Cabin Boy Blog

Blue Sky's Voyage
George & Michael
Mon 1 Jun 2009 12:25
A note from Garrison:                        "21:53.3N 81:48.0W"
Despite the ever-friendly mosquitoes, I've survived my first weekish on Blue Sky.
Readers might be interested to learn of my Camaguey-Cienfuegos journey. It was no challenge - not after I learned that stuttered Spanish and paper bribes (my copy of Crime and Punishment) make Lucero the customs man happy. But it was epic:
Alfredo & his taxi & his pink bear mirror ornament picked me up outside the Camaguey 'airport'. I was not sure about the bear - it talked little and made me uncomfortable - but the driver became a friend.  He and his oso gave me a fruitless paid ride to the bus terminal - the bus I wanted to take to Cienfuegos did not exist.
My new friend, however, volunteered to freely help me find a way to Cienfuegos.  He gave me an informal tour of Camaguey which ended at a pay phone. He called several of his friends for me, and it transpired that he knew two men going to Cienfuegos the following morning whom I might hitch with.
I did hitch with them, but only by luck: It was necessary to meet the men at three a.m., and I was staying at a hotel - Alfredo's recommendation - and they kept no night staff and gave no wake up calls (though they happily agreed to give me one). I woke with luck at 3.15 and ran screaming to the hitching rendezvous - the men were just departing.
I rode with them for 150 or so miles in the Cuban countryside. They were not garrulous. One focused on the road with worrisome intensity, and the other sat silently in a wiry way that made me think he was a dentist.
 We drove on highways similar to American interstates, save for the amount of cars - that was more similar to a country road at midnight, even after dawn. We drove through several small towns; in each we apparently tried to mow down as many passers-by as possible by swaying quite randomly from one curb to the other.
We finally weaved to Cienfuegos, where I was dropped the 'centre of town.' A fair bit of wandering led me to 'Blue Sky' & the marina, where I enjoyed a wonderful breakfast and a safe arrival.

and a note from the Editor...
after this literary epic we attempted to sell (well, give away actually) Garrison to some Cuban fishermen to help catch lobsters -
- though obviously he wasn't any good at it as they returned him later, though with a bucket of lobsters to compensate us for the trouble.
And finally, the position associated to this blog is Nueva Gerona on the Isla de Juventud as far west as we made it in Cuba. Now we're back at Cayo Largo, preparing to make use of a decent trade wind to sail south to Grand Cayman tomorrow (2nd June) arriving on 3rd June.
best wishes
George, Michael and Garrison