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  #51  
Old 01-29-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdale View Post
Give up your second amendment rights and swear loyalty to the British monarch, and a whole lot of other things.
No need to bend the knee to the Brits . Check out the family tree, find that Irish grand parent or, just as good, marry Irish. You can then enjoy all things Irish, find a welcom everywere you go with the possible exception of the loyalist bits up North. Passports are also availabe from our local politicians as is everything else for a fee. Cash only tho.
Cuba,s on my list if I ever sail across the pond.
Happy non-invasive sailing
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  #52  
Old 01-29-2011
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Originally Posted by w1651 View Post
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?
As I recall Catholic Charities Miami at least did post-hurricane work in Cuba. If one were to search around I am certain one could find other valid institutions.
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  #53  
Old 02-06-2011
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It's very difficult to get information, charts and cruising guides for Cuba. Here is one source and while the guides mentioned in the website will not be available for the foreseable future questions can be asked. Cuba Cruising Guides, Sailing resources for Cuba
Cuba IMHO will not open up to US citizens as long as the Castros control Cuba. Those opposed to opening Cuba are far more powerful (afterall the assinated a president) and organized than the handful of disorganized tourists and/or cruisers who wish to go there. One or two people are not going to sway the government and so in the meantime I think it would be foolish for an American citizen to go to Cuba.
I also believe the US needs to take a look at the morality of persecuting a people who actually have done nothing to them.
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  #54  
Old 02-10-2011
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I have been to Cuba several times but never by boat. There are Americans there you just cant get a direct flight. Most Americans go through Mexico city. They do not stamp your passport in Cuba so no issue there. The risk is from the US Govt not Cuba. I have traveled extensively through the island and found the people very warm and friendly and have never had any problems with locals or the police. I have found Americans at most of the places I have been to on the island. Marina facilities are few and far between.
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Old 02-10-2011
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Originally Posted by delite View Post
....The risk is from the US Govt not Cuba.....
This is not entirely correct. You are subject to Cuban law while you are in their country. That is the same for any country you visit. You will have a very unique problem if you get in an accident or accidentally break a law. Do you know their laws, by the way? What if you boat breaks free and damages a Cuban's property? There is no embassy there to help you. American's traveling legally to Cuba are required to register with the Swiss Embassy, but you can't if you are not supposed to be there.
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  #56  
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You are quite correct and I wasnt advocating entering the country illegally or breaking any laws just saying that while in Cuba Americans have little to fear as the Cubans are not out to get you unlike some other places. They are more likely to be hassled by their own government than by the police in Cuba while traveling on a US passport.
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Old 02-11-2011
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I keep seeing Americans on TV that have holdings there. I was watching PBS and the Anchor talked with an American that had a ranch and herd of cattle there. So there are people there working against the American policy.
Probably few and far between though.
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The easiest and cheapest way for US citzens to visit Cuba is fly from Newprovidence island Bahamas. Perhaps take Swiss francs or Canadian dollars to eliminate paper trails of using credit cards or accessing US accounts to obtain Cuban funds.
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Unfortunately this discussion has rambled somewhat, so here is back to the nautical aspect.

Having sailed to and around Cuba for several winters since 2008, I find there are two ways to go.

If you have money and own a 60ft or bigger crewed motor yacht, go to Hemingway. There were three of them there Christmas-New Years 2009-10, one registered Fort Lauderdale, one from Newport and one from Delaware plus a large motor sailer from New Orleans (he had a Cuban wife).

If you don't have financial clout, go through the Raggeds (Duncantown) in the Bahamas to Baia la Vita in Holguin cruise Cuba for two months, one month visa renewed once (stay far off Guantanamo, the CG comes out even if you are 5 miles off and if they do, say you are going to Jamaica), do the south shore islands to Cayo Largo and head back to the Bahamas through Baia La Vita. The snorkling is fantastic and the beaches are paradise (but you have to find them, most islands are mangrove). Your paperwork will show only that you have been in the Bahamas. We have never had problems on returning to Florida. (I hope no one in homeland security monitors this).

For a short two week cruise, go from Baia La Vita to Baracoa and back. Rent scooters to visit the countryside or hire a driver.

The crossing from the Bahamas to Cuba is by far the most comfortable, with the Bahama current, no wind against current. The only really rough part is the return along the southern shore from Cabo Cruz to Punto Maisi with strong headwinds. It is not called the Windward passage for nothing. There are few anchorages along this shore, but there are harbors every 60 miles or so. We always motor sail back, port tack out in the morning and starboard tack back inshore in the afternoon as the wind shifts from northwest to southwest during the day.

As for charts, admittedly they are hard to obtain, but with GPS chips for the off shore work (they are based on old US surveys and are not accurate for inshore) you can keep track of your general position. I use Nigel Calder's guide, it has excellent and detailed inshore charts and if you take their coordinates for way points, they are dead on. Simon Charles' guide is more enterntaining than useful.

Yes, now they charge $ 3 per day for medical insurance. Don't bother with US bank or credit cards, because of the embargo they don't (or wont) work. Cash, US $, Can $ or Euros are no problem for exchange at the CADECA. Public internet, limited to the larger towns and hotels, is slow and expensive ($ 6 per hour). So bring your pretyped texts on a USB.

Don't sweat officialdom, they are awfully friendly and considerate (they even put on socks to cover their boots when they come on board). I have never seen US officials do the same. And the cocker spaniels for drug inspections are cute. Just have the paperwork ready and they do the rest. Unlike Bermuda, it is one stop shopping.

As for repair work, Cubans are very ingenious and industrious. Once when out rudder jumped the gudgeon and the rudder stock was bent in a fierce northerly (unexpected), they took it out and repaired it. The only difficulty as finding stainless steel (we took a collection amongst the foreign boats there and they re manufactured the fitting).

AH, don't forget, you won't get good marine weather forecasts in Cuba. So subscribe to a short wave service before.

Finally, US insurance firms do not cover claims in Cuba, get coverage from a UK firm.
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  #60  
Old 02-12-2011
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Thanks Geor9ges

That's what I am looking for. Especially the tips and resources like Nigel Calders for charts.

What's it like running around in Cuba on a scooter? Anything like you see on TV in France or Italy? I was in china and a red light means go and a green light go faster if you know what I mean.
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