Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Thu 16 Apr 2009 22:17
Hello Friends                    "21:09.9N 79:34.6W"
We are underway and headed towards the city of Cienfuegos on the Cuban south coast to drop off the Relations.
Our eventual arrival in Cuba met with better facilities than expected - lots of water at the dock and very friendly, if numerous, officials to check us into Cuba. We caught up on sleep and then took a taxi into Santiago de Cuba.
Cuba operates on (at least) 2 levels and we'll post a Full retrospective blog in due course. The locals live a fairly basic life but the tourists pay first world prices for what is supposed to be first world services, so our taxi into Santiago was a new air conditioned Peugeot, in contrast with the trucks and pony carts in which the locals travel.
Here's a couple of shots of Santiago...
the fruit & veg market, where we acquired a modest amount of supplies and though the choice was limited, the quality was good.
and what we reckon is a typical des. res. - assuming you're not billeted in a concrete apartment block. The impoverishment of the economy shows up in the roads and buildings.
For our return trip to the marina, we took a more exotic form of transport...
and though it all looks very glamorous, it does hardly anything in mileage and he waits until he has a fare before putting any petrol/gasoline into the tank. We think he inherited the car from his grandfather.
After Santiago, we headed west towards an area of shallow water and small islands to the south of Cuba - the "Archipelago de los Jardines de la Reina" which all sounds very glorious and which the Relations wanted to explore and go snorkelling in. In fact the islands are mostly covered with mangrove, so not that interesting and there was apparently nothing of special interest for snorkelling. There is superb flat water for sailing though and innumerable excellent anchorages. This is for an area extending to 100 miles - so plenty of exploring to be done.
Our last stop in the islands was a reef protected anchorage  in the middle of nowhere. This photo of a 'fishing station' on piles gives an impression of the remoteness of the place (and the absence of wind!).
There are many old ferrocement fishing boats working the islands and last night one came over to sell us lobster tails, which went down very well for lunch today. Sadly we've run out of white wine though so there is some deprivation on board Blue Sky.
That's all for now
Best Wishes
George & Michael.