Cuba in my sights - Page 5 - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > General Discussion (sailing related)
 Not a Member? 


Like Tree8Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #41  
Old 01-03-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
Posts: 8,238
Thanks: 6
Thanked 87 Times in 84 Posts
Rep Power: 6
Minnewaska will become famous soon enough Minnewaska will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by lobstahpotts View Post
Yes, but that refers to "TRAVEL TRANSACTIONS", or worded alternately, spending money while there, and not to travel itself. Per technical wording of the law, one can technically go there legally by boat and not spend money, bringing all of your food, etc etc and not purchasing souvenirs while in the country. However, US Customs will assume you must have spent money there if you were there unless you can prove otherwise, a "guilty until proven innocent" situation. One of the often referenced solutions to this is to take on a Canadian crew member and have this person make all purchases and have proof in form of receipts, etc, to that extent.
All of this being said, certainly the safest course is to wait and see what happens now given the position of our government and the newish leadership in Cuba.
That is too risky a situation for my blood. Further, the linked site that I provided above has this.

"Cuba has announced that as of May 2010 it will start requiring visitors to have non-U.S. medical insurance, and will sell a temporary policy to those who do not have it."

Not sure how a US citizen is going to keep from spending money there, if that is even an appropriate interpretation. I even wonder if the money you spent on your boat/fuel, etc to show up counts.

Also, remember that you are subject to Cuban law when on their soil. That is standard international law. Should you find yourself in an accident, even if not your fault, or a bind of some kind, who are you going to reach out to for help? Will you call the "Special Interests section" which operates under the authority of the Swiss government, because we do not have an embassy there? First question from them.... what are you doing here?

This is just all too much for my risk tolerance.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #42  
Old 01-03-2011
rikhall's Avatar
old guy :)
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Posts: 994
Thanks: 11
Thanked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 7
rikhall will become famous soon enough
Quote:
Originally Posted by w1651 View Post
I'm tired of the oppression from my Government. A passport to get back to my home country if I take a cruise? Really?
I will not pass an opinion here as I am not a US citizen, but I do softly smile that you can come visit us in Canada with just picture ID (driver's licence) but you need a Passport to get back into your own country.

Ya gotta love politics!

Take care and enjoy where ever you cruise.

Rik
__________________
Irwin Citation 34
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #43  
Old 01-03-2011
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3,020
Thanks: 0
Thanked 78 Times in 70 Posts
Rep Power: 4
JonEisberg will become famous soon enough
OK, I’ll offer some comments, based on my own experience cruising Cuba back in 2003, one year before President Bush issued his very tough proclamation restricting sailing to Cuba…

In an effort to be able to claim we spent no money there, we obtained travel visas in advance through the Cuban Interests Section of the Swiss Embassy in Washington… they cost roughly twice what one would pay upon arrival in Cuba, of course… Only problem is, Cuba has a departure fee, so despite whatever measures you take – getting the BS letter from the Club Nautico at Marina Hemingway saying you were “hosted”, and whatnot, that departure fee is the one thing you might have difficulty convincing our State Dept. you managed to circumvent…

I did manage to avoid it, I just pulled a runner when I sailed out of Baracoa… One look at the local Patrol Boat, I knew they weren’t gonna be chasing me, I doubt they had any fuel for the POS, anyway…

We sailed to Havana direct from Key West, without the supposedly required Security Zone clearance… No problem, it was blowing big out of the NE, we were the only fools out there that day…

Check in in Havana was very straightforward, but extremely tedious, as is dealing with officialdom in Cuba invariably is… One of the best examples of how little they have, most times when officials came aboard to do the reams of paperwork, they had to BORROW a pen or pencil of mine to perform their duties… they were always extremely grateful for the gift of a writing instrument at the end of business… Surprisingly, the only time in all my dealings with officials throughout Cuba anyone so much hinted at a gift “in consideration for their services”, was from the doctor who did the medical inspection of the boat in Havana…

Perhaps the biggest misconception about sailing to Cuba, is that a considerable number of Americans were doing it, at least at that time…. My understanding is, there was a bit of a chill in the wake of Bush’s proclamation for a year or so, but things quickly returned to normal…

That’s not to say many mom & pop cruisers were doing so, however… Most American visitors were of considerable means, lots of 2 million dollar sportfishermen, and so on… Tommy Hilfiger’s 170’ Benetti TOMMY stayed in Marina Hemingway for weeks, apparently confident Bush was not gonna confiscate someone’s $25 million yacht… I’ve heard that refrain repeatedly from the sportfishing crowd, many of whom simply store their boats in Havana to avoid the obscene marina fees of Key West, and top off with that cheap Chavez diesel…

I had no trouble traveling within Cuba, I rented a car for several days from a resort in Guardalavaca, when I stopped in Puerta Vita… Explored the local countryside, and drove down to Santiago, fascinating travel… Who knows what would have happened if I'd had an accident, but I doubt it would have been as catastrophic had something gone equally wrong halfway across the Gulf Stream on my way there... (grin) Nothing money, or maybe some trinket like my snazzy Seiko chronograph wouldn't have been able to fix, would be my guess...

