April 10, 2010
Paso Boca Chica, Cuba
Dear Carole and Daniel & Vincent & Philippe:
Hello from Meredith. We last crossed wake at Baie de Nuevista. Sadly we did not get a photograph of the guys holding the two fish you caught on the way from Puerto Padre. They were BIG. In fact they were so big they made us wonder if we wanted to fish any more. We might catch one!!!! And then what would we do.
Even sadder was that you gave the fish to Joana. We think they ate it. Our fish!!! What an outrage.
Even sadder, for you, is that the bottle of wine and bar of chocolate we had to pass to Magie as you passed Meredith is no longer. We were so sad about no fish we drank the wine and ate the chocolate. It helped.
It was very nice to travel with you. You have the best idea. No contract and lots of fun when we meet. That said we hope to meet again. Just for fun. Maybe we have another bottle of wine. Do you have another fish? We think so.
As for your sons. If we are ever going to catch a fish we believe we need either Vincent or Philippe on our boat. Maybe both.
So work out a price and we will rent these fish magnets from you for a while. If they are lucky they will catch girls the way they catch fish. Somehow we think there will be no trouble.
Have a great trip. Hope to see you again.
Bob and Connie
Magie was the first boat we met in Cuba. They provided information about procedures and a place for the Budget Committee to relax while I completed paperwork with customs in Puerto de Vita. Daniel and Carole are a lively quick witted pair with a ready laugh. Their two boys aged 10 and 13 are fishermen supreme. When we first met the boat the youngest, Philippe showed us a picture of a 50 pound Tuna he and another boy caught. Fish was bigger than boy. Seeing this picture the Budget Committee grabbed Philippe and escorted him to our boat so he could advise her on what we were doing wrong.
Up til then it had been my opinion that we were doing everything right. We had not caught a fish. That was the point. What on earth would we do if something actually swallowed our hook.
Magie left Vita only minutes ahead of Meredith. We passed them a couple of hours later and traded quips about fishing. Magie had already caught dinner!
Next day we all weighed anchor from the same anchorage and again we baited Magie about fishing.
That night as Magie came into Puerto Neuvista just behind us we asked if they had had any luck. "Oh yes" said Daniel.
"We caught two. Would you like some, we cannot eat it all."
Ignoring the inherent braggadocio in the offer we quickly agreed. Magie infomed us that they preffered to anchor further up the entrance that we had but that they would drop off some fish on the way by. First they executed a victory sailpast.
As they came by our beam there stood Daniel with two of the biggest damn fish I have ever seen. He stood holding the tails at the level of his armpits. Their snouts or whatever fish have on the front of their faces barely cleared the deck of his boat. His arms shook with the effort of holding so much seaweight.
Sailpast done it was time for delivery of the fresh fish to Meredith. Not so easily accomplished. The wind was blowing and there was current. The Budget Committee put a bottle of our best red wine in a grocery bag together with our last bar of really fine chocolate. This she draped over the end of a boat hook to extend to Magie. The idea was that we would pass the wine and chocolate to Magie as they motored by and Magie would return the fish. Neither boat would have to get close to the other.
Then into the pool of ointment entered the fly. "Don't do that" came a radio call from another boat anchored close by to us. "We will drop our dinghy in the water and motor out to get the packages for you". Magie readily agreed to this and we accepted the graceful offer. The other boat was crewed by an ex Canadian army couple who had shown themselves to be very sharing and willing to assist almost anyone.
Or so we thought.
For some reason the dinghy would not launch. Instead of having Magie come up to our boat the other boat had Magie come up to them and pass them the fish. OUR fish!!
That was the whole story. Except that half an hour later the other boat radioed to tell us they were eating their fish just then but it was impossible to get our fish to us because the current was too strong and they could not dinghy over to us.
We would have believed them if the Guarda Frontera had not just rowed his dinghy 2 1/2 miles from the Guarda station to our boat so he could check our papers. The Guarda was 65 if he was a day.
Do you remember when Toronto had the big snow storm and the Canadian Army was called to help. I wonder. Did anyone in Toronto count their streetcars after the army left?
Maybe they should have. :)
Fishless in Neuvista.