Free­dom to roam

Yachting World - - Front Page -

Once checked in we had a lit­tle more free­dom to roam. We were given per­mis­sion to cruise the Jar­dines de la Reine, an ex­ten­sive coral reef sys­tem fur­ther east. There are no per­ma­nent set­tle­ments, just coral, man­groves and per­fect white beaches. The near­est town is 80 miles away so self-suf­fi­ciency is es­sen­tial and we be­came heav­ily re­liant on our wa­ter­maker. In four days’ cruis­ing we saw only three yachts and a fleet of iden­ti­cal, grey fish­ing boats which looked straight out of the USSR. We were all shel­ter­ing from a strong north east­erly in Cayo Cuervo, a huge circular is­land with ex­cel­lent shel­ter in­side.

As soon as the wind dropped we set off for Cayo

Al­go­don Grande. It was poorly charted so the dinghy went ahead and found a deep wa­ter chan­nel into a man­grove­fringed la­goon. Once in­side we had per­fect soli­tude and set about ex­plor­ing. The pi­lot guide men­tioned a mile long dinghy chan­nel to an aban­doned hol­i­day camp. Neal re­turned af­ter an hour. “It’s more of a ditch than a chan­nel,” he re­ported. It had clearly silted up since Nigel Calder was writ­ing 20 years ago. There wasn’t much left of the re­sort, just a few lumps of con­crete, but there was a beau­ti­ful windswept coral beach.

We made it ashore for sun­down­ers and started fer­ry­ing

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.