Wednesday 3 May: Cayo Campos
After a first anchor on the coral reef, We must get closer to the marina to make the entry formalities. It is a tourist area away from any city but with an airport and many hotels. The marina is well appointed and it is the starting point of the many offers of shipping by sea. The place is deserted!
It's time for the NAP and we wait for the guard on duty to wake up...
Philippe is a place in the shade, well ventilated... and without mosquito. We take this opportunity to send a few articles on the Blog and retrieve emails.
Unfortunately the wind drops in late afternoon and everything is immobile in the lagoon where we are wet.
After the shower Nathalie takes advantage of the last minutes before the attack of the squadrons of mosquitoes. We will spend the evening barricaded behind the nets... it will take us 3 days after that to get rid of these dirty beasts that were beginning to colonize the boat!
Friday 5 May: Cayo Cantiles
At Cayo Largo we find Nathalie and Vincent of MADGIC. We spend a few days together before that they continue on their way to the Guatemala. After a first stop behind the reef of Cabeza of the burlap we go to Cayo Cantiles where there is a reserve of monkeys. We get wet in the face of the Park Rangers station.
They greet us on the landing Beach and lead us to their cabin.
They'll drop food to attract monkeys. These are quite fearful and we must remain at a safe distance so that ultimately they come out of the maquis.
Place to the serious things... we came ashore for a short walk. The guard tells us a path on which we we swooped. The tongues are not the best shoes for this field paved with sharp rocks...
After a few hundred meters we meet the first mosquitoes... then it's a cloud that assails us. We have beautiful grind as long as we can there's always that vibrate in our ears.
As one man we turn around to find the edge of the sea on the run.... and quietly scratching.
Back on the beach where we left the annex a local waiting for us.
Who will volunteer to get in the water and push the annex to sea?
Tuesday 9 May: The Estopa Cabeza
It is time to install the lithium batteries we finally received from China before our arrival in Cuba. We decide to ask behind the reef of the Cabeza of the burlap. Protection is average but the weather is calm and well established. The water is crystal clear, the funds are superb with plenty of fish and lobsters... and especially we are far from the nearest island, so no mosquitoes! It takes several days to load and balance the new batteries. Meanwhile Philippe finished wiring and other facilities to accommodate our new energy reserve.
Everything is finally in place and works as expected. Phew! For the first time we can do fresh water in silence, without starting the generator.
Tuesday 16 May: Cayo Campos
While we cross the pass of Cayo Campos, Jean-Claude of the Ti - Bag catamaran comes to meet us, to show us the path to follow to get wet in front of the beach. Indeed the nautical maps show that the area that separates us from the beach has only 40 centimeters of water and without counsel we'd not ventured we.
Three monkeys reserve guards greet us warmly and we do visit places.
They invite us to come eat ashore the next day and we loaded gift: ropes, olive oil, pasta banana and a baguette fresh out of the oven... cake. All very expensive commodity in Cuba or even impossible to find. We their give also the four batteries in the lead who have less than a year and are more - we understand that each battery is worth the equivalent of six months to one year of their salary! They installed a table under the coconut trees in a draught... almost cool.
To the menu: Porgy creole barbecue, lobster and rice.
The crew of Blue Pearl, an American yacht, joins us to share the feast the guards we have prepared.
The monkeys keep their distance and rush on the remnants of lobster.
Others settle at the table to eat the fresh coconut pulp.
The next day we are pleased to see ROSAVEL at anchor. We had met them in Antigua, just after crossing the Atlantic. We spend a few evenings with Christian, Laurence and Eloise.
The place is peaceful and apart people travelling as we other visitors are fly anglers who arrive on a big yacht, criss-cross the mangrove in their flat boats... and continue to other islands.
Saturday 20 May: return to Cayo Largo
We learn that it is not possible to leave Cuba since the Juventud Island, that was our next stop. We must therefore return to Cayo Largo to the international exit formalities. It's under an overcast sky and with a headwind that we draw from the edges to retrace our steps...
The next step will be the descent to Panama with a stop in the Cayman Islands. We are buy some fresh produce and there wait a good weather window.