Another misconception, is that we have no diplomatic relations with Cuba… Well, that may be the official line, but one of the few modern buildings in downtown Havana is a 12 story edifice that is very heavily guarded by police. Don’t even THINK about pulling out a camera when you’re within sight of that building, no need to ask me how I know this… (grin) But, one thing all the Americans visiting Cuba soon learn – if you lose your passport while in Cuba, that’s the place you’re gonna head for…

Finally, don’t even THINK for a moment that your visit to Cuba might go undetected… A couple of days at Marina Hemingway, you’ll soon recognize the local “mole” who strolls the grounds noting the new arrivals, his movements were as predictable as clockwork… And, the Straits of Florida are among the most heavily surveiled waters anywhere on earth… Not only will someone in the US intelligence community know you sailed either to or from Cuba, they probably know what book you were reading in the cockpit enroute… (grin)

Whether they actually CARE, of course, is another matter… I have two clients who took their own boats to Cuba, and received the letter from the State Department eventually… They simply chose to ignore them, and never heard anything further… YMMV, of course, but in this area I suspect our government is largely mostly bark, and little bite – just my own hunch, of course…

Just my own opinion, no one should construe this as any sort of advice, but I think there is currently little risk for an American to visit Cuba, as part of an extended, continuing cruise to other parts of the Caribbean basin, or when a return to America is not in the immediate offing Visiting Cuba, then returning directly to the States, could quite possibly be a whole different ballgame, and a chance that – personally – I would not take at this time…

One closing comment of a political nature, if I may… One would really have to be blind to spend much time in Cuba, and fail to appreciate the consequences of our policy/embargo of the beautiful people of that beautiful country… Each country shares the blame, of course, but I really hope we someday soon wind up with an American President with the sort of vision Nixon demonstrated with his overture to China… It would be a wonderful, magnanimous, long-overdue gesture of a great Statesman, to put aside the petty political considerations of a small bloc of voters at home, and simply declare “You know, I think it’s time that the Castros and I sat down and had a little TALK…” Truly pathetic, that a country as great as America, can’t seem to bring itself to extend such a modest olive branch to one of our closest neighbors in this hemisphere…

The brief encounter I had with the 3 gentlemen pictured below remains one of my most memorable of my time in Cuba. That is in the lookout tower at Morro Castle, overlooking the entrance to Havana harbor… Those men represent three generations of the same family, the grandfather had been manning that post for over half a century, the radar they were using appeared to be just about as old…

On the right in the background, you can see a series of shelves that house the flags of most of the nations of the world. It is customary at this station, whenever foreign ship enters Havana, they hoist the flag of the visitor’s country in salute…

The old man spoke no English, and my high school Spanish is mostly forgotten, but fortunately his son and grandson spoke quite good English… They made it clear, that if the patriarch could have one wish granted in the time that was left to him, it would be to have the honor of hoisting the Stars and Stripes for the first American ship to sail into Havana since the revolution…

I think if I could have a couple of minutes alone with an American President, that might very well be the story I’d share…

Jane.Joy likes this.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #44  
Old 01-04-2011
new and proud of it
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Saint Petersburg
Posts: 815
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
w1651 is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to w1651
Quote:
Originally Posted by lobstahpotts View Post
This thread is rapidly turning into a political/historical debate. I would suggest people who have not been to Cuba by boat/do not have relevant information for w1651 about the procedures, precautions, and preparations to make for his potential voyage. I don't think the rightness and justification for the embargo and government positions should be addressed here, simply how, what, and when the author could go about this trip if he decides to. It comes down to a personal choice, and those who have already posted have made clear the benefits and shortcomings. Let's stop the politics now and offer relevant responses to the original question.
I personally know many cruisers who have gone to Cuba by boat and had a wonderful time, with no problems from the US government later on. I would say plan on taking additional time and don't cruise to only Cuba if you are able. There are many other places worth seeing, and it may be safer/easier to return from one of these places. Also consider taking a longer sail to re-enter the US in a more northern port such as Pensacola or New Orleans if you want to allay concerns raised about the Customs agents in ports such as Marathon, it is only a few days further to sail up the gulf and you can have an enjoyable sail back to St. Pete along the US coast.
Happy Sailing!
Thanks Lobsta.
Where did your friends enter Cuba? Did they sail around the island or stay at one port and travel from there?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #45  
Old 01-04-2011
new and proud of it
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Saint Petersburg
Posts: 815
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
w1651 is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to w1651
Thanks also Jon

