FROM THE LOG # 10
December 28, 2002
to January 14, 2003
(Click on a photo for a larger version)
Our first stop after Santiago was in the bay at
The approach to the lagoon was complicated, but as the weather was calm
we did not have any real problems. It is impossible to read the water as
in the Bahamas, because it is not as clear as there. The following day
we continued westwards along the Sierra Maestra mountain chain. It is
easy to understand why Castro and his companions avoided being caught
when hiding there. One of the peaks, Pico Turquino,
is Cuba's highest at almost 2.000 meters. The bottom drops steeply to
over 7.000 meters in places and, according to the Cruising Guide, the
elevation here from the tops of the mountains to the depth of the ocean
is the greatest, in relation to the horisontal distance, on the surface of the earth.
At Cabo Cruz, the westernmost cape of the south coast, we anchored outside a small village. Three young Guarda boys rowed the long way out to Scorpio to inspect us. It is shallow and we therefore had to anchor far from shore. The settlement was off limits for foreigners, so we had to stay on board. The next morning they rowed out again to stamp our cruising permit before our departure.
The following weeks we visited several of the Cayos in the Golfos Guacanayabo and Ana Maria and in the Archipelago Jardin de la Reina (the Gardens of the Queen). We have never before had as much lobster as during this period. It is probably difficult to believe, but I suspect that one really can get fed up even with this delicacy.
Most of the keys are made up of mangroves and we did not find many beaches. Only once did we meet other cruisers, at Cayo Algodon Grande, and we only saw a few fishing boats. All the keys are uninhabited.
The end of our guests' vacation was approaching. We therefore headed for the city of Cienfuegos on the main land, 250 kilometers southeast of Havana. It was time for the youngsters to return to civilization; a period of snorkeling, lobstering, rum drinking, cigar smoking and reading revolutionary literature was coming to an end.