A Travellerspoint blog

February 2013

Cuban sunsets

26 February 2013

sunny 85 °F

stairs to the beach

stairs to the beach

Girl scout beach

Girl scout beach

final moments of the day

final moments of the day


waiting for the sun to set

waiting for the sun to set


After I finished work today Curt and I spent some time lounging on girl scout beach. We tried to snorkel but the the visibility was too poor.
One of my favorite things to do while he was here is watch the sunsets. Unfortunately there was someone else on the beach today and she chased one of the iguanas away with a stick when it got near her. But despite that even the iguanas made it special.
iguana on the beach

iguana on the beach

iguana prints

iguana prints

peek a boo

peek a boo


After the sunset mission we went to the Jamaican jerk house for dinner. What it amounts to is a window where you can order jerk chicken, pork or ribs. Then you go to the next window to pick up your food. The seating is outside which is fine since it is warm here but sometimes a big buggy. Curt's next experience was the movies. Each night of the week there are first run movies playing at an outdoor theater. We usually take our camp chairs and it brings back memories of the drive in. Tonight the movie was Broken City.

Posted by ErinDriver 10:19 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

Ridgeline Trail

25 February 2013

sunny 85 °F

Monday through Friday this week I worked in the morning but luckily the doctor I work with let me have the afternoons to spend with Curt. Today we went hiking on the Ridgeline Trail. GTMO has a series of hiking trails but his one is basically 2.5 miles out and back and you can see down on most of the island. I have heard of people seeing snakes up there but in the heat of the day even they had more sense than to be out and about.
which way to go

which way to go


Trail guide

Trail guide


Ridgeline Trail

Ridgeline Trail

Golf Course

Golf Course

brown iguana

brown iguana

beautiful view

beautiful view


After another rest we went to one of the beaches to have a picnic. Cable beach was a nice spot to finish out the day. Since my Dad is retiring from work in a few days we had some cheese and crackies to honor him!
sunset at the beach

sunset at the beach


for Dad

for Dad

Posted by ErinDriver 10:07 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

Curt visits Cuba

23 and 24 February 2013

sunny 83 °F

Somehow the star all aligned and Curt got off the airplane in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for a visit. So many things could have gone wrong but lucky for us he snagged one of the space A seats for $16.90 and appeared before me.
The rules of the island require us to rent a room when we have visitors because everyone here has a roommate. I rented a place in the neighborhood called East Caravella. They are town houses basically which have two rooms for rent. YOu can either rent both the rooms or live with the chance that someone else might rent the other room and therefore share the rest of the house. I rented both rooms.
The flights don't come in to Cuba until around 1130 so we had most of the afternoon to register Curt at the dive shop, hit lunch at subway and check out the navy exchange. When we finally got to the house there was an iguana waiting to welcome Curt :)
iguana tongue

iguana tongue


Reach for it

Reach for it


iguana snacks

iguana snacks


Dinner was at my friend and dive master, Keiths house. Curt got to meet the people I have been diving with here over a steak dinner. Now he is ready for tomorrow.
Cusco Beach

Cusco Beach


us on Cusco Beach

us on Cusco Beach

the crag

the crag


THe dive for Sunday was on Cusco Beach - one I have not been to yet. The beach has a locked gait and only a Colonel or above can unlock it. I guess it helps keep the area protected. We did a couple of fast and furious dives but I feel like the visibilty was not the greatest. At any rate for Curt to get to do his only dives on that beach was pretty special.
Curt in Cuba

Curt in Cuba


Curt diving in Cuba

Curt diving in Cuba


Diving together again

Diving together again

regrowing coral

regrowing coral


The Bayview is sort of a restaurant that has brunch on sunday mornings so we fortified ourselves on omelets while looking over the bay.

I have decided since arriving the diving requires a certain amount of fitness that you really have to work up to. We aren't there yet so after the dive we took naps. We never really got going again after that either, spending the rest of the day lounging.

Posted by ErinDriver 09:48 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

Is that a shrimp?

