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Old 18-09-2012, 18:48   #16
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While few have been prosecuted, you should be aware that you are not allowed to go to Cuba for tourism, as a US citizen (I am