December 25 to 27, 2002
Santiago de Cuba

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Marina Santiago

(Click on a photo for a larger version)

The marina was well run and the staff friendly. No sign of the negative sides mentioned in Calder's cruising guide. The water was no filthier than anywhere else close to a big city and the docks were in good shape.

Captain Kelly's floating exhibition

Part of Capt. Kelly's exhibition

We met Clive Kelly in his floating Amerindian museum "Survival", who happened to be passing by at the same time. He has lived aboard for 25 years with the mission to protect the worlds eco system, concentrating on the Amazon rainforest, "the cleaning machine for the polluted world". It was Kelly and his spiritual father, indian Chief Raoni, who inspired pop star Sting to start The Rainforest Foundation.

The crew enjoying a welcome drink

Plaza de Dolores

Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city on Cuba and was once its capital. This is where Castro made his first, unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Batista at the Moncada barracks and later held his famous speech "History will abolish me". The city is considered the cradle of the revolution and here Fidel also held his first public speech after the revolution, on January 1, 1959. Numerous political museums tell the story.

Revolutionary litterature

A serenade for us, Parque CÚspedes

We spent two days exploring downtown Santiago. It is a strong rival to Havana in literature, music and politics. Haitian, African, Spanish and French influences have made it Cuba's most Caribbean city.

A live car ...


This was our first encounter with Jurassic American cars from the 1950s. We had not imagined that they are so numerous. Apparently Cuba had a large middle class 45 years ago, now eradicated and living in Miami, but the cars are still here.

A singing street vendor

Ferry arriving

Santiago de Cuba has a deep Spanish colonial air and lacks the American style high-rise buildings. It has several nice parks and live music is always present.

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