Cayo Largo, Cuba

Feb 15, 2018 - Harmony V


This morning the white sandy beach of Cayo Largo was our jumping off point for the day.  Sea turtles nest along these beaches and sometimes need a little assistance.  For a number of reasons, the nestlings can be put at risk, either during the incubation period, or upon hatching.  We visited the Rescue Center for Sea Turtles.  Leonardo Valido oriented us on the natural history of the green and leatherback sea turtles.  There were pens with eggs incubating, pools with tiny turtles, and larger pools with larger turtles, all to be released back into the wild.  What started as a small park with no permanent funding has grown to what we saw today, although they are still dependent upon donations to support their work.  

Next to the center was a different facility.  This was to take care of the human inhabitants and visitors to Cayo Largo.  Here the Chief of Nurses, Judith Peña, introduced us to the medical facility and the commitment these professionals have with multiple years of education to become qualified medical nurses and doctors.  The facility has a dentist, labs and the ability to take x-rays.  Their rotation on the island is 20 days on and then they ferry back to their homes for 10 days.

For the remainder of the morning we had the option to enjoy the sun, sand and waters of the Cayo.  Carlos, our undersea specialist, took a handful of guests out to snorkel amongst the coral reef and the colorful and varied denizens that call it home.  Sightings included blue tang, barracuda and a look at a nurse shark!

The music of Cuba has been a constant companion through our voyage and this afternoon Jacob Edgar presented “African Religious Expression in the Music of Cuba.”  The various threads that have been plucked from a variety of cultures has made Cuban music the national treasure it is today.

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About the Author

Linda Burback

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Born in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, Linda and her Air Force family moved extensively throughout the U.S. when she was a child. Linda continues to travel and explore a broader spectrum of the world as a naturalist with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. Linda earned her B.Sc. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1985 and worked with this degree in the commercial cactus industry for sixteen years.

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