Jerry & Linda
Join Date: Nov 2006
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There are a few illegal options to sail to Cuba.
Hemingway seems to be the favorite port which has an American Interests Office who will photograph your boat. My last info, April, 2006, the American cruisers who use that port have taped over boat names and registration so they do not get nasty notes from Uncle Sam.
There is a marina east of Hemingway that some find to be easier to get to from Florida due to the Gulf Stream. I forgot the name but it is in the cruising guide. Another, on the SW end of Cuba is also a popular stop before heading off to Mexico or Belize. Some cruisers think it is safer to hit a port that is legal befor ereturning to the States.
Also, there is a form that the Coast Guard will fax to you for permission to sail through a war zone. They ask all the pertinent info on you and your plans to sail through the restricted waters north of Cuba. it is no big deal but do not mistake this for permission to sail to Cuba.
All that know who have been , most have gone to Hemingway, have had a great time and none have been notified by the US that they have been charged with treason and owe fines. I know several cruisers who have been in the past few years and, while the stories abound of those who have been fined, none have been fined. Two have been stopped by the Coast Guard for a routine check/boarding.
You might also check with the CMCS sailing club in Ft Myers for other opinions.