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  #51  
Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Stella, check out both my facebook page and website, the photos and videos there will give you an idea of what you have to look forward to in Cuba.
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  #52  
Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stella's crew View Post
Wow Politics/emotions aside, a large reason for our boat is to see this wonderful island before capitalization. Reading others stories increases our longing. canucksailorguy we are with you.
Don't mean to discourage you in any way, Cuba is a fascinating place, and a truly wonderful cruising destination...

However, brace yourself for dealing with a level of officialdom, and restriction of your movements, that most of us are unaccustomed to. Perhaps things have lightened up somewhat in the decade since I was there, but I found it to be pretty oppressive, and tired of it quickly...

Pretty much every time you move the boat, it's likely you'll have to be dealing with the Guarda, and reams of paperwork. they simply don't understand how cruisers tend to move about, and the need for the occasional early departure, etc... I managed to find a couple of isolated/remote anchorages where I was left alone, but I was also once forced to vacate one late in the day, and move to a much less desirable spot under the watchful eye of the Guarda... In all but the most remote places, any sort of exploration by dinghy is likely to be essentially prohibited...

Again, canucksailor will know better, perhaps things have changed... But I found one of the better ways to really explore the country, was to base myself in a place like Puerto Vita for awhile, and rent a car...

One suggestion, while I happen to think of it... Once away from a marina like Marina Hemingway, you might often have to resort to jerry-jugging diesel fuel to the boat. You definitely want to have a fuel filter funnel similar to this, the quality of the fuel I once bought from a gas station in Varadero was pretty appalling ...



To give one an idea of the number of American boats visiting Cuba these days, I just came across this from Jimmy Cornell's WORLD VOYAGE PLANNER yesterday:

Quote:

The total number of boats that spend the winter in the Caribbean has remained stable in recent years, but one country that has seen a significant increase is Cuba...

According to Commodore Jose Estrich of the Hemingway YC, "what is remarkable is the year-by-year increase of vessels from the USA with a total of 135 American yachts arriving at Cuban marinas in 2010 in spite of the interdiction of sailing to Cuba still being in force".
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  #53  
Old 04-21-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Jon, things haven't changed...much. The officialdom is still there, but only the initial visit is lengthy. The subsequent clearings are generally one or two Guarda who take a quick look in the boat, take your despacho (known as a zarpe in other countries), and leave you to your own. You still cannot leave your boat at anchor and dinghy about at will, at least on the north coast. Also, you can only go ashore at designated marinas - on the north coast, that's Puerto de Vita, Guillermo, Varadero, Marina Hemingway, Cayo Levisa and Cabo San Antonio - six marinas over a total of 742 miles.
Your suggestion about parking the boat at a marina and using that as a base is what I also recommend. I also suggest that cruisers bring their bikes onto a bus, travel to the cities and towns that interest them, and stay at a casa particulara (analogous to our b & bs). That way, they meet locals and get a much more intimate view of the country.
For those with security concerns, Cuba is an extremely safe country. You can wander at will, anytime of the day or night, and not be concerned.
Unlike you, I never found fuel problems, nor found anyone else with them. That problem seems to be past.
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  #54  
Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
I didn't say it was a paradise, and how you see something depends largely on one's attitude. The Cubans don't necessarily see how they live as suffering. That's not to say they wouldn't want better than they have - of course they do, but since everyone they know is in the same circumstance, it's not as bad as it might be.
Things like non working headlights, burned out outlets, etc. are only suffering for those who have know better, i.e. those in first world countries.
You make the common mistake of applying your personal sensibilities to a situation in which they do not apply.
Are you sure that's not the pot calling the kettle black? You like going to Cuba, and you really like the prices, but, you don't like thinking too much about why that is, so you try and convince yourself that the Cubans really are better off the way they are made to live, than the way they would like to live.

Whatever it takes to make you feel good about going there, I guess.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Canuck loves Cuba. Nothing wrong with that. However, he is actively trying to establish a business of taking paying Americans to Cuba, so one must take that into consideration. Any pushback is usually met with an attack on one's political beliefs, even if none were expressed.

The bottom line is, do it legally and enjoy. Do it illegally and you have no right to object to any broken law where you come up on the losing end.

I wonder what would happen, if you have an accident in Cuba and unintentionally damage property or injure someone and were not there legally. It happens. I bet you don't get the same wink and nod that you get when they fail to stamp your passport.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Some of you people need to take a reading comprehension course from what I can see here. Did I say anything about prices in Cuba? No - and did I say I was trying, did I even infer that I was trying to convince myself
Quote:
that the Cubans really are better off the way they are made to live
No. So learn to read for comprehension, not to support your own uninformed biases.
Some of you, rather than note that this is in a sailing thread, INSIST on dragging politics into the discussion. Do me and the rest of us a favour - take your whining and pewling about Cuba - a country most of you have never been to and know far less about than you seem to like to think you do - and deal with it in the OT forum.
The people of Cuba know that life isn't what it could be, but they make the best of what they have, and they do it with remarkable cheer and goodwill and personal kindness to one another.
Try and learn from them. They may be poor, they may be living in a dictatorship, life may be hard but nonetheless and despite all of that, I can see how a few of you would benefit from the lesson.
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  #57  
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
I wonder what would happen, if you have an accident in Cuba
A Canadian got into a car accident, I believe someone was injured, and it became quite a complex situation despite the young man being there legally. I believe at one point he might have been jailed and he WAS held in the country until a determination was made. That sort of hassle is an inherent problem in most third world countries, not just Cuba.
Keep in mind, an American in Cuba is NOT breaking their laws by being there and, unless he/she spends money there, is not breaking American law. So the situation is substantially more complex than what you have posited.
I imagine that getting consular support in that situation might be an issue. Seems to me someone here on SN was in Cuba in a consular type position. If he's reading this, he could probably answer that question.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Any pushback is usually met with an attack on one's political beliefs, even if none were expressed.
My understanding is that the OT forum is tasked with this - so TAKE IT THERE! I want to talk sailing.
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canucksailorguy View Post
Some of you people need to take a reading comprehension course from what I can see here. Did I say anything about prices in Cuba? No - and did I say I was trying, did I even infer that I was trying to convince myself
No. So learn to read for comprehension, not to support your own uninformed biases.
Some of you, rather than note that this is in a sailing thread, INSIST on dragging politics into the discussion. Do me and the rest of us a favour - take your whining and pewling about Cuba - a country most of you have never been to and know far less about than you seem to like to think you do - and deal with it in the OT forum.
The people of Cuba know that life isn't what it could be, but they make the best of what they have, and they do it with remarkable cheer and goodwill and personal kindness to one another.
Try and learn from them. They may be poor, they may be living in a dictatorship, life may be hard but nonetheless and despite all of that, I can see how a few of you would benefit from the lesson.
So, you really think, that you can talk about sailing to a country, where the people who live there, undera dictatorship, and are killed or imprisoned when they try and leave, or have an opinion contray to that allowed by the rulers, and you can just leave that completely out of the conversation?

I guess that would be more fun. Sorry to spoil your Cuba party.
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Old 04-22-2013
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Re: Will USCG fly over Cuba airspace?

Hi everyone,

This is me being a moderator here.

We need to keep it sailing related and not political, if possible. If this becomes too political, I drop it into OT and then some good info is lost. If you want to have a political discussion on this, take it to OT. However, no one can get personal... not even there.

I would also like to remind everyone that the topic of cruising to Cuba is a very political and hot subject on Sailnet... and really anywhere. Because of that, these threads often do not last long in the general discussion and open forums outside of OT. Let's see if we can keep this one out of the gutter... at least a while longer.

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