Travels2012-13 Germany Cozumel Roatan Cozumel (Feb) Cuba Akumal

Cuba

March 19-26, 2013

Breezes’ Jibacoa

We escaped just before a late-winter storm hit Nova Scotia, much to our delight. Our destination was Cuba and this was the first time we had been. We selected the Breezes’ Jibacoa resort primarily because we saw a number of reports indicating excellent snorkelling. We select destinations that have both good snorkelling and good diving, but the weather conspired against the snorkelling in both Roatan and Cozumel. Diving was uncertain. The dive shop at the resort was reported closed, although few details were available. The is a dive shop at the adjacent resort, Villas Jibacoa, that looked possible. However, no one answered email requests for information. When we arrived I went looking for the neighbouring dive shop and found it, but it was closed. I returned the following morning and again found it closed, but on my way over I saw divers in the water by the Breezes’ dive shop. Upon enquiry I learned that I could do some shore diving with the dive master, Andre. I set up my first dive for Wednesday, March 20, at noon and had a dive then and for the next three days. Although shallow, 13m maximum, there was a lot of sea life. I did not see any large marine life; no southern stingrays, no eagle rays, no sharks or barracuda. There were lots of highhats, scorpionfish, golden and spotted moray eels. When the boat is back in service, the dive centre will have access to 14 dive sites with a much greater range of depths and more diverse environments. It sounds like something worth checking out. For some reason, my underwater flash failed to turn on and although I tried new batteries, nothing solved the problem. The result is that all my pictures this time are without the flash and the result is less crips pictures and poorer colour. None the less, the marine life was interesting enough that I do have a few to share and they are available here. On the last day before we were to head home and after all my diving, I again tried the flash unit and it behaved normally. I don’t know what to expect now. While walking back from the unsuccessful attempt to connect with the adjacent dive shop we were wonderfully surprised to see our good friends Fred and Sarita walking toward us on the beach. We had talked about the possibility of them joining us, but had heard nothing more and assumed it had not been possible for them to get away. What a treat! The resort was excellent and worth a return visit. The staff were friendly, the food was very nice, the landscaping very enjoyable, the beach inviting and the room comfortable. We did take a trip into Habana on Friday, March 22. We hired a cab, a 1956 Chevrolet BelAir and guide, Kenia (on the far left in the picture that also shows Sarita and Fred by the cab in front of the resort). We spent a very enjoyable afternoon and evening in Old Habana. We had great mojitos at the hotel where Ernest Hemingway stayed while in Cuba. It was quite amusing; I had seven or eight people comment that I looked like Hemingway. Unfortunately that didn’t get me a free drink. We also stopped at a Habana micro-brewery and had a late afternoon pint. We finished the night with a stop at the huge statue of Jesus across the harbour from the old city which was a beautiful panorama before us. I think it’s safe to say, we will likely return to Cuba, and probably the Breezes’ Jibacoa resort.
Cuba