CUBA TRAVEL JOURNAL

Several More Dives and its Time to Turn Around

July 13, 1998 10:30am

We arrived at the reef cut into Cayo Alcatracito around 6:30 yesterday evening and the winds and seas were picking up rapidly. We made a dash into the sound and anchored close to the cut and a fair distance from 'Le Nicholas IV' which was still there.

As the sun set, Chris snorkeled off to catch several lobster for dinner. He had a few problems as one particularly large lobster broke our stick and ran around with the hook. Chris recovered the hook, but we'll need to fashion a new rig.

 

We awoke early this morning and went a bit further southeast for another wall dive. It's fairly close to "Shark Bight" where I dove two days ago.

This turned out to be a deep, clear dive as the wall began at 110 feet and though pretty, was generally unremarkable.

 

I've noticed the reefs are virtually unspoiled and have seen no anchor damage, garbage or fishing lines. The Queen's Garden is virgin diving and this site ("Queens's Gate") marks the begining of the Garden.

We've turned around and begun our long journey back to Cienfuegos and plan another dive near the Four Pillars of Cayo Breton.

July 13, 1998 7:20pm

We're still on the move looking for an anchorage near Cayo Zaza de Fuera.

We made several dive attempts near the Four Pillars of Cayo Breton and finally found a good site. Chris made the dive and I've christened it "Pritchard's Desire". I was to dive also but storms approached when he was down and so I geared up and dropped quickly to ninety feet to recover the anchor and once back on board and the anchor safely up, we ducked into the sound of Cayo Breton.

We visited the Cuban fishing huts again and traded five 'Top Ramen' soup packages and some of our last crackers for another block of ice.

We organized the boat and have been traveling through the inner sound for four hours or so.

The steering lock broke several days ago and now the rudder requires full time attention while we're underway - a real pain in the ass.

That and the cockroaches are starting to wear on me. It's impossible to sleep but for a few minutes. They crawl over my face and when I move, run down my legs. Occasionally I can catch one with my hands by grabbing it's antennae and throw it overboard, but it's a losing battle. Trying to smash them is futile. We haven't seen our lizard for almost a week. Maybe he was the loser in a cockroach fight?

  Our diving is almost over. We had only seven tanks and after diving them several times, most are depleted. There's enough air for several shallow dives on the way home, maybe at Rancho Luna where I had spotted a Fingerprint Flamingo Tongue just before surfacing from the bad air.

Photo Courtesy of C. Pritchard

   

I'm looking forward to reaching Cienfuegos in three days. A real shower will be heaven. We've been saving the melt from the ice to wash, but even so can only use a half gallon or so at a time.

1998 John Petrak

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