Join Date: Jul 2002
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Sailing to Cuba...need advice on Government and expenses
"...Cuba is not my destination, but I would like to make an occasional anchorage there on my way to Jamaica."
No, it doesn''t work that way. If you enter their national waters (12 NM limit but generously defined off outlying islands) then you are obligated to honor their clearance procedures, which means sailing to one of their few ports of entry and paying for & following their extensive procedures. Of course, you can ignore this when in an area you feel is remote but this isn''t recommended in a country that, at least insofar as its govt''l policy is concerned, is so massively concerned with border integrity, illicit visits from nasty So FL Cubans, etc. I have heard from folks who get weather bound off Cabo San Antonio (at the far W end of the island, while enroute via the Yucatan Channel) and who seek a protected anchorage without clearing in during heavy weather, but apparently the officials in that area are understanding about such wx delays...and of course the yachties don''t go ashore.
"...is there a reason you advise me to sail far from the coast of Cuba, besides political ones....is it treacherous sailing?"
I over-emphasized that statement. I just meant to reinforce the notion of honoring their 12 NM limit (including extended lines between outlying islands). Cuba is part of the Greater Antilles chain, all of which have (mostly) steep-to coastlines.
One other note about passports: I hadn''t heard the ''paper in your passport'' report before, but it was common for some years for U.S. sailors to arrive in Cuba (organized race, individual cruising plans) and request the officials not stamp the passport. They reportedly were always agreeable to this, a small penciled note being placed in a specific page of the passport as an alternative to a stamp. I don''t know if this is still a prevailing practice but it certainly underscores their awareness that Americans accept risk when visiting Cuba and try to accommodate those Yankee dollars.