A nice calm spell is forecast for Wednesday and Thursday with the winds picking up again on Friday, so we are very much hoping that we can clear out tomorrow and head out towards Cabo San Antonio around lunchtime Wednesday. The seas are supposed to drop down to under 3 feet later on Wednesday and the wind may allow us to sail for a while before it drops to motoring speed.
I am getting excited about the prospect of arriving in Cuba on Thursday morning but although it is only 2 days before we leave, things may yet change and I should remain patient! We use Weather 4D and Passage Weather, plus Windguru and Chris Parker’s broadcasts for our information. Once we download the Weather 4D it remains on the iPad without Internet connection so we at least have a reference as we move east. We listen and speak to Chris on the SSB.
Our last week has flown by once more; we paid for another week in the marina on Saturday at a cost of 212.50 US$, played dominoes all afternoon yesterday and caught up with James and Patty from ‘La Adventura’ for drinks a couple of times. Rob and I were playing table tennis when they found us and we had a nice reunion after 2 and a half years. The last time we saw them was in Trinidad.
Mike and Jean from ‘Tomorrow’s Dawn’ came with us to the Museo Maya de Cancun, spending all morning in the modern building. They started off towards Cuba a couple of weeks ago but had to return due to boat equipment issues. It is a long taxi ride from the ferry port on the mainland, costing us 400 pesos or 8 pounds but we caught a bus on the return for just over 2 pounds for the 4 of us. Much better value although it didn’t go to exactly where we wanted, the shopping mall. Another taxi trip to the modern complex only cost 2 pounds though, so it was still far better to catch the bus.
The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday from 0900-1800 and you enter on the second floor, with a choice of lifts or a winding spiral ramp around a pretty garden. Inside it was cool and light with a great view over the sea. The exhibits are amazingly well preserved, the sabre toothed tiger skeleton included and although some of the information was in Spanish, much was in English. The pieces reflect the development and decline of the cities, the beliefs and lives of the Maya over 2000 years. There are 3 exhibition halls, 1 temporary and currently they have objects in celebration of fertility on display.
The beautiful buildings we saw at Tikal and Chichen Itza had ornate carvings and a very special style and many exhibits showed aspects of their architecture. It was certainly worth visiting. The tickets cost less than 3 pounds each and included entrance to the archaeological site next door. You wander along a pathway to view several buildings they have excavated, with all the information in English. All that was lacking at the Museo was a coffee shop but Rob did buy a book about the History Of Mexico at the gift shop.
In the mall we had a great lunch at the Waffle House, then went our separate ways to find new flip flops for Rob and get another taxi to the Home Depot (US equivalent of B&Q) for exciting items such as drill bits and plastic tubing to replace the split one which protects our SSB cable on the backstay. I hoisted Rob up the few feet in the bosun’s chair to complete that task yesterday. Today we need to clean the dinghy on the beach, do a quick food shop and start alerting people (again) to the fact we will be offline for a month or so in Cuba. Then we want to take a last walk into Centro to pick up a proper Mexican flag with the emblem in the middle of the white stripe, have a meal out and perhaps buy a souvenir.
Tomorrow I will go to Port Authority and Immigration to clear out at a cost of 20 US$ whilst Rob does the final fresh food shopping. The value here is quite astonishing, even after Guatemalan prices. For less than 10 pounds we bought the following: salad dressing, big bag of gourmet crisps, a whole 2.25kg fresh chicken, .5kg of sirloin steak, red and yellow peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, spring onions, a beetroot, 2 courgettes, 4 tomatoes and 2 avocados. As Belize is more expensive and Guatemala lacks a lot of goods other than fantastic fresh fruit and vegetables, this is the place to stock up before heading south.
The boat is ready for passage and tempting fate, all her systems and equipment are working. Rob re-assembled the watermaker pump, having fitted expensive new seals and tried to run it expecting it not to work but it did. Not sure of the water quality but we won’t drink it, just use it for showering and cleaning the boat. We still intend getting a new membrane for it in the USA.
So, we hope to be in Cuba by Thursday midday to clear in at Los Morros before moving the 5 miles to the Canal de los Barcos that apparently has excellent shelter from any winds. It is a cut between 2 mangrove islands but is deep and wide to enter in any conditions and we can wait there until the weather is calm enough for us to motor around the 3 capes to the south. We may get internet access along the way east but plan to visit some Cays before checking in again at Cayo Largo, then again at Cienfuegos before heading to Grand Cayman if no northers are imminent. From there we will jump on the Gulf Stream to Florida when the weather allows.