It is a shame that for some reason we here in America are everywhere on this planet but in our own Hemisphere.
We are so worried about the pacific and Bosnia and Western Europe we have forgotten the there is a continent and many many countries on our own side of the planet.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #46  
Old 01-04-2011
lobstahpotts's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Casco Bay
Posts: 43
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
lobstahpotts is on a distinguished road
Send a message via AIM to lobstahpotts
Quote:
Originally Posted by w1651 View Post
Thanks Lobsta.
Where did your friends enter Cuba? Did they sail around the island or stay at one port and travel from there?
Sailors I know, along with some documented passages like the Bernons I linked to earlier, all sail first to Havana to check in at Marina Hemingway. They have then gotten permission, etc. to continue cruising along the coast, generally west towards Mexico, allowing for passage to points south after the Cuba trip. However, to each his own and everyone should plan the trip they want to go on.

Alternately, become an internationally recognized medical charity and go there with ABSOLUTELY no restrictions!
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
1980 Cape Dory 30, #173
S/V Aerides
Portland Yacht Club
Falmouth, ME
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #47  
Old 01-04-2011
Leocat66's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Slidell, LA. USA
Posts: 157
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
Leocat66 is on a distinguished road
It seems that now, as we speak, here on this subject, much truth is being brought out about Cuba. Many classified documents from our government are right out there to be read, by all, as they have been released by our government and by the Cuban government recently. Some apparently relate to Wikileaks. Read for yourself, from some of our governments very own documents, about some of the underhanded tactics involved, and find out what this government was up to back then. We have never been told the total truth.

Google - Cuba documents released. Especially interesting are the documents associated with our "Operation Northwoods"

Last edited by Leocat66; 01-04-2011 at 11:37 PM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #48  
Old 01-23-2011
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: california
Posts: 47
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
jfurlong is on a distinguished road
Not sailing related, but for anyone interested in the history of Cuba, it's relations with the U.S. and an unbiased look at the embargo with input from all sides of the argument, I recommend the documentary "Tell Me Cuba".
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #49  
Old 01-23-2011
new and proud of it
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Saint Petersburg
Posts: 815
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 4
w1651 is on a distinguished road
Send a message via Yahoo to w1651
Quote:
Originally Posted by lobstahpotts View Post
Sailors I know, along with some documented passages like the Bernons I linked to earlier, all sail first to Havana to check in at Marina Hemingway. They have then gotten permission, etc. to continue cruising along the coast, generally west towards Mexico, allowing for passage to points south after the Cuba trip. However, to each his own and everyone should plan the trip they want to go on.

Alternately, become an internationally recognized medical charity and go there with ABSOLUTELY no restrictions!
How do I become or better yet work for a real charity? I would like to do a little work on the island as well as see it. Do you know of any christian charities doing good work there?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #50  
Old 01-28-2011
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Sarasota Florida
Posts: 21
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
Popeyensweetp is on a distinguished road
I have Sailed to Cuba six times

One of the best places I have been in the world, people are fantastic, city is like said on this forum breathtaking.

It will be a sad day when star bucks sells trash garbage coffee on the streets of Havana but it will happen,

Go to Cuba if you can as fast as you can, period end of story. Last trip sailed a Pearson Triton alone to Cuba. it was to ruff to go into Marina Hemingway, the Cubans let me sail past Morrow Castle into the Havana Harbor, along came a ancient diesel sub in the Harbor. Like in the movies,.

My Cuban friends are great, it is said at least one person is lost at sea every day in an attempt to get to America, I think its is true so sad.

On my return to Key West, a Cuban Gun boat with defector military men tied up to the wharf, they threw their guns on shore and asked for directions to the police, classic just classic.

God Speed go just go

Popeye






Good luck
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ocean voyage over, book written, now sights are set on flight - MaineToday.com NewsReader News Feeds 0 07-30-2007 01:15 AM
O?Connell sets sights on Jumeirah crown (Khaleej Times) NewsReader News Feeds 0 01-23-2007 11:15 PM
Sailing: British sailors set sights on gold (Guardian Unlimited) NewsReader News Feeds 0 08-30-2006 01:15 PM
Sights set on tourney (San Angelo Standard-Times) NewsReader News Feeds 0 06-23-2006 03:17 AM
Mills sets sights on gold @ $$$ The Daily Sail $$$ NewsReader News Feeds 0 04-10-2006 06:18 AM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:13 PM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012