Sunday, November 23, 2014

Rescuing Cubans and Giving Thanks




I guess I should warn you
dear reader...
this is going to be a lengthy post...










so you might want to get that libation and snack
before you get too comfortably settled in..
as I share the last of my travelogue photos with you...


A cruise is supposed to be
relaxing...
peaceful..
quiet..
kinda boring... 




Water color sketch, titled Rain, Caterina Giglio



but our cruise was rather exciting...

the first day at sea,
we were waiting for room service to
bring us coffee...







sitting on our veranda
we noticed that we were sailing in the wrong direction...
well, one of us noticed...
I was blissfully unaware... 
until he told me...








disconcerting right?





Watercolor sketch, Sea, Caterina Giglio





we had no message from the Captain..
also disconcerting...
we were traveling east and we should have been sailing south...








suddenly we heard shouting..
the other passengers on their verandas were shouting
and waving at something in the sea...






Watercolor sketch Waterside II, Caterina Giglio


we could vaguely make out
a brown speck in the vast blue water..
but with our binoculars we could see...








a raft like vessel..
with people in the boat..
and some appeared to be in the water and holding on to the sides of 
the raft..








It was hard to make out the details,
but there were several people...
and it was clear that either a boat had sunk
or these were Cubans
who were trying to get to 
Key West 
and the current was taking them in the wrong direction...





Shimmer, watercolor, Caterina Giglio 




Soon we heard from the Captain
that we were obligated by duty to rescue anyone stranded
at sea and they had been following the "raft" since
5 am that morning...
The United States Coast Guard had been notified...








and the Captain was awaiting their orders...








eventually we scooped them up out of the sea...




Clouds, watercolor sketch, Caterina Giglio




we heard from our Maitre'D
Igor that evening at dinner, that there were







12 Cubans crammed into plastic rafts..
he said they looked like toy rafts, tied together
with a board...




Watercolor sketch, Flow, Caterina Giglio




there wasn't enough room for everyone in the raft
so some had to get in the water
and hold on...
taking their chances with the sharks...











Igor said that the refugees
asked for asylum as they were brought aboard.
all their belongings, food and clothing were soaked
with sea water..
Igor had tears in his eyes as he told us about the pitiful sight..

this Maitre'D who works everyday
for 6 months at a time before he sees
his family again...
felt so thankful 
for his beautiful life...
He put his hand on his heart,
and said
"We are so blessed"











Oh 
Yes, 

WE are..



I will leave you to have a beautiful week...
and I will return after the holiday...


I give thanks for all of you..
dear readers, gentle followers...
kind collectors, fellow friends and
artists...


Ciao, Ciao!





24 comments:

Jo Murray said...

An absorbing and moving post. We ARE fortunate.

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

What a perfect ending to a rather dangerous event ... we are all truly blessed. Love your journal and all your photos! Happy Holidays!

Caterina Giglio said...

Jo, you are SO right, blessed we are!!

Caterina Giglio said...

Mary Ann.. It was very harrowing.. We didn't know for quite a while.. And then when we did know.. We were concerned that we couldn't reach them in time.. But yes intended very well!

suziqu's thread works said...

Oh those poor Cubans! I would have been so distressed knowing how they were clinging for dear life - it would have been almost impossible for me to focus on anything else.
Your photos and water colour paintings are so beautiful.
What an amazing venture!

Caterina Giglio said...

Suzi.. So true.. It was excruciating waiting for them to be rescued.. We were so concerned, everyone waited and watched until they were rescued.. Thanks, so much.. The sketches were fun..

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What stunning watercolor paintings and objects gathered from your trip. This story comes at the absolute perfect time. We should all give thanks how fortunate we are and how our rights are often taken for granted. We don't have to worry about trying to escape our country. We can leave any time we choose, and return any time we choose. Yes, we are THANKFULLY blessed.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, dear Cat.

layers said...

What a sad story... glad they were rescued. Have a wonderful week after your little adventure.

lynne h said...

beautiful paintings, photos, and story, cat... thank you.

i dearly love your paintings and *what* kind of book did you paint them in?!!

happy thanksgiving sweet woman...

xoxo

audrey said...

Watching something like that on TV is one thing, but to witness it in real life had to be heart wrenching.
I hope your Thanksgiving will be happy and blessed.
xo

Caterina Giglio said...

E, it was an amazing trip, thanks for the nice remarks about the sketches... and you are so right, we do take it all for granted... They were sent back to Cuba, but given a hot meal, and warm jump suits and a place to sleep before being handed off to authorities... we are so very blessed and I give thanks for YOU! x

Caterina Giglio said...

Donna, yes, very sad, especially since they will not know freedom. Fortunately none of them died, so they will probably try again... it is interesting living in a border state.. Have a beautiful Thanksgiving...

Caterina Giglio said...

lynnie, it was a handmade book a friend gave to me, I will try to find out what it was, the paper is amazing, she decorated the cover with tissue, paint and fleurs, so I do not know what it was, I will try to share it with you... have a lovely week dear friend... I give thanks for you... xoxo

Caterina Giglio said...

Audrey, I can convey the stress of watching it all unfold. We came close enough to count the individuals, but I could not see if they were male, female and/or if children were involved. We had concerns about sharks picking them off before we could actually get permission to get them. It was tense and everything else pretty much stopped until we had them on board. It was a great celebration when we got them! xo

Linda said...

An amazing experience. Thankfully it wasn't worse! Your photos and sketches are gorgeous.

lynne h said...

thank you, cat... your paintings are soooo sweet on that gorgeous paper!!

love....

Caterina Giglio said...

Linda .. Thank you.. And thanks for stopping by..

NuminosityBeads said...

What an amazing experience watching that must have been watching it unfold! I'm happy that that things turned out well for the rescue. A poignant post. Nice to see your sweet journaling as well.

Caterina Giglio said...

Well...lynne.. She doesn't know the name of the company, but she bought it at Michaels, and it was a brown cover with watercolor paper. It is hand stitched.. And is now coming apart.. Because I have thrashed it of course. That probably isn't much help, but I will look for you next time I am in town.. Xox

Caterina Giglio said...

Hi Kimberly.. Yes, it turned out well.. Of course the refugees will be returned to Cuba, so I don't know how it will turn out for them.. But we felt good knowing they were not lost at sea.. And thank you, the journal was a lovely gift.. It is fun to work with.. Xo

Seth said...

Your story captured me Cat, especially when contrasted with your beautiful and serene images in between the words.

Caterina Giglio said...

Seth, thank you... it was harrowing, and I hoped to temper it a bit..

lynne h said...

cat, thank you for the info! i'll check out michaels the next time i'm near one. i think it may be made by 'global arts'... they make books that have that kind of paper and brown covers - but i've never seen that size.

xoxo

Wendy Watson said...

Can I just hope, that after all their travails, they are granted a little mercy and are welcomed in, but their chances of that are very slim . . . too sad.

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