West end of Cuba

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We left Havana on on 28th December, and had a fast run to an anchorage just NE of Cabo San Antonio, which is the Western tip of Cuba.  The small "marina" there was staffed by very friendly Cubans, but had no great interest.  The nearby anchorage is a secure stop if waiting to round the cape, or to cross the Gulf Stream to Northern Mexico.

We sailed on to Maria Gorda on the 31st, arriving just in time for dinner n New Year's Eve.  Cubans celebrate the New Year as the anniversary of the Revolution.  They all consider Castro's revolution in 1959 as "THE revolution" forgetting the several that preceded it as they fought to get away from the Spanish colonial rule, then various unpopular presidents and also various levels of US control.

Maria Gorda is just a scuba diving hotel, with the usual frontier guard post but no village.  We snorkeled a bit in reasonable coral, but did not dive since they require certification.  The whole resort charges rates about 75% of those normal in Canada, for reasonable and very friendly service. Staff are paid about $15/month, and the owner (the government) keeps the rest, so the effective income tax rate is well over 90%

We rented two scooters to visit a nearby forest park, but only one worked, and all the other rental vehicles in the resort were broken down, so Helen and Neil went first, ant the two boys later.  This is typical of the government run facilities in Cuba.  Many things just do not work.

We saw this colorful bird with the strange tail in the woods, but I have forgotten its name.

The caterpillar below is a big as my finger.  With his giant size and bright colors it is surprising that a passing bird does not eat him.  Perhaps he tastes lousy.

The land crab we found walking across the road is about 10 inches across the shell.  They dig burrows like rabbits.


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