Jug of Rum!
07 April 2010 | Marina Santiago de Cuba
The weather has been fantastic since we have arrived. Because of the mountains there are strong katabatic winds that blow every day. In the morning it is calm but by 11:00 an on-shore wind starts to pick up and we get a nice breeze all day from the ocean. In the evening the wind shifts to an off shore breeze and keeps us cool through the night. We have really been enjoying touring around and checking things out. Yesterday morning, we met Pedro, who lives across the street from the Marina. Pedro is the guy that cruisers use to get what ever we need. We gave Pedro a list of things we would like to get, like fruits, vegetables, rum, beer etc, and then he told us how much each item would cost, and if we agree, we give him the money and he goes out to purchases the items for you. The fruit and vegetables were very inexpensive, especially compared to the Bahamas and the rum is excellent for about 4 dollars a bottle. The rum came in a 5 litre jug! Pedro also arranged for a car to drive us in to town and then come back and pick us up for $10 cuc - a taxi would cost 10 cuc each way. We have discovered that is very easy to overpay for things here and money has been flying out of our wallets. The dinner we went to last night cost us $76 cuc - the other three had shrimp and I had fish. It was good but when a monthly salary is 10 cuc, that seems pretty expensive. We also went to hear some local traditional music last night and it was fantastic.
We are going to take it easy today but tomorrow Pedro has arranged a Pig Roast for the cruisers - it should be fun.
We just came back from Pedro's house and we gave them some pencils, paper and some bouncy balls for his children. We also left some some of the baby clothes we brought, with Pedro's wife who is going to distribute them to some families in the country that have nothing. Thanks Philip for giving us these clothes to give to these people who REALLY need them. We gave some of the clothes to the people where we had dinner last night and they were ecstatic.
We are starting the think about our next port of call and may be leaving on Saturday to travel 35 miles up the coast to our next stop. Moving around here is very controlled and you have to check in and out of each place you stop.
We are using the Nigel Calder Cuba guide and it is very good, but I do not agree with his description of the Santiago Marina. He describes it as a very run down and dirty place, but we have had no problems. There is a power generating station close by that makes some noise and smells when the wind is from a certain direction - but it really not a big deal. All of the other boats here are either French or Swiss. I was expecting to see a lot of Canadian boats here but we are the only Canadians.
Because we can not get internet access, we do not know if any comments have been left on the blog. I had sent out an email recently to explain how to send us emails to our Sat Phone address, so PLEASE feel free to drop us a note. We are missing hearing from people from back home!