FROM THE LOG # 9
December 25 to 27, 2002
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.