Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Haiti, No…. Ocho Rios, Jamaica Again…

Dear Friends,

We had mentally prepared ourselves for a nasty crossing from Cuba to Ile a Vache, in Haiti.. beating against the winds and the waves… And, although we were supposed to clear out in Santiago de Cuba, we sort of dodged this official dom, not to be disrespectful to the Cuban authorities, but it was just a 100+nm detour which I thought better not to take…

Was it maybe Fidels curse? Just over an hour or so on our way… first the starboard engine lost its revs (rotations per minute).. so I was rather upset about that… got the toolkit out and just about when I was going to check out what was going on… the port engine decided to do the same…

McGyver mode… what to do.. ? First I figured out that it was the bad quality diesel we had taken in in Cienfuegos, plus a dirty diesel tank (this I knew but never bothered to really solve the issue…) plus Racor primory filters totally clogged up causing the engines to get starved for fuel… Ok, so we knew what the problem was, but how to fix it? I had no spare filters and back in Cienfuegos, when I tried to change those filters, I managed to damage the Racor filter unit beyond repair… Our options were: A> returning to Cabo Cruz. B> trying to sail (no engines) to Haiti. C> trying to make it back to Jamaica. Option A and B were quickly aborted: in neither of those places we would find new filters and being able to clean out the tanks. So, although we didn’t like the idea, sailing back to Ocho Rios was the only option. In Ocho Rios, we had seen a bunch of charter catamarans and so, we figured there must be at least some sort of repair, parts situation present. Plus the fact that with the current wind direction, we actually could just sail the 80 nm or so to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. And so we did. In the early hours of the next morning, we were back and dare I add not whole heartedly as we didn’t really like the place.

Long story short: with the help of Dora’s brother in law, Andre, we located a local supplier of Racor filters (in Kingston mind you). A company called Durae’s (http://www.bizexposed.com/Jamaica/B/Duraes_Boat_Sales_and_Marine_Supplies-Kingston.php) and they were great… in no time we had all we needed (racor filters etc) flown in. Also, after having talked to some charter cat captains, was able to locate the diesel guy.. who told me that for US$ 300 he would clean out the tank. The tank cleaning took a day, and had to get, environmental friendly of course, get rid of the bad diesel and get new diesel. The next day, we bought some badly needed groceries and our way … Again beating against 20 knot winds on route to Haiti…..


Pumping out old diesel                                         … and also de sludge and slurry…



Allthough declared 100Pct clean..Mon…            ..only miles later, learned that it was not…Mon


Be good


Monday, April 07, 2014

Cabo Cruz, Cuba


Dear Friends,

Staying rather close to the mainland of Cuba, we sailed/motorsailed overnight from Cayo Anclitas to Cabo Cruz… calm seas and just a little head wind, we arrived in the early afternoon.

Anchorage was great… nice breeze, but no swell as we had protection from the reef that extends out from the mainland. Over the VHF radio somebody summoned us to check in with the Guarda Frontera.. so, after lunch we tried to locate the officials. Cabo Cruz is just one main road, some scattered houses, fishermen, a school and that is basically it. When we found the official looking person, it turned out they just wanted to chat, and asked if we had seen small fisher boats on the way in.. (actualy did, but said no..as i am not a spy…)

Back to the boat, a guy came swimming out offering lobster and fish.. we got rid of our last CUC money and took the lobster… Clear waters, did some snorkeling and had a nice and quiet evening…Sometimes things are just that nice and easy…sunset on the boat, great company, some lobster…all great ..(little did we know about our adventures ahead)…



Progress in Cuba                                                   Protection behind the reef, Cabo Cruz


Cabo Cruz from the anchorage                           Busy mainstreet Cabo Cruz



Not much else to do…                                       Fidel, Fidel..


Modern and well designed dinghy dock                               Hello…



          Gracias Cuba.. Hope the future will be good to you and your people…


Sail on…



Friday, April 04, 2014

Cayo das Anclitas, Jardines de La Reina, Cuba

Dear friends,

Against the wind (ofcourse) we reached Cayo das Anclitas, in the island archipel of Jardines de la Reina. In this location there is a floating Hotel/resort catering for Scuba divers and sport fishing, http://www.cubandivingcenters.com/avalon-gardens-queen. A great setting, great staff and… wifi internet connection…. Life is good. We joined a group of 6 scuba divers for two dives on the reefs… Awesome… Caribbean reef sharks all around, massive Mero`s, Tarpon`s etc etc.. Check the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BezZoG3nZ1c&lc=z13pjv2p4wm4evjzb04cj35y5wzdchg4a1c

We had to leave this diving paradise after two days, it was a great experience, and a special thanks to Antonio, who not only managed to get us joining the Resort scuba diving group, but also was so kind to supply us with a bag full of fresh produce (fruits, tomatoes, unions etc etc).

Hotel Tortuga Dive ResortDCIM\100GOPRO

Hotel Tortuga Dive Resort                           Hello…Just smile and wave..smile and wave



Gracious, calm almost serene (just like the divers…)


Good vibes…..                                             Not so good vibes.. green murray eel…



Never gets stale……                                     A new Cuban friend.. Mero…


Next stop.. Cabo Cruz.. that little SE point of Cuba…

Enjoy what you do…