Sights Around Town and at the Marina

In the almost three weeks that we have been at Marina Darsena, several boats have come and gone.  IMGP0863One day two boats left and the next day two arrived.  Then two more arrived several days later.  The marina has never been so full! The boat, Twilight, that crossed at the same time as us, left after about a week at the marina, heading towards Belize.


Twilight leaves the marina heading towards Havana and Marina Hemingway and eventually Belize and Guatemala


Because they didn’t have health insurance they had to pay $3 per person per day to stay at the marina.  Luckily, our provincial health insurance was sufficient to satisfy the requirement.

Doing washing is always a challenge on a boat.  Usually it involves soaking our clothes in detergent and water overnight, plunging them (with a toilet plunger) the next day and then rinsing and handIMGP0889 wringing them out.  Then we hang them up on the lines that are strung from our forestay to the shrouds.  It is all quite time consuming and usually a two person job.  Luckily we do it fairly regularly so it is only on bed linens day that Pioneer looks like a clothesline!

Ron takes in the sheets after they have been drying on a perfect laundry day



Every day we are thankful that we purchased our Iridium satellite phone.  It keeps us in touch with IMGP0832our mothers and families and we use it for email which allows us to contact cruising friends back home and throughout the Caribbean


Judy places a call home to her mother from Pioneer’s cockpit





The seagulls are the first to claim empty dock space on those cold and windy days



After a hard day of work – riding into town on our bikes for a beer, souvenir hunting, visiting friends IMGP0751and the like – we share our experiences at the “Table of Knowledge” – a picnic table donated to the marina by former dock residents Diane and Ray on Heurisko (now in Guatemala). 


We may look like we are having fun but the discussion is very serious…..


The troops gather here at dusk almost every night, drink in hand, to discuss the events of the day andIMGP0882 give advice on just about anything!


Another “aha” moment at the Table of Knowledge….





There are always lots of trips into Santa Marta for food, ice cream “tres gracias” (three scoops in a cup) and a beer at the roadside bar called Latino.  The beer is still the same price as it was three years IMGP0917ago – $1 – but the ice cream has gone up from 5 cents to 15 cents!  There are still lots of horse drawn carts in town – the cheapest method of travelling by far, especially when it comes to feeding time if you stake your horse out in the fields that line the old airport.

Judy cycles past a common sight in Cuba – the horse drawn cart




A young Cuban girl beside her family’s horse drawn cart – note the old car seats in a somewhat dilapidated condition 




This year, the Canadian dollar is almost at par with the Cuban CUC, so we are not taking a big hit like we did three years ago. There are still approximately 25 national pesos to a convertible tourist peso (CUC).  All of our fresh produce shopping is done in national pesos as is our purchase of ice cream, IMGP0749eggs and any food from street vendors or at small cafes.  The CUC is used at the bars, in the small and larger grocery kiosks and stores, when we purchase fish and lobster from the fisherman and when we buy souvenirs.

Judy and Debbie in serious discussion as they enjoy a drink at Latino






Visiting the cadeca (money changer) is always a steep learning curve…..Where are my national pesos????






Our market friends enjoy clowning around at their stalls – check out the banana horns!!





Cabbages, rice and beans – popular items at the Sunday market



Any time is a good time for a catnap, especially when the sun is out and warms up the tiles on a cool day

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