21:44.854N 83:07.019W In transit to Cayo Largo

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Tue 12 Feb 2013 23:55

Sunday 10

A wonderful nights’ sleep.  This morning it was time to start the maintenance find the problems and fix them later.

Watermaker, this had good reason not to work, the 30amp fuse on the switch had not blown, but the holder was bulging with rust on one side and the fuse had rusted through.  The fuseholder is in the battery box and I must have got it wet when topping up in the past.  I wired in a new heavier duty more waterproof (?) fuseholder and the watermaker runs, but I am leaving it for today because of the batteries.

The batteries were a nasty surprise.  I am not sure when I checked them last, can’t find it logged.  I have left them longer in the past, but not with all this motoring.  The two older ones were completely empty, took ½ litre in each cell. ****.  The newer two were completely full.  I wondered if this meant they were not connected, but these are the ones the watermaker switch was connected to.  Perhaps I have to buy new batteries and replace them all to stop this happening in future.

I have to check the steaming light, which seems to have stopped working, also the deck light which I do not use, but is in the same fitting.  I hope it is bulbs not connections.  That means going up the mast, but not too far.

We needed to get to this anchorage because there was supposed to be another bad weather coming today, but it did not get too bad and the wind had already started to reduce in the afternoon. 

We all went to Hotel Colony, where there is a pool, but only Xanadu’s children went in.  The internet was not working, but we stayed for dinner.  We discovered that we have moved time zones, which was news to us, we lost an hour.

Monday 11

We caught the bus to town, 3CUC each, it took over an hour to get to Nuevo Gerona

We went to the bank and they would not change Mexican money, so I got some CUC on my credit card, they do not take debit cards.  I did not think this through in time and will have to transfer funds to stop the interest running as soon as I can get internet. 

We were talked into taking a bicycle taxi to somewhere for lunch.  The man said $1 each, Kodo had lobster which ended up at $5 each.  I did not want lunch and the man offered me a free ride back to the park and I decided to try to find some eggs.  There is very little in the shops here and nothing fresh.  We had to stop at houses and ask.  The second or third stop got us 30 eggs for 5CUC, plus 3CUC for the taxi and I bought him an ice cream as I was having one.

We arranged, rather got bullied into, taking a taxi car to the prison.  This is based on one in US, circular so that the guards could see everyone all the time from the tower in the centre.  We went into one of the buildings, which are derelict, but enough to give you the full effect.  Then we went to the museum.  It was supposed to be closed today, but the lady showed us round.  It was all in Spanish, but we understood most of it.  If you were sentenced to over 6 months then you were sent here from all over Cuba and they had 7000 prisoners.  They also housed prisoners of war here in WW2.  Fidel Castro was a political prisoner here after the first attempt at revolution, he did better the second time.  It is worth reading up on, because Cuba gets a bad reputation which does not seem fair.  It feels a very safe country, the people are friendly.  They have nothing against the US, it seems very one-sided.

We managed to change 1CUC for 24 National Pesos and for 4National, ie 15p, we queued up and got a loaf of bread fresh out of the oven.

We got back to the bus stop and the driver was on time and did not charge us for the return journey and gave us a bag of fruit. 

We got back to the boats at 4pm and Xanadu left just before dark.  The Norwegian boat has been unattended, but quite safe, for the last couple of days as the guys have stayed in Neuvo Gerona.

Tuesday 12

Jean-Marc went and filled their cans with diesel, so I sent my one too.  The price was 1.10CUC, but we got a deal for .80CUC.  Then we had a meeting to discuss tactics.  There is some bad weather coming and we have to get to another safe anchorage before it arrives.  The Southern route round the island is allegedly not good in SE and E winds, not having tried it I cannot say, but we are going the Northern protected route, which is longer, but has some anchorages.

I had been in the water to check the prop and could not see anything that could be done there, so it just seems to be a shaft alignment problem which will have to be dealt with, but not now.  Hopefully it sounds worse than it actually is.

Then I cut Jean-Marc’s hair, brave man, but he didn’t mind how short it was.  Then there was the beard to be trimmed.  Not bad.

We walked the mile to the Hotel to use the internet, but it was still not working.  We walked back and then collected the officials so that we could leave this afternoon.  We are headed for Cayo Largo.