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Log Date: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Entry By: Cuba Travel Program Staff









 



CREW

CAPTAIN: Eric Ceruto Corzo

CRUISE DIRECTOR: Yemney Amador Legón

ENGINEER: Victor Emerson Emerson

DECK SAILOR: Nowel Chinea

STEWARDESS: Yoisi

CHEFS: Yunior and Lioñar

DIVE MASTERS : Michael, Jannier,(tender1), Jorge, Yoel(tender2)

SKIFF DRIVER: Elvis(tender1), Gualberto(tender2)

 

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Visibility: 85- 100 FT

Water Temp: 84- 85 F

 

DIVE SITES INCLUDING NIGHT DIVE

SUNDAY:

TENDER 1 : Anclitas, Boca de Anclitas

TENDER 2: Boca de Anclitas, Anclitas

 

MONDAY:

TENDER 1 : Peruano, Pipín, Finca de Pepe, Anclitas(night dive)

TENDER 2: La Cana, El Farallón, Peruano, Anclitas(night dive)

 

TUESDAY:

TENDER 1 : Farallón, La Cana, Cueva del Pulpo(night dive)

TENDER 2: Patricia, Pipín, Cueva del Pulpo(night dive)

 

WEDNESDAY:

TENDER 1: Coral Negro, Los Mogotes, Cabezo de la Cubera, La Trampa

TENDER 2: Five Seas, Cabezo de la Cubera, Cabezo de la Raya, Cueva del Pulpo

 

THURSDAY:

TENDER 1 : Five Seas, Boca de Piedra, La Puntica, El Intermedio

TENDER 2: Coral Negro II, Los Mogotes, La Puntica, Finca de Pepe

 

FRIDAY:

TENDER 1: Caballones, Patricia

TENDER 2: Vicente, Pius Reef

 

ACTIVITIES OF THE WEEK

MONDAY: Slides shows between dives.

                    Movie played at nights.

TUESDAY: After lunchtime a lecture with the O.F.Y representative Tony.

                    Mangrove tour way to Boca de Piedra way to Chanel.

                    Snorkel in the Elkhorns Reef.

                    Snorkel in Mangroves.

                    Visit to the Beach for seeing Jutias and Iguanas.

WEDNESDAY: Snorkel with the Crocs
                      O.F.Y. Presentation after lunchtime.

THURSDAY: Pilot house and engine room after last dives.

                        Cocktail Party at 5:00 pm

                        Premier of the Video of the Week

FRIDAY: O.F.Y. Presentation after lunch.

 

STORIES OF THE WEEK

SATURDAY: Our divers arrived at different times, two of them at 1:00 pm, most of them around 7:30 pm, and others at 9:45 pm, this time we had a whole group of 24. Dinner was ready and all of them ate well, after dinner we had a peculiar irregularity, I suppose because of they started to drink Mojitos very early in the afternoon, but we played some music for them and all of them started dancing, was really fun, and crew danced also.

They all went to bed right after the two last clients arrived to the port. They loved the huge live aboard boat.

 

SUNDAY: Really alive boat this week, at full of capacity, and the wake up time was at 6:30am, same time that we started sailing the boat way to Caballones Chanel, one of the chanels  which constitute Jardines de la Reina, and our first stop. While underway General Briefing took place, arrival time 11:30 am, and after lunchtime the main deck briefing and first dive at 2:00 pm in Anclitas. They were anxious. Night was quiet but a little bit windy, rain was present for few minutes and then just stoped, it was not a problem for using the hot tub, something that they really enjoy. Actually they have a routine, dive, snack, hot tub, dive, etc.

 

MONDAY:  All 24 expert divers into the water this week. Adjectives such as beautiful, amazing, perfect, extraordinary, incredible, were heard in the main deck while they were arriving from tenders and meet again the all 24 in the mothership. They were happy about dives, and loved the idea of night dives. They just can not describe dives, they are like astonish when they came back from water, but that is what diving here results. Many sharks in the water, big all of hem, and for those whom are not used to, is extremely exciting being into the water surrounded by more tan 10 silky an Caribbean reef sharks. At night bad weather was approaching and was raining, just like last night, but was just local storm.

When they came back from night dive, they found onboard the boat, a happiest dancing crew ever, also hot chocolate with Cuban Rum Havana Club Añejo 7 años, and hot towels, something they really appreciated and loved.

