Barefoot in the Caribbean. We are on vacation with the children again. Well, „children“ does not exactly meet the point. Leon is already 22 and Henry 19 years old. At that age, holidays with parents are usually not popular anymore, unless maybe, you offer the right destination. Of course, sailing in the Caribbean to the offshore islands is tempting – even if with your parents. One word was enough and both were immediately enthusiastic about joining the MARLIN. And we didn’t regret the decision. Sailing with skipper can be critical and sharing a boat with others does not necessarily work well. Space is limited on a boat and sometimes it is not possible to get out quickly. These concerns were completely unfounded on the MARLIN. Skipper Micha made short and precise briefings and included the young men right away. Everyone had his tasks and knew his responsibilities. Michael and the boys developed a good bond, which the boys really enjoyed. Not only during sailing, also in the harbour, where he showed them Cuban life style at a party, where people were shaking their hips to Cuban music. Only that the Cubans looked probably far more elegant.
On board there is always a lot to do, but lying on the beach, watching starfish in shallow warm water and simply enjoying dreaming was no problem at all. The rhythm was ours, the rhythm oft he crew. Micha just took it easy. He helped and gave recommendation, if needed, but left us to do his stuff, while we were having fun. Only later, via the blog, we found out about all the work and repair, he had done, while we were enjoying our holidays. But of course, we also liked to help, when we could. After a little instruction, also the sailing worked better and better. Everybody was relaxed, and if we only started sailing at noon – so what? We are on holiday and somehow everybody shared this point of view. But we still have to talk about the best part oft he trip. Sorry MARLIN, it’s not you, even though, you are a great ship with plenty of space, fast, absolutely safe with comfortable bunks and great performance… A boat to fall in love with, a boat you never want to leave.
But the best part oft he trip were the places Michael showed us with great knowledge. Turquoise warm water, snorkeling and discovering the underwater world, the finest white sand beach you can imagine and especially the Cuban lifestyle- visiting the people at the lighthouse or going on an expedition with the Island Rangers in search of crocodiles and monkeys. Also the coconuts, which are refined with a hint of rum were always to our liking.
In the Cuban supermarkets with the empty shelves and poor selection we have experienced the other side of Cuba. Luxury, as in Western countries, does not exist here. Everything can be used and for example the old decommissioned battery will quickly find a new owner and live a long life. In spite of the “poverty”, there was never anything missing. Poverty is also relative: little consumption goods, but a lot of time for oneself and others. Relaxed lifestyle without hectic – Cuba is rich in it – less is more, was our lesson, we learned. Freshly caught fish from the fish cutter, swapped for rum was served deliciously in fine herbs. And those who have not tasted lobster a`la Micha, have not eaten lobster. Kitchen work was shared, everyone was allowed to cook, but the skipper’s skills were particularly good. Days flew by far to fast. 2 weeks were definitely to short to experience the real rhythm of life on board and relax. A good start, but definitely to short. Personally, I am looking forward to the Atlantic passage in the winter to Brazil, If the skipper is going to let me join him. There are only hand-picked guests on board. That’s good, too. It is not to easy to find the right matching guests. In our case, it was just right. Our boys are still enthusing about the great time on board and great holiday with maximum relaxation and experience. And whenever we miss our time on Marlin, the blog entries and pictures help us remembering!