Cuban Key of Hope: Marquesa
Today’s trip was a couple hours west of Key West, to a mangrovey (is that a word?) key called Marquesa. On the way, Lindsay mentioned that we would mostly see Cuban refugee detritus. I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder what it was like to make landfall in the USA, knowing you are saved.” Then I saw this cloud. Imagine being a Cuban, seasick and scared that the US Coast Guard can intercept you and send you back to Cuba. Imagine seeing these rainbows and knowing your dream of being washed up on land was going to come true.
It’s about 90 miles to Cuba from here. Obviously, these folks made it.
We only visited about 25% of the Marquesa Key. Lindsay shot these photos as I drove the dinghy around in about two feet of water. It was high tide.
We noticed a trend in the Cuban vessel construction.
Although they were made from different materials…..
They all had enough “feedback” from others who made it to add a ring of flotation around the outside of their boats.
Although this one did not have signs of a float ring, it was most definitely a horrible ride with that flat bottom.
This one looks pretty recent, and you can see the canvas tarp they used to hold anything that floats to the outside of the boat, just in case they took on water.
Here are the new owners of a wooden hull. One Laughing Gull and some terns. I forget what kind they are. Peter? Will you tell me again? Okay, Peter told me the one on the left is a Royal Tern, and the others look like Least Terns.
This one shows the US Coast Guard tagged it with a sign that was dated. The ink was completely gone, so we can’t tell how long ago this brought new people to our country. We were suprised the boats were just left to degrade here, in a nature preserve.
Just imagine what it must have felt like to have your dream to be washed up in America. I can. Can you?