Let’s finish the story, though. When we arrived, naturally, I found the watermaker had sprung a relatively serious leak in the endcap of the membrane enclosure. And my windlass decided not to work. And one of my battens had come off of the sailcars. Another of my sailcars had lost all of its ball-bearings. On just this single passage – a bit over 700 miles in total – an immense amount of expensive stuff was no longer serviceable.
For many miles we had called for the Port Captain or Port Authority. No answer. So we just dropped anchor (in typical fashion – far away from the herd) and I cracked my anchor beer.
A semi-official boat soon came up to us and told us to get to the dock ASAP. I explained that I had just laid out 50 meters of chain and that my windlass wasn’t working, so it might be a little while before I could get to the dock. And since we were going to the dock see the doctor – that if I did managed to pull in that 50 meters of chain quickly – I would likely be in much worse shape for my doctor’s exam.
Maybe it would be better to bring the doctor to us, if it’s a priority…
The doctor came and visited us, with the custom’s agent and a too-slick looking guy at the marina. We paid some money, he asked about our health. I gave them Panamanian coffee – they left the boat smiling and they didn’t tear my boat apart, top to bottom, nor did they threaten me. The difference of 170 miles (Cayman to Cuba) seems to matter quite a bit. It’s amazing how uncivilized civilization really is, and how much more civil people can be in places like Cuba.
With the doctor’s visit out of the way, we were now allowed onshore. So onshore we went. And there we found nice officials and a nice marina bar and some nice locals and some nice sailors at this nice bar. And at this bar I ordered The Liar’s Drink: A Cuba Libre (for, as we all know – Cuba will never be free).
I ordered the Cuba Libre in Ciegnfuegos, Cuba – before the herds of gringos made it. I think that’s worth remembering.
One Cuba Libre turned into a few when Jacko and Crystelle showed up.
Then we labored back to the boat. Then Ana fell off the boat as she was climbing from the dinghy onto NOMAD. Then we collapsed and slept a well-earned sleep.
In Socialist Cuba.