Few words from Montego Bay

The past few days I have been taking it easy. The yacht club here is nice and quiet, good use of internet, my only complaint would be that the showers are cold. But, that is about it.

It has been wet lately, the mornings are a little dryer, but most afternoons gave plenty of showers. Sometimes straight downpours. And, worse is, there has been no wind at all for days. That provides two problems: 1. batteries are not being charged. 2. how will I get the boat moving away from here? Maybe I will have to do some motoring, potentially I would have to motor to Port Antonia (on the northeast point of the island), that would be a few days. For sure I need to fuel up before I do that. It is the rainy season here, but normally they get about one day or rain a week, not like we have right now.

My dinghy is in the water, my mooring ball is very close to the dock, but once you have an outboard you want to use it. Well, these downpours give me a new problem: water in the tank. At least, that is what I think that happens. It will start, run for a little bit, and then stop. I have drained some fuel a few times, and that appears to fix the problem. So, now I am keeping a cover over the outboard when I am not using it (of course, since I started that we have not had any serious rain, just drizzle).

This morning I rode into town, took a little different route and ran into a supermarket. So went in there and stocked up a little, just on whatever I ran into and thought I could use. It us quite a luxury to walk in a well stocket supermarket. Things are not too expensive, maybe about 10% above US level. Back on board I made myself some sandwhiches for lunch (had not been able to make sandwiches in Cuba since they don’t have regular loafs of bread), tasted really good.

After lunch I went back into town, this was my first time down time. Pretty busy (and chaotic) traffic, one way streets and lots of street life. Went to a computer store, and found what I was looking for: a 4 port USB hub. The notebook that I now use (thanks to Mark, who donated, and Maria, who brought it to Cuba) is an older Compaq Armada. It only has 1 USB 1.1 port, but I have a lot of USB devices (wi-fi card, mouse, hard disk, keyboard). So, now I can finally use any of those devices at the same time (well, only the wi-fi card is a bummer, it is wide that it uses one USB port, and blocks the adjacent ports). Still, quite happy with it, and the price was good as well. Think I paid a similar price to what I found it for online ($8).

I still need to write some stories about my stay in Santiago de Cuba, and the trip over here. But, reorganizing the computer has taken a lot of time (I kept on running out of disk space). Maybe later I will be more elaborate, for now a quick enumeration:

  • did a quick visit of the sights of the city
  • rode up Gran Piedra (tough climb, 1100 m high) and broke my shifter (spend an afternoon trying to fix it, but no luck)
  • had a great meal on board the only other boat in the marina: Caminata
  • left Cuba on Saturday afternoon with showers on the horizon
  • had some thunderstorms for the first day to Jamaica, and very little wind, was getting very annoyed with the boat just rolling around on a slow swell
  • Sunday afternoon the wind finally became steady and the overnight sail was ok
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