New Cabin Boy

Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Sun 24 May 2009 00:23
Hello Friends                  "21:37.4N 81:57.7W"
By coincidence I see that we are only a few hundred metres from where we posted the last blog, though we've put in quite a few miles, with a round trip to Cienfuegos to pick up our new Cabin Boy, since I wrote last.
So we've mainly been tootling around the islands around Cayo Largo and not really done much at all, barring the occasional swim. A few jobs have been achieved: George has been making good use of the sewing machine and Michael has at last constructed the new panel to take our two solar regulators and the 5 charging trips for the various charging circuits. So not entirely indolent.
Our new Cabin Boy, Garrison, arrived on schedule having made his way from Colorado via Toronto and 150 miles across Cuba from Camaguey airport. I'm sure that you'd like to read that he's in intensive training and polishing stainless all day, but in reality he's a bit of a bookworm (which works well on Blue Sky) and is presently in the hammock whilst I'm starting the blog.
We have got to know our way around Cienfuegos quite well now and we had another successful visit to the Agrimercado to stock us up for another few weeks. We also found the marina 'shop' open for once and were able to buy a few moderate bottles of wine to replenish our meagre stock.
The winds have been very light recently, though we did manage a rather splendid sail out from Cienfuegos out to the islands. The first possible stop is Cayo Guano, though we carried on to the quieter Cayo Sal in the Cayos de Dios a couple of miles away. Cayo Guano has a lighthouse, which was built a few years after the Cuban missile crisis and we can only assume that the designer still had a sense of humour in trying to make it look like a rocket...
We found some really great snorkelling off Cayo Sal, near the wreck of a charter catamaran, great drop-offs, masses of coral, loads of large fish etc. The snorkelling following that near Cayo Largo was very good too and - sorry ! - we'll try to get some good underwater shots when we return there before heading south. Here's Garrison giving Caribbean snorkelling the thumbs up whilst wearing a t-shirt, having sunburned
his back on our exploration of Cayo Sal the day before.
We don't have a photo of the two sharks Garrison saw, but don't worry Mom and Pop, the sharks are pretty shy and eat much easier food than Garrison ! We really will try to get some decent underwater shots for the next blog.
We're now anchored off a 'monkey sanctuary' which has a few dozen quite large monkeys descended from a gift from Vietnam. Also various exotic birds, iguanas and some jutias - a bit like an overgrown guinea pig, which are apparently good eating. The guardian had half a dozen captive in a concrete pen and they looked jolly nervous as he was discussing the merits of barbequeing them. Lastly the island is home to some very large and aggressive mosquitoes... so we've returned to Blue Sky and Garrison is now exploring solo , armed with our strongest repellent.
One of the local fishing boats stopped by earlier, presumably to drop supplies with the guardians of the sanctuary and they took the opportunity to row over and barter for a few lobster tails - this lot were swapped for one bottle of rum which cost us about £3. Both sides seemed happy with the deal. The tray is 14 inches across.
So George has now prepared the lobsters and is making lobster bisque for later consumption. Hopefully the mosquitoes will leave Garrison enough blood to make it back later.
Bye for now.
George, Michael and Garrison.