Cuba

Cruising Cuba (Pt 2)

We left Hemingway marina and headed west towards our next stop. About 60 miles away was Cayo Levisa, a small island off the North Coast of Cuba. We left early in the morning to make sure we could complete the sail in a day.

Arriving around the North coast just as the sunsets –

Cayo levisa

Unfortunately on the way there we had a slight fishing mishap. Whilst trying to get a lure out of the net it got stuck in one of the crew members thumbs. It went in quite a way and could not be removed. It was also still attached to the lure so the crew member had to walk around holding the lure whilst trying not to move the hook. This lasted for several hours as it happened quite early in the day. We didn’t know if there was going to be any medical help at Cayo Levisa but could only hope.

The east approach is very shallow and as there was a bit of a breeze and therefore choppy water, made looking out for shallow patches very difficult. Unfortunately for our crew member with the fish hook still in his thumb we had to go the long way around. This added another hour or so to the journey and when we got into the west entrance we then had trouble anchoring. The anchor kept dragging through the soft mud and after about 4 attempts we were happy it was holding. This added even more time onto our arrival and it was well and truly dark by the time we could leave to go ashore.

We found they had a medical hut and it looked like something from the 60/70’s. After some explaining/screaming/anesthetic/swearing – not necessarily in that order, the hook was out. We were given some medication and plasters that was folded up in brown paper, date stamped with dates from many years ago. My friend was just pleased it was out and didn’t have to continue walking around with a hook and huge lure attached to his thumb !

The next day we could explore the island and resort –

Cayo levisa
Beautiful white sandy beaches…..

Cayo levisa
Lots of palm trees…….

Cayo levisa
Lots of walkways and greenery around the island….

Cayo levisa

Old pier……not sure if it is used anymore.

Cayo levisa

Cayo Levisa was a lovely island resort – fortunately with a medical hut !

After chilling out for a couple of days we headed off again towards our next stop.

Sunset Cayo levisa
Last sunset at Cayo Levisa….

We headed further west again towards Maria La Gorda which is on the western most tip of Cuba. The resort is also known as Fat Maria’s and has a dive center there. We arrived on my birthday at about 6 o’clock in the evening, I was looking forward to some beers !

After some confused discussion over the radio with the resort we headed in on the dingy. A dive instructor met us in a very panicked way and told us we shouldn’t be there! He told us we must come back at 8 o’clock in the morning as that was when the port captain would be there. He looked very worried and just kept telling us to return to the boat. We asked if we could just maybe use the restaurant as we were low on food. He went away but returned quickly with a security guard telling us we weren’t allowed to be there and that we must return to the boat. They were both very polite and apologetic but you could see it was worrying them. I guess if we broke the rules it would be blamed on them and they could get in serious trouble.

We returned to the boat for the evening and it was a quiet birthday for me !

Quiet waters the next day –

Cayo levisa

We came in the next day, thats our dingy at the end of the pier, the water was very shallow.

Cayo levisa

The resort had a strange feel about it and somebody commented how it looked more like an old army or hospital base because of its layout.

Cayo levisa

Nice but empty beaches, think we were a little early in the season.

Cayo levisa
Cayo levisa
Cayo levisa

We were told when we first got there that we weren’t allowed to go outside of the resort. This seemed a bit odd as there were advertisements for car hire – where were you supposed to drive them ?! Like a lot of things in Cuba things don’t always make sense, I’m sure sometimes you are told the old rules and way of things in case anybody gets in trouble with what they’ve said.

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