Next stop Jamaica!

If only the weather had stayed this way.

If only the weather had stayed like this.

If I do go back to Cuba, I will take a direct flight to Havana, stay in a hotel and see the country by hire-car. Oh, and buy my cigars at the airport when I leave.

These were my thoughts as I set off on my 350 nautical mile leg to Port Antonio, Jamaica.

On route I passed through the famous “Jardines del la Reina” or “gardens of the queen” consisting of numerous cays extending south-east from Cienfuegos for a distance of almost 80 NM. The name itself conjures up images of an idyllic paradise but the reality, (at least for this sailor), leaves much to be desired.

For some reason I’m not terribly fond of flat dry scrubby uninhabited islands strangled by muddy mangroves that swarm with mosquitoes…

I lean more towards islands of the lush mountainous variety, fringed with white sandy beaches, shady coconut palms and bikini clad beauties…

But if you are looking for isolated anchorages where weeks could pass before you see another boat, then Cuba will “suit you to a tee”.

Yacht Tata in Cuba

Yacht Tata in Cuba

I did see one yacht (off Cayo Bretón), as I sought shelter after a surprisingly turbulent start to my journey. And I am glad I did, because thanks to them I received a considerably more accurate weather forecast via HF radio than the one I had downloaded from the Internet.

Many thanks to the crew of Tata. I was so impressed that I’m considering how to squeeze in a HF transceiver on Eileen’s next refit.

The rest of my journey was happily uneventful.