Tales of the Itinerant Sailor

Cruising 2009

Political Peril and the Itinerant Sailor

By

Steven Jones  

The Cruiser Friendly Officials

But, alas, it is time to move on.  At 0900 hours June 21 I am underway to Cayo Largo, a very popular resort area for Canadians and Europeans.  The auto pilot gave me fits at first, but I did this and that and it engaged.  I elected to sail the southern route, right out into the Caribbean and the trade winds, as I was a little unsure if the route inside the reef would have the proper channel markers.  The last time I sailed the inside passage, many of the channel markers were missing and it made for a very scary cruise for me.  So, I choose the devil I know.  Again, an overnighter.  But, the night-time sky is aglow with flashes of lightening.  Electrical storms will be the norm for every night I am at sea for the rest of this trek.  Beautiful, but threatening when the storms get too close. 

Again, this marina is well protected by reefs.  In the dark, I elect to stay outside the reef until I reach Cayo Largo.  I pass two foreign vessels anchored out as I approach the marina:  From Canada and Ireland.  On this entire 800 mile trek across the bottom of Cuba, I do not see another American Vessel.

Ogiliva

Ogiliva

In addition to the usual array of authorities, I am greeted by Pire, the English speaking PR person on duty.  I first met him in 1998 when I arrived here, unbeknownst to be, on my birthday.  He noticed this from my passport and arranged a birthday party for me, hosted by three couples from Holland.  It was a nice gesture.  Before departing two days later, he makes sure that I see Ogiliva, who works in finance.  They made a cute couple 10 years ago; now they are divorced.  He wants to take a photo of us together.  Go figure.

This is one of the better maintained marinas along the southern coast of Cuba.  But still it was no surprise when on the first night I had to cut my shower short because I am eaten alive by mosquitoes; on the second night I had to share my shower with a crab.  Were there toilet seats and toilet paper, you ask?  I donít remember.  Probably not.  These personal luxuries are hard to find throughout the Caribbean.

The Reunion The Colonial Town

Cruising 2009: Political Peril and the Itinerant Sailor
Copyright © 2010 Steven Jones. All Rights Reserved.

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