Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mexico to Cuba - San Filipe Islands - Cayo La Vigia N21.59 W083.35 Dec 24-25 2009

We departed El Cid Marina the morning of Dec 24th on track to fulfill our goal of arriving in Cuba on Christmas day. The winds were stronger than forecast and the seas were lumpy. We had a strong current pushing us north and in order to keep on track we were forced to motorsail which is not all bad as it keeps the boat on a direct course and a steady speed and therefore the ride is much more comfortable. The first part of the passage was quite uneventful and it wasn’t until the wee hours of the morning that the alternator warning light came on. This was a new alternator installed in Mexico. The engine was hot and seas were large and so we did not attempt any repairs under way. It was only after we landed at Cayo La Vigia and the motor cooled that we found our new alternator still in place, but barely as the only thing holding it there was the belt. Talk about dodging a bullet. We were able to re-install without much trouble.

We found this anchorage very comfortable in all sorts of weather, albeit the water was just barely deep enough for us. It was here that we had our first encounter with the local fisherman who hailed us one morning from less than 50 ft asking for assistance. We were able to get their problem sorted out with the aid of our engine start battery and their gratitude was evident as they left us smiling and a gift of a dozen lobster tails.

After enjoying a wonderful Christmas with decorations, Turkey and all the trimmings we spent another few days here and discovered the Cuban method of Lobster fishing which entails placing long netting in shallow water with traps set every 100 ft. which has the affect of corralling the Lobster, from there it is an easy pick-up.

We met a number of other fishing boats who were equally willing to share their bounty for trade with small items such as hats, soap, candy, cosmetics for the wives and girlfriends, items that are scarce and hard to come by for the locals in Cuba.

We departed this quiet anchorage and sailed a few miles east arriving at a wonderful anchorage between Cayo Real and Cayo Siju.

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