Day 12 - Marina Gaviota Varadero Cuba
Phil, Di and Annelise
Thu 6 Apr 2017 20:11
Day follows the night of pleasant sailing - a few sail changes as the wind strengthened then dropped, then swung more southerly as we approached our destination - was that the smell of "ceegars" on the wind?? !!
Marina Gaviota "control tower" contacted on the VHF about 5-6 nm offshore - we would be welcome as we have no health issues on board. Caught in the morning mist again - only just able to make out the white lighthouse tower of Cayo Piedras del Norte, we waited a ½ hour for the sun to burn the mist away before making an entrance into the Canal de Buba and follow the navigation markers around Cayo Buba for the marina entrance. A busy morning for the marina as a procession of catamarans (14 in total) left with crowds of tourists aboard for a fun day out!
Not long before we tied up on the clearance dock for the dock master to visit, then the customs officer, then the doctor / nurse with strict instructions regarding the non-disposal of any rubbish - especially vegetable / fruit waste, then the food inspection ladies to check on our declarations, then the customs officer again and finally the dock master again - we were cleared in, tourist visas issued and ready to move to a slip .. One of the many hundred of slips unoccupied. Marina Gaviota is a newly built (still building the mage- yacht docks), with over 1,000 slips - operated by Melia Hotels but owned by the Havana Government authorities (of course). Sadly, only the tourist 75ft catamarans, the tourist fishing boat fleet and about 10-15 other private boaters were currently in the marina. Nevertheless, a very nice complex it is, with swimming pool, restaurants and small shops all on site. A good choice to have made landfall to clear in but not very Cuban authentic! Although we did manage to see one of the famous old classic taxi car. We will have to do some outside exploring..
A brief sleep, a dip in the swimming pool, an explore of the resort and then our celebration - a double: arrival in Cuba and our anniversary.cards from home and of course some bubbly as Cuban music drifts over the water from the resort bars! We have safely arrived after all the planning!
Phil and Di