Imagine a tropical island, a couple of coconut trees, crystal clear water in shades of blue you did not even know existed, underwater lobsters, fish, sharks, rays and turtles in abundance, on the island giant iguanas sunbathing in the sun, two or three crocodiles hiding in a mangrove pond, jutias (a small mammal) running around, vultures, herons, pelicans and ospreys fly overhead of dozens of little monkeys and in between all these three men living in a small wooden hut. They fish, they hunt and they survive out of what nature gives them. You could think that
After a night sail from Casilda we dropped the anchor outside of Cayo Largo – a small island where no Cuban permanently lives on the islands. The island was developed by the government as a tourist resort with hotels, restaurants, bars, cigars shop, turtles farm and a yacht charter base. You cannot be further from authentic Cuban than Cayo Largo. In the evening we could watch the semi-wild crocodile that lives in the mangroves around the marina. Semi-wild because every
So that is exactly what we did in the last 4 days – we stayed inside our boat getting away from the cold wind that blows since one week and just waited for the decision to show up.
And the crossroad ? Well, it’s not really a life or death matter but it did keep us pondering. We needed to decided where
Apres Grenade en 2015, les Bahamas en 2016, Noa a feté son anniversaire a Cuba. Son souhait le plus cher pour ses huit ans, etait de pouvoir feter en compagnie d’amis. Les deux anniversaires precedents etaient magnifiques et tres reussis mais il lui manquait cruellement la compagnie de ses copines de voyage.
Nous avons donc tout fait pour pouvoir repondre a son desir et
We are sitting in the cockpit at Marea del Portillo, drinking a Cuban Bucanero beer watching the orange sun disappear behind the horizon as two little fishing boats pass by, they are rowing out towards the sunset on their way for another fishing expedition. We use our dinghy with its 10 HP engine to go from the boat to the beaten village dock – about 100 meters away and these fishermen are rowing 2 miles out to the rough Caribbean sea with 20 knots of headwinds.
We go to sea with GPS, radar, VHF, AIS, life raft, lifejackets,
Quand mon capitaine de mari à fêté ses 40 ans à terre en Alsace, l’été passé, je lui ai promis, un peu sur un coup de tête bien sur, que je lui offrirai des cours de salsa à Cuba…Je m’étais imaginé déambuler dans les rues de la capitale, m’asseoir avec ma famille à la terrasse d’un café et alors un groupe de musique arriverait. Nous nous serions mis à danser et une vieille mama cubaine, nous observant la larme à l’oeil et surtout morte de rire par notre manque de savoir faire et nos pas maladroits, nous aurait proposer de nous apprendre la salsa… Oui oui je sais je suis une grande rêveuse… Enfin, disons que j’espérais surtout ne pas devoir payer un cours sur cher pour touristes dans un endroit tout sauf local et de finir par danser avec un gros hollandais ou Continue reading
Already a week passed since we arrived in Santiago and from day one Cuba does not stop surprising us, overwhelming us.
Simply going to town in an old Lada driving around the streets of Santiago is like a walk through the museum with those old cars from the fifties, the old colonial buildings, pigs and turkeys crossing the street before a small chariot led by an aging horse.
We left Montego Bay a little after 1800. We were hoping to motor slowly eastward during the night when the trade winds die because of the land breeze that usually picks up at nights. Unfortunately that night, maybe because the sun was absent in the last 4 days so it did not heat up the land, the trades were still blowing at 10-15 knots from the east. So after a couple of hours when the winds got to 20-25 we decided simply to head north and keep our easting on the south coast
We are still in Montego Bay Jamaica. On Sunday a strong cold front brought plenty of wind and rain. Montego Bay itself is open to the north and hence exposed to the coming swell and wind and we felt that Nomad, tied to the yacht club’s dock, wasn’t at the right place for such weather. We were not sure what is the best thing to do especially as we were not supposed to be back on the boat before Sunday, the day the front was expected. Finally we decided to move the boat to the nearby mangroves – a very protected lagoon.
So on Saturday morning Jack, Amos and me sailed Nomad 3 miles around Montego Bay and into the mangroves. The next morning waves were braking on the reef protecting the entrance to the mangroves – no chance getting in or out. We were very happy we moved the boat to the lagoon. During the front passage we had more than 30 knots and the sea looked enraged but at the anchorage there were no waves and we could sleep quietly.
The anchorage is actually pretty and pleasant. We are surrounded by mangrove trees, nice villas, hundreds of birds – pelicans, white herons, frigates and sea gulls, but most notably are the huge jellyfish in the water, some more than 40 cm in diameter so no swimming for us. There is even a weak WiFi signal that, depending on boat direction, allows us to get weather updates and use the internet. And last advantage of this anchorage – it is free.
The only problem with this place is that as long as the swell still brakes on the reef we are blocked and we cannot leave even if we really want to. And we really want. We are impatient to set sail to Cuba!
This morning (Thursday the 14th) under dead calm water we went out of the mangroves back into Montego Bay to fill up water, diesel, go for a last swim in the pool and most importantly – do clearance with customs and immigration.
Tonight we are sailing to Cuba!
I often wonder why we are so lucky in life and what makes us feel so privileged compared to some others. I know we have this amazing chance to travel since over two years in incredible places and have a very different life than the one most of the people have.
But is this luck? Is this what makes us feel so happy and fulfilled?