Liz's Journal - Cayo Avalos to Rosario (Cuba)

Page 17

In the 1500's a Spanish Fleet was wrecked five miles of Cayo Avalos. After hundreds of years, the Silver ingots were broken out of the ships hull and lost forever. Salvage rules in Cuba are very strict so in another hundred years the ship will still be there. We moved the boat around closer to the reef so when we departed in the morning we could clear the reef in full daylight. But before we left dad made a joke and gave me his spear gun and told me to go snorkel and get dinner, half and hour later I came back in the dingy, two beautiful hog fish on the end of my spear.

Spear fishing is actually not very easy, you have to drop your gun, wait a few seconds until it hits the bottom and the fish have got used to it, hold your breath dive down and wait for a fish. If you get a big one it is actually very dangerous for the fish can dive under a rock and you can't pull it out. By this time you really need air so what do you do. Drop the gun and go for air, and probably lose your fish and the gun, or you can push it a little longer (very dangerous) I did a combination of both, I hooked the rope around my ankle and went for air, my mouth just managing to get a breath before I got pulled under again. I went home to a very proud dad.

I was in my usual seat at the navigation station shouting depths while dad was standing at the pulpit-guiding mom where to steer the boat. I heard the familiar clunk of the engine being put into neutral and the rattle of the anchor chain running into the water. I run up stairs and had a look at the bay that surrounded us.

The wind was blowing slightly and white horses lapped the side of the boat. As usual dad and I jumped into the water to check the anchor. We dragged a little and in the upturned sea bead I found a dead Kings Helmet conch shell. I put it in my bathing suit for I would need both hands and all my strength to help dad dig the anchor deep into the ground. When we were safely anchored mom jumped into the water and the three of us swam to the nearest coral head. Mom with her good eyes found two sea biscuits and four Kings Helmets. The wind died down as the day went on and by evening the shells were clean of all growth and were set out to dry.