17 Feb 2013

overcast 80 °F

shrimp

shrimp


I think this is a picture of a shrimp. All I could see were some white tentacles coming out of the rock.
crab carcass

crab carcass


The boat dive we did today had a really strong current and the visibility was not very good.
coral pot

coral pot


coral brain

coral brain

:)
Keith, our master diver got four lion fish.
master killer

master killer

Posted by ErinDriver 10:57 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

Critters of the Clinic

9 Feb 2013

sunny 80 °F

The Joint Troop Clinic here in GTMO is open on Saturday morning and last saturday I was the provider working. I brought my camera to try to capture our little mascots and found much more to photo.
Joint Troop Clinic

Joint Troop Clinic


First thing was this huge green bug waiting on the sidewalk.
Green bug

Green bug


Then right next to the door handle was this little guy.
stick bug

stick bug


The worst part is this spider was on the door ......on the inside.
huge spider

huge spider


These creatures were all extras. There are a set of two lizards that hang out right outside the clinic. I find them interesting because they curl their tails at the end. The seemed content to participate in the photo shoot.
Curly tail mascot

Curly tail mascot


battle buddies

battle buddies


Whatch you doin

Whatch you doin


peek a boo

peek a boo


As I was leaving this big iguana was pulling up to the clinic. They are found all over the island and there is actually a $10,000 fine for messing with them.
big boy iguana

big boy iguana


These two I always seen in the same spot on my way home from work.
such a cute couple

such a cute couple

Posted by ErinDriver 14:11 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

Settling in to Cuba

January - mid February 2013

sunny 85 °F

Today starts week 8 in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba which has become my favorite duty station ever.
My house Windward Loop 5A

My house Windward Loop 5A


I live in Windward Loop which is a neighborhood with mostly officer housing. They are like town houses so 2 people live on each half of the house. I have a roommate now that I barely see because she has a fiance that is here in another building. She is part of the Puerto Rican National Guard so she is leaving in March.
buzzards

buzzards


One of the first mornings I was here I looked out the window to see these buzzards on the basketball backboard. They are all over the island. THere is something here called a banana rat - it is much more like a possum but they are all over and hit on the road a lot. I guess it is good the buzzards are here to clean them up.
growing coral

growing coral


The work weeks are like any other and the weekends are filled with mostly diving. The PA that I replaced was roommates with a master diver so I fell into their dive group. I have been told that Hurricane Sandy devistated the coral. Everything is very brown and broken but you can see where things are trying to grow back.
sea turtle

sea turtle


ray

ray


purple coral

purple coral


storming the beach

storming the beach


Looks like the northern US right now

Looks like the northern US right now


lobster

lobster


fan coral

fan coral


boat dive

boat dive


Queen conch

Queen conch


One dive we happended across a grass bed and hit the motherload of shells. You can get one queen conch each when they are in season. THe dive master showed me how to get the critter out and there is a guy here who will clean the shell for you. Later in the week I got to experience conch soup from the shell critters.
killing lionfish

killing lionfish


My fellow divers spend a lot of their time spear fishing so fresh seafood is on the menu most saturday nights. They kill a lot of lionfish because just like everywhere else they destroy the coral.
Ridgeline Trail

Ridgeline Trail


I also did a 10 mile trail run that if it were 26 miles would have been harder than Antarctica. There is not a straight and flat bit of road here in Cuba and worse yet this run was on the trails. I made it and got a shirt and that is about all I can say about it.
kayaking in Cuba

kayaking in Cuba


Another weekend we went on a kayaking trip with MWR. The hour long tour went through a patch of mangroves that gave a lot of people a hard time.
kayaking thru mangroves

kayaking thru mangroves


Needless to say my tan is improving here and the sun keeps me supplied with Dopamine. Now we just need to get Curt and the girls here too. After all Emma does love fish!

Posted by ErinDriver 13:47 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

Northeast Gate Tour

15 February 2013

sunny 85 °F

North East Gate

North East Gate


The marines provide about the only tourist attraction on the island of GTMO. Every third friday they pack a bunch of people in some dusty old buses and open the barriers to allow access to the Northeast gate. Marines of course still man the posts but the majority of personnel on the island never have access to this area.
cut water line

cut water line


There are a few interesting things to see like where the water lines were cut to prove America was not stealing water from the Cubans.
hangar torment

hangar torment


The story of the hanger on the fenceline is that the Marines would be in the adjacent building trying to sleep and the cubans would throw hangers on the fenceline that would make a ton of noise when it was windy and keep the marines awake.
almost in Cuba

almost in Cuba


It is interesting to be this close to another country but not actually able to cross the line and go in.
Another north gate view

Another north gate view


North East Gate Watch Tower

North East Gate Watch Tower


Republica de Cuba

Republica de Cuba


resting on razor wire

resting on razor wire


the fenceline

the fenceline


The long road back

The long road back

Posted by ErinDriver 13:48 Archived in Cuba Comments (0)

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