Cuba Mangrove.

Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Sun 25 Feb 2007 16:03
Cayo Cachiboca,  Cuba, 25th February 2007
We are gearing up for another overnight passage to the mainland one hundred and forty miles north west.   We have become used to the peculiar and unforecast weather pattern here: calm mornings, and breezy afternoons, which steadily build to a crescendo of wind and stiff chop at between 25 to 30 knots from midnight until dawn.  Unfortunately, our beautiful anchorage in the mangroves is not very restful.   An enormous current comes through it, which has been against the wind.  This leaves the Sarah Grace behaving like a demented badger at anchor.   She goes through a cycle of circling which ends with her charging down the length of her anchor chain with the wind behind her, and slamming the chain against the hull with a resounding bang,  with the squeal of the rubber snubber being racked, before swivelling around and starting again.  Chris has been prowling around deck in the small hours contriving various solutions to prevent hull damage, involving ropes, hooks, and ingeniously, using the spinnaker pole to hold the chain out.    It is impossible to sleep with this going on.   Swimming off the boat is dicey, we have only tried it with a long line streaming out astern, as you get swept off.  It is impossible to swim against the current, even with flippers on!   Mark and Louise were coming over for dinner, rowing, and very nearly got swept out to sea in their dinghy, they thankfully got back to Jem, and gave up.
Also we have large, long, grey shapes manoeuvring beneath the hull in the shadows:  huge huge barracuda, as long as Bob the dinghy.  If you are brave enough to go in, they swivel their eyes around and look at you.  They tried to eat the swimming rope.  They are not meant to attack unless provoked, but it takes a bit of nerve to swim with them.
We are trying to eat up all our fresh food before arrival at customs, and are going to berth with tight belts.
We are really looking forward to having a rest in Cien Fuegos, which looks like a well protected harbour.
Otti says: ' I'm not looking forward to another sail but can't choose.  In the bay we are in now there are so many massive barracudas, that are like two metres long.  Missing everybody, bye bye, Otti'
Mimi says:  'Hey ho, we're in a bay, and don't need midge nets anymore.  Reading is annoying, school is great, not that we've been doing much school.  Hope all is well, from Mim da Bling'
Chris says:  'I am looking forward to an uninterrupted nights sleep, in a peaceful anchorage, and seeing Cuba first hand, after all the stories from other people'.