We awoke to the noise of a Saturday farmers market across the street from our casa which provided many photo opportunities. After an early breakfast we embarked on a boat ride in the Bay of Cienfuegos, a place that figured prominently in the Spanish-American War. The Raid on Cienfuegos in 1898 was intended by the U.S. Navy to tighten its blockade of Cuba by destroying the three undersea communication cables. Only two cables were cut leaving a third untouched as the Marines and sailors withdrew after an hour of fighting. Looking out over Cuba’s largest natural bay it is hard to picture what the battle looked like as today it is a peaceful and beautiful expanse of water. Our boat ride, in a small fishing boat, took us to a small island in the bay inhabited by only a few families whose existence relies mostly on fishing. We wandered around the little island and watched as one of the fishermen gutted and cleaned his catch of mackerel. Another fisherman was inside the house preparing the ingredients for seasoning the fish and then cooking it. We were surprised and delighted when he emerged from the house with a platter of fried fish patties and offered them to us! They were delicious! Once again we were witness to the heart and generosity of the Cuban people – these men did not know us but were open to our photographic intrusion and treated us as friends.
Some days the ocean is just gorgeous and presenting the world with great waves for surfing!