Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cuba – Cayo Campos ‘LOBSTER HEAVEN’ N21.33 W082.20 Jan 23 – Feb 26

After departing Cayo Siju we made a short stop in Ensenada Los Barcos. This is a large bay open to the southwest but offers good protection and a safe anchorage.

We spent one nite anchored at Cayo El Navio amongst numerous dead heads and debris in the water and no place for Doc to find dry land.

We motored thru the Quitasol Pass, with excellent navigation markers en-route to Cayo Campos. Our friends Byron and Denise S/v South of Reality had visited here a year ago and we found it difficult to believe our eyes when viewing their pictures showing the size of the lobsters found in these beautiful waters. As they say in Cuba, it is better to see with your eyes than to hear with your ears, and it wasn’t long before the local fisherman were alongside offering us their daily catch…the lobster here are huge!

We spent the next month enjoying the beautiful beaches, long paths to walk and quiet moments sitting on the beach while Doc played with the monkeys (Macaco Cangrero), the iguanas and the fish in shallow beach side waters. Well, it wasn’t exactly playing, more like chasing, but once again, the locals had the advantage of ‘home court’ and he would come back panting hard after many a chase with nothing more than a smile on his face.

It wasn’t till later in our stay that we met Frank and Melo, two of the local park wardens who resided at the fish camp on the north side of the island. They were taken with Doc and it wasn’t long before they were offering to show me how to catch Langosta like they did. Melo was quite a handy guy, and besides spending almost one entire day helping me tear down my outboard and re-building the carburetor, he fashioned a beautiful stainless Langosta gaff out of stainless wire we cut out of one of the monkey cages. Then he showed me how to use it.

One beautiful morning Melo and I and our friend Luis S/v Fruko gaffed 32 lobsters during two shallow water wreck dives. I wanna tell ya…It just doesn’t get much better than that and is about as much fun as you can while dodging the rather large Moray eels that weren’t too happy about our being there.

After eating lobster almost every day, in every kind of recipe including my favourite, Pizza, we once again prepared for departure to Grand Cayman with our freezers full to bursting with lobster, many of the tails are the size of my forearm…Again I say…it just doesn’t get any better!!!! WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE!!!!

All in all, the people we met during our two months on the south coast of Cuba were some of the friendliest and nicest and most generous of spirit we have ever encountered. We left Cuba with wonderful memories, new friends and about as much lobster as you can carry.

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