the same time) weighed anchor and headed to Cayo Cuervo which was where we intended to go too. We followed half an hour later with just the genoa pulling us along and soon caught her up and another yacht appeared from behind the reef also following us. We made good speed and overtook Dilly Dally and by lunch time were in arrival configuration with Colin up at the spreaders looking for ominous shallow patches and a combination of Navionics and  Garmin GPS maps open in the cockpit along with Nigel Calder’s guide to assist us in. None quite seemed to match reality but with Nigel’s guide and Colin at the spreaders, we believe we found the best spot at the North end of the Lagoon. The Cayo contains a circular lagoon around a mile in diameter with an entrance in the  west, so where we are in the North has shelter from around the compass.

After a delicious green lentil salad lunch, as it was raining with full cloud cover, we sat under the cockpit tent and played  a lively game of ’Pit’ for an hour or two at which point the rain stopped, we inflated the bigger of the two boats and attempted to put everyone into it. This was my idea but it seemed less good in the  performance  than in the imagination and the attempt was abandoned and Graham and Jennifer stayed behind with the rest of us rowing to a break in the mangroves to the North to explore.

Having landed, there was a 30m walk to the outside of the cay and a beautiful sandy beach with tempting firewood  loafing around. Snorkels and swimmers seemed in order too so I rowed back to pick up toys, matches, Jennifers and Grahams who were on the cusp of inflating the second dinghy. Back at the boat, another dinghy had pulled alongside with Jens, a terriery dog and Jen’s partner who’s name has not been well recalled from Dilly Dally - also heading, generally for Cienfuegos. We chatted for some moments before going our separate ways and having arrived at the beach, a splendid, if sausageless, fire was lit and some swimming and very boring snorkelling undertaken just prior to sunset. We returned during sunset, with a can of Heineken having been shared at sunset by the second beach dinghy load (someone had omitted to top up the fridge).

We then had the delicious fish curry for dinner with some being left over for a future dinner and we confirmed that between us we didn’t remember how the song ‘Ernie (who was only 52 and didn’t want to die)’ started, the line before ‘ the clatter of the wheels as they spun round and round' is as memorable to us as Jen’s partner’s name.  I maintain that everyone thinks that they know ‘American Pie’ and Sue proved me wrong by knowing, along with most of the rest, several actual verses, although,  in fairness only about 3 of the dozens that there are. We then retired to bed for a good night’s sleep. 

It’s blowing quite hard this morning, so I’m not sure if we’ll venture on or wait and see and maybe have a beach barbecue with real rather than imaginary sausages. All may be revealed tomorrow.

(You can hear the ……….. sound as they raced across the ground??)

Jock and the gang

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1 Comment

Feb 20

this must be the happiest and funniest singalong cruise in years! We love reading about it. Cuba sounds really fantastic cruising.

margo and joris/

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