Canal de Rosario
Friday 26th January 2012
Distance run: 71 nmiles
After a very peaceful night's sleep we pulled up the anchor at 0645 and motored out of the anchorage, past a catamaran that had snuck in to join us sometime during the night.
Not a sign of life so we left them to their slumbers and headed off towards the Pasa de Quitasol, which is a pass between two cays in the line of cays that run from the north, around the north-east tip and down the east side of the island, cutting it off from the rest of the Gulf of Batabano.
Motoring along some three hours later Steve decided to check the prop bilge for water and found it full and overflowing into the engine bilge. We turned off the engine in order to bail it out safely, and turned on the engine bilge pump to clear beneath the engine. Once it was dry we put the engine back on and set off again, checking it every ten minutes or so for fresh ingress. It remained dry, and we couldn't find where the water had come from. It certainly was not from the stuffing box, and we eventually came to the conclusion that it might be connected with the generator which is water cooled and had recently been overheating. We had run it for a couple of hours the evening before, and if it was leaking the water would drain down into that bilge. Fortunately we would not need to run it again today as we would be motoring and charging the batteries that way, so this is a job for Cayo Largo.
We found the buoys that marked the Pasa de Quitasol, and were heading for it when we were waved down by a fishing boat. They rowed over and offered us some lobster tails for $1 CUC each. Steve did his usual bartering and we ended up with two for the price of one, and we put them in the fridge for later. A fresh lobster each for 60p can't be bad!
We followed the marks through the Pass with no less than 1.2 metres beneath the keel, and set a course for the Canal de Rosario, which is a break in the reef through which we needed to pass to get back out to sea in order to get to Cayo Largo where we would pass back in through another gap in the reef. We reached the channel just as the light disappeared from the sky, and not wanting to go too close inshore in the shoals in the dark, we dropped the anchor for the night. It was reluctant to bite, but did eventually, and we retired below before being completely devoured by mosquitoes.