Jan 10

Lost in Jardine del la Reina

by Adrian in Adventures, Cuba

Feliz Navidad & happeee new year! The blog has been a challenge the last couple weeks as we have been in the remote offshore islands off the Cuban south coast, called Jardine del la Reina (Garden of the Queens). The descriptive name of the islands definitely relates more to the underwater gardens than the topside, as they are largely mangrove islands with a couple deserted beaches. Very beautiful and remote, and amazing diving and fishing… yup, we are still managing to catch fish, the luck continues and we have been eating nothing but fish and lobster for the last couple weeks (with the odd tinned food meal thrown in for variation)!

Our first impressions of the islands was not the finest though. After a two day sail from Santiago de Cuba we had to tuck into a small mangrove cay which is used as a local fishing station and weathered a strong ‘norther’ wind for two days in a terrible narrow anchorage. Woke up in the wee hours of the worst weather day to notice our anchor had dragged and we were very close to running around! The only saving grace was the two lonely fishermen posted to this outpost who showered us with lobster and fresh fish daily, expecting nothing in return but a little company!

The islands got progressively better as we worked our way north (Cayo Cuevo, Cinco Bales etc.) with highlights definitely being the amazing snorkeling, diving & fishing. We lucked into doing an amazing scuba dive with a diving charter that happened to be in the area (one of the only boats we saw in 2 weeks) that ended with about 20+ silky sharks (some very large!) circling us as we surfaced from the dive. We tried to play it cool but unfortunately Nicky got a badly-timed flipper cramp on the way up and was making like a flailing fish… so we beat a hasty retreat to the safety of the boat!

After running out of fresh water and rations we are now back in ‘civilisation’ in a beautiful old colonial town called Trinidad, meeting the folks who have come out for a visit. Tonight we are spending our first night in over 2 months on land at a local ‘casa particular’ (B&B) in a bed that does not rock, feasting on anything that we do not have to kill, gut and cook and taking a much-needed long HOT shower! Aaah, the small pleasures… such softies!

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4 Responses to “Lost in Jardine del la Reina”

  1. From Annette:

    Absolutely incredible you two! Looks as if you are feasting like royalty. I just can’t get over the colour of the water and the beautiful scenery. For now though, I think I prefer solid land. Not sure if the peanut I am carrying around would enjoy the additional rocking… Hopefully you’ll be back just in time for his arrival! :-) Happy Days. xA

    Posted on 11. Jan, 2011 at 7:21 am #
    • From Adrian:

      Annette!!! WOW WOW WOW, such exciting news, huge congrats, we are super excited for you guys:))) (Presuming the peanut is a little baba boy?) Hope we are back in time for his arrival. Sending lots and lots of love to you and Anton and little Peanut from Cuba

      Posted on 15. Jan, 2011 at 6:44 pm #
  2. From Jo Campbell:

    Hi Nicky and Adrian. Happy new year to you too!

    Wow, it looks like you are having an amazing time. The beaches down in Cuba look awesome and I can’t believe all the luck you’re having with the fishing. Adrian, you must capture all your proud moments with all this luck and good fortune :)

    We miss you here but it’s so great to follow your blog and keep up to date with all your news. All is well here. Everyone is back at work this week and things are really busy. CT is very hot at the moment which makes for excellent beach weather. So loving it at this time of the year.

    Anyway, better be off but sending lots of love and good wishes. Enjoy your stay in Trinidad and living it up on dry land for a bit. Although Paco looks great. I’m sure you’ve grown particularly fond of him ;)
    Lots love xx

    Posted on 11. Jan, 2011 at 7:27 am #
  3. From saartjie:

    So gorgeous: what brilliant memories. Full speed ahead on this side for our departure!

    Posted on 13. Jan, 2011 at 2:55 pm #

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