12 March 2016 | Stuart, FL
18 November 2015 | Stuart, FL
03 April 2015 | Fort Pierce
27 March 2015 | 25 36.727'n:77 44.374'w
16 March 2015 | Governors Harbor
11 April 2018
The weather was great when we returned to the Raggeds and we enjoyed staying there for a couple of weeks doing the things we have always done. Walking beaches looking for sea beans and shells, some snorkeling, and quiet evenings on the boat listening to music on the Sirius radio. We talked Maxine (the matriarch of the town) into making a lunch for us cruisers one day. There were around 12 of us that came and ate her grouper fingers, chicken wings, peas and rice and salad for only $15 each. She did all of this without running water or a functional kitchen!
Maxine told us someone gave her a zucchini and she did not know what to do with it. Being from Minnesota Nancy and I knew what to do with it and made her a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread. We didn't get a chance to find out if she liked it.
The mail boat was scheduled to arrive but never did and so without the promise of some fresh vegetables and fruit we eventually had to leave. In addition to that, fresh clothing and sheets were becoming difficult to find aboard!
From the Raggeds we started our trip back home. In the Exumas we went aground twice. The first time it took us 7 hours before the tide came up so we could float again. The second time took maybe an hour but was much worse because of current and wind. We destroyed an anchor in the process. Hope not to ever do that again. We took care of laundry and provisioning at Black Point. We enjoyed some delicious meals that Nancy did not have to prepare at the local restaurants. We topped off fuel at Staniel Cay and from there we headed to New Providence, the Berry Islands, Florida and on the way Nancy caught a 39in Mahi.
11 April 2018
Returning to the marina we still have longer to wait for the winds to die down. All of us were trying to kick a cold so we rested for a bit. Our Sirius radio worked well which gave us music and news we had missed. Our local taxi driver took us in his 56 Ford to Guadalavaca (which means "hide the cow") where we exchanged money and used the WiFi. We would also spend time in Holguin and on the road to Holguin where we could get fresh fruit like papaya, bananas, oranges and limes, and vegetables.
The morning we left the Harbormaster filled out his forms, gave us copies, checked our passports, and the dog was brought in to make his rounds. Only about 10 minutes and we were on our way. The seas had calmed and we had a good sail back although this time we motor sailed all the way. It felt good to be back in the Bahamas. Cuba is so foreign and communications had been difficult at times.
11 April 2018
The next day we had a driver hired to take us all the way back to our boats in Puerto de Vita, about 700 kilometers. He had a more modern vehicle with air-conditioning but the ride took from 5 am to 5 pm. A long ride over a lot of bumpy roads full of potholes and portions of the roads were missing. It was still better than the bus, more expensive, but we split it 5 ways.
We were all relieved to find the boats where just as we left them and we settled into the idea of heading back to the Bahamas. But first we had to get Bonnie on a plane so she could fly back to the States. We got her to the airport after she had gotten permission to leave from the Customs officer. He also gave us a document stating that she would not be on the boat when we left. Her flight took her to Miami and then back to Minnesota. She had two bottles of rum and one was taken at the Cuban airport and the other in Miami. Not sure why.
We listen to Chris Parker on the Single Side Band receiver (or SSB) to get weather reports as well as some internet sites. The forecast was for strong winds for at least 4 or 5 days so we had to wait. As long as we could not leave immediately we chose to tour Santiago de Cuba on the southeast end of the island. This city is known for its music and dance. It is in a beautiful setting with mountains all around and a seaport. Again we stayed in a private home. Price was around 20 CUC a room and breakfast was 5 CUC. They only offered us Cuban coffee which was very strong in a very small cup. Once again the people were so nice. The owner of the casa said it had been in his family for a couple of generations and had been built by the Spanish over a 100 years ago. We walked the street at night and felt very safe. We visited the El Morro castle built around 1638, very cool. Many of the buildings in town were in bad shape and either falling down or in need of repair, but the streets were kept clean which we noticed was often the case in most parts of Cuba. An exciting city, and we wish we could have stayed longer, especially to enjoy the music.