Days 1-3 – NS Guantanamo Bay: Small dinosaurs and blue waters

I am working on a new/different phone right now, and it is mystifying me a bit – Android (don’t like it much) – but I’ve been taking some photos of the sights and sites at the base here in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. There are certain things and certain directions I’ve been told should not be photographed, of course.

The air terminal is on the other side of the bay, so you have to take a ferry back and forth from windward to leeward.

The main chapel.

It is dedicated to Our Lady of Cobre.

Our Lady is venerated under this title here in Cuba.  You can look up the story online, which is quite interesting.   You can see in this statue, the “three Juans” who found the statue floating in the sea.   How she got to Cobre is a different tale!

I tried to buy some fresh flowers at the NEX (Navy Exchange) but they didn’t have any.  We’ll figure something out.

Sunset on my first evening.

After Sunday Mass one of the parishioners, a officer with greatly eclectic interests and a fine conversationalist, was kind enough to shuttle me to see some of the sights.

This is the landing place of Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1494.


It seems that Lion Fish are invading the bay.   Everyone is told that they can and should be killed – without limits.   I like the part that says: “they can be consumed in a variety of delicious ways”.   Intriguing.

Here is a little lighthouse with a small museum.

View up the bay from the lighthouse.

My quarters are decent but spartan.  I got some food stuffs from the NEX and discovered that there was no can opener and I had chosen a can of tuna without one of those pop tops.  So, back to the old ways.   My handy Swiss Guard – Swiss Army knife supplied the correct gizmo.   When you travel it is wise to bring something like this along.   You never know.    And the mug will stay behind, a gift for the chaplain.

The daily Mass chapel.  Both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms are in use here!

Sacristy with my stuff laid out for tomorrow.

Gitmo is loaded with iguanas.   They are pretty much everywhere.  On the way to one of the beaches yesterday we spotted a few white tailed deer which, though fully grown, we very small compared to the bigger critters up north.

A pano from my balcony.  I hope we get some clear weather.  I’d like to see, especially, the stars.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. acardnal says:

    Very pleased that both Forms of the Mass are in use there.

    GITMO should be a great opportunity to exhange your Challenge Coin there and acquire some interesting ones in return.

    Great photos! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Jacob says:

    Interesting about the lionfish. Many years ago on the TV show Shark Tank, someone was trying to get an investment in his fishing company that organized locals around the Caribbean to go after lionfish to be sold to US restaurants.

  3. Semper Gumby says:

    Good to hear EF and OF are in use. That Biretta next to “Command Chaplain” is spiffy.

    Speaking of Our Lady of Cobre and Columbus’ Second Voyage, a short article:

    It was probably Columbus on his Second Voyage who first brought horses and cattle across the Pond. That gave us centuries later: John Wayne, The Magnificent Seven, Blazing Saddles, and carne asada.

    Great photos.

    [You certainty merited the Gold Star for that! John Wayne, The Magnificent Seven, Blazing Saddles, and carne asada. Excellent. I’ll get a better phoro, clearer, of the biretta and vestment case tomorrow.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  4. mburn16 says:

    You can eat the iguanas, too…..

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    Theme to the Magnificent Seven-ty:

    [A little more upbeat than the theme of the movie its based on!]

  6. Gaetano says:

    I’m glad that you had your Swiss Army knife, but I audibly gasped when I realized you weren’t carrying a P38 can opener. I never leave home without one.

    [Speaking of John Wayne!]

  7. Semper Gumby says:

    Seven Samurai is a great movie, but yes, the Magnificent Seven theme is uplifting, inspiring.

    mburn16: What would go great with that iguana sandwich- as you stand on the shore tossing crumbs to the seagulls fluttering around you in the salty air as the blazing white sun turns the Caribbean into a lake of molten brass- would be, yep, you guessed it…bagpipes.

    The motivating “Scotland the Brave” by the band of the Royal Tank Regiment:

  8. bartlep says:

    Why are you in GITMO? Seems like a strange bucket-list check off :-)

  9. Gab says:

    Don’t know what you did, Father, but I can see all the pictures today. Yay. And they are most excellent.

    That picture with your vestments laid out, I initially read it as “Commando Chaplain”. We need more commando priests to fight the spiritual war!

  10. Kathleen10 says:

    There must be zebras at Gitmo. I can only see black and white lines.

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