Sarah Grace goes to sea
Chris Yerbury and Sophy White
Fri 9 Mar 2007 22:20
March 8th, Friday, Cien Fuegos 2007
We've just returned from three days in Havana, which was truly amazing.  We shared a car with Rarangi, and got there across country in about three and a half hours.  The main 'motorway' along the spine of Cuba is a six lane highway, notable for it's absence of traffic, numerous horse drawn vehicles trotting down the 'hard shoulder', bicycles heading all over the place, teams of oxen plodding along,  and clumps of people waiting patiently in the heat and dust for any kind of lift.   It was the oddest main road I have ever seen, with no lane markings, and so little traffic, the driver wove around at will avoiding pot holes and rough patches.
Havana was filled with all the fifty year old jalopies we have got used to seeing, but Dale from Rarangi was a vintage car expert, and kept shouting,'Look, there's a four door deluxe Ford Prefect', or  'Wow, a pre-second-world-war .........' etc etc.   I was more riveted by the numerous equine equipages trotting past, and had a long chat with a horse cab driver about the normal working day for these horses. 
Havana is hard to describe, suffice to say it is really full of life and hope, beauty, music, dust, numerous dachshunds and their pungent excresances, amazing crumbling buildings, fabulous Cuban people, and great museums.   The hordes of Dachshunds were really bizarre.   Some had crossed with strays and were only half Dachshund.   The girls stayed in Cien Fuegos with Mark and Louise on Jem, so we had a really great time ambling around.
Tomorrow we are off to Cayo Largo, weather permitting, which is the first leg of the trip to Isla de La Juventud.
We are far enough north now to get frontal systems from America, and it is all very confusing having wind coming at you from different directions, after a year or so trades, faithfully blowing from the east.   There was a thirty knot north wind that blew a cruiser onto the concrete pontoon, as his anchors dragged.  He was away, so all the other cruisers ganged up with ropes and fenders and stabilized the boat against the pontoon, but not before it had smashed its port-side stern corner off.