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Botanics 27th

We did a few jobs yesterday. We cleaned out the fridge a little, I went up the mast and refreshed the halyard lead and as my battery charger hasn’t been working for a while, Graham had a look at it whilst the rest went searching for breakfast.

He put the multimeter across the coils and whilst doing this noticed a lead which had come free from a connector, it’s a chunky wire, maybe 5mm in diameter which had been soldered to a big spade connector.  It is in an awkward position and my soldering skills are poor so we thought initially of holding it in place with seizing wire and then trying to solder it. We are not plugged in to the mains here, partly because the battery charger doesn’t work and partly because the shore power doesn’t work.  We hadn’t fully thought it through because I managed to create some impressive sparks before we’d had the sense to realise that also within the cabinet were two connectors going straight to the batteries. Once we’d disconnected the positive side this became a little safer and as I was too ham fisted to get the seizing wire idea to work, Graham had a go at soldering the wire onto its connector. This unfortunately didn’t work either, so we still don’t have a battery charger but I have an idea that if I can find a yellow crimp connector,  I should be able to use this and see if that works.

We then called past the loos at the marina in case they were working which they weren’t and went looking for the others who were happily seated at a table at  the Casa Azul, a fine colonial house beside the Yacht Club and singing its praises. They’d all had a decent breakfast there and not only did the loo work and was clean, but the wifi worked as well. We joined them for a fruit juice, plate of fruit, plate of toast and butter, omelette, plate of meats and coffee style-breakfast before making like teenagers and staring at our telephones for some  time.

The wifi session, to be fair, also allowed transport for tomorrow to be confirmed for Havana, a table to be booked at a previously recommended restaurant along with the other  indulgences. As we aren’t on the telephone here on our normal sim cards we are not able to use our banking apps, so we’ve had to prevail upon all our friends and relations to help us out here and there with some bits and pieces.

We decided to book ourselves in for breakfast the next day at the same place and then went back to the marina to change some money and faff about before heading to the Botanic gardens.

We went in two taxis, an old Moskavitch and a younger Nissan or something. It’s about 5 miles out of town and arriving at the garden, a 42 hectare affair that had been set out in the early 1900s, we paid our entry fee and for a guide to show us around. There is a map at the entrance showing lots of roads and paths around it along with the various buildings and so on that were there. Tanya, our guide - a strict but amusing schoolteacher type - showed us loads of interesting trees and fruits and flowers on a 500m walk along one of the paths before leaving us at the restaurant  to take her next party. We’d commented during her walk that we weren’t going to see much of the garden owing to the pace we were going at, albeit a good pace to absorb all the information we were getting from her. Once we’d refreshed ourselves, we’d thought we would look at a little more of the place and took a photograph of the map before setting off past our taxi drivers (who were a little disappointed to see us disappear again) on what we took to be what had been marked as a road but was in fact more like a lightly used tractor track in the jungle. This soon turned into what looked more like goat tracks in the jungle and, it has to be said, that comments were made about how little work was being done in the place to make it look nice or even to allow people to walk around the paths marked as roads on the map. We quickly realised we were going places few tourists had been in this decade, and found our ways back to the taxi drivers and went back to the boat for some beer, cheese and toast.

At this point, it transpired that the screen on my telephone was not responding to touch, a thing that has happened in the past, and we didn’t have the wherewithal to google the fix. Essentially, turning the thing off and on again fixes it, but to turn it off requires the screen to work. I thought it was a different combination of button presses to what it was, however, eventually, after several attempts, found the correct sequence and managed to reset it. This was a good thing, I’d had to pay 15 dollars in Santa Cruz in the Canaries to have a mobile repair shop do the same thing for me. This took us up to cocktail hour which we passed at our little  restaurant / bar in a garage just along the way before we headed into town for our dinner at a place we’d been recommended by sailors from the ‘High school of the high seas’ a good recommendation and we had a fine meal of various starters including ceviche, a dish I’d not managed to find so far on our meanderings and various good main courses with a bit more choice than the normal fish, lobster or prawn offerings we normally get. From here we went back to the theatre because the nightclub ‘Benny’s’ was closed again. (Benny being Cienfuego’s favourite musical son, a self taught musician who became quite a star).

The theatre venue was doing a more western style of music last night but with a similar format of various audience members taking it in turns with a professional singer to provide the music whilst the audience danced and chatted. Sue got up to dance and was taken in hand by a good local dancer who soon had Christine and Jennifer up dancing too. The locals were very good, I’ll try and put up some footage on the watts app group but it may well not work so don’t hold your breaths. It was another great fun evening followed by a leisurely walk back to the boat in the early hours.


Jock and all.

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