Feb 13

Farewell Cuba

by Nicky in Adventures, Cuba, Sailing

We spent our last few magical day island hopping to the Western most point in Cuba. We had good steady winds and calm seas for lovely sailing days and tucked away into gorgeous bays along the way. We spent many happy days exploring the islands on land and  under the water.

We met some friendly and interesting people along the way. The fisherman were very happy to trade some beers for lobster and fish so once again we ate like kings!

We met two rangers on a strange monkey sanctuary island, Cayo Cantilles. Why strange…monkeys are not indigenous to Cuba and this is the only island where they are found (they were delivered to this island in the 80s and now have two permanent rangers on the island to feed them). The rangers were thrilled to have some company, took us on a nature trail and shared some lovely fish and coconut milk (with rum of course) with us… but no sightings of the elusive monkeys.

As we moved further west the sea life got more and more abundant and the waters clearer and clearer. We anchored in a spectacular marine reserve, Punta Frances just off Isla Juvendud which was strangely deserted. We had the whole beautiful bay to ourselves!

After a lovely few days on the Western point of Cuba we very sadly bid farewell to Cuba and headed off on our longest passage yet across the Yucatan channel to Mexico. All the water from the Caribbean is squeezed northwards through the relatively small gap between Cuba and Mexico with currents measured at speeds of 7knots!

To give you some perspective…Pako can just go 7 knots with full sails and a steady breeze so we would get nowhere going against the current. With some skilled chart work we decided on a route south to avoid the current but in the end the dreaded Yucatan current amounted to very little (maybe 2 knots) so our crossing was unnecessarily long!

But all went really well, it was a beautiful sail with good winds and a warm starry night. It was a good feeling to see the coast of Mexico and we felt a huge sense of accomplishment that we have made it this far in our trip! We were greeted with calm seas and lots of huge green and leather-back turtles popping up their heads near the boat. Hola Mexico:))

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3 Responses to “Farewell Cuba”

  1. From Taryn Eliott:

    sounds like you guys have had some amazing adventures!

    I’ve loved reading about them and seeign your pics!

    Posted on 13. Feb, 2011 at 6:40 am #
  2. From Rory:

    Adrian must have felt right at home in the monkey sanctuary :)

    Wow guys, looks amazing, Enjoy and keep the updates coming.

    Posted on 14. Feb, 2011 at 10:10 am #
  3. From Tony Bush:

    Wonderful pics – thanks. Envious of you both and your wonderful adventure together.

    Posted on 17. Feb, 2011 at 9:27 am #

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