 

TUESDAY: Some of them even saw an octopus in the very first dive this morning, was incredible, this is something really rare to see, Octopus are mollusks with eight sucker-bearing arms, a soft saclike body, strong beaklike jaws, and no internal shell really difficult to find at daylight, they mostly appeared at nights when there are more food available for them. After lunch we received a lecture by Tony, the O.F.Y representative, he explained the importance of the biodiversity record we are working at the whole time, all of them are truly interested  in this, actually they counts the different species all the time, even those we do not ask for it. This group of divers are very interested in diving, they very enthusiastic, and their concern for the ocean is authentic. They wanted to do many things at the time, they even sacrificed the afternoon dive for having more activities, they said that just a week is not enough for seeing all in Jardines de la Reina, and it is truth, many wonder to know and few time for doing it.

Mangrove tour on tender at high speed, exciting race, snorkel in elkhorns sanctuary, snorkel in mangroves, and the visit to the beach for seeing Jutias and Iguanas were the activities this afternoon. They were happy about it and they dont felt tired at all.

We moved the boat to Boca de Piedra Chanel, we are running from bad weather and looking for more dives with sharks, and also offering dives variety to our clients. Night dive in Cueva del Pulpo was a complete success, second this week and for sure not the last one.

 

WEDNESDAY: Beautiful morning, perfect sunrise, everyone ready on time and tenders departed to the different dive sites. Plans of the day were told since last night and all of them were anxious for visiting the croc. The dive masters, all of them with several years of experience here in Jardines, are in charge not only of the safety of the divers but also they have to let clients know the dangers of snorkel with this wild animal that looks like a pet when he comes to our call, but it is not.

On the way to the second dive we visited the lagoon were El Niño lives, it is located in Boca de Piedra, among a maze of shallow water small channels where only the tenders can enter; but our friend wasnt there. We kept trying during the whole day without luck. Special Grill Night that they enjoyed very much with HUGE GRILL LOBSTERS accompanied for butter and garlic, dinner at buffet style and the table looked amazing, they took pictures and forgot the time while were eating, all the food was excellent and the variety let them speechless. A homemade heavy milk liqueur was a new drink we offered them, they had never tasted anything like it. Guests applauded the chefs wildly, they really appreciated the effort of the chefs and the full-time commitment of all the crew.  They spent a nice night.

 

THURSDAY: Breakfast ready at their wakeup and very tasty as always. Our main goal today was find the croc, but first we went to dive at 8:00 am, Five Seas and Los Mogotes were the site dives they enjoyed he most. In five seas they entered in a cave were they found a huge school of glassfish and tarpons, they saw a turtle that was just curious about them and they took so many photos that sometimes some of them forgot swimming. And on the other hand they swam with so many sharks that were in a rare ecstasy of joy, at least more than 20 sharks swimming around them, all over the place, there was not an empty space with no sharks, was awesome.

Once we finished our first dive, both tenders were together looking for El Niño, that means The Boy, finally we found it and came closer when we call it. It is a large predatory semiaquatic reptile with long jaws, long tail, short legs, and a horny textured skin. We can never forget its a big and strong animal, it looks harmless but we never know. Though the croc is used to people and tenders and chicken legs, and he can be friendly and only pay attention to an opportunity to eat the chicken leg that he knows is its reward, we have to be clear in something, it is a reptile and uses submersion and stealth to approach prey unseen, so he is cautions and fast, and territorial. Each diver is responsible of themselves once the dive master gave the rules to follow, and discipline is crucial for avoiding accidents all the time, and this time our dive masters told them all the risk of being in the water. More than 13 people went into the water with the croc, not at once of course, all of them kept a responsible attitude and everything went well. They were very happy about it, some of them proud of themselves, others satisfied with their photographies, and the majority happiest than ever because they had come specially for living this experience.

 

FRIDAY:  Only two dives this morning, the mood of the group was just fine, the last two dives, but their enthusiasm doesnt decreased, wonderful dives, they saw a big Huksbill and a 300 pounds Goliath grouper whom were swimming with us all the time, was funny to see how this huge grouper was interested in every thing our dive master Michael pointed with his finger, even more than us. All of them were happy about the week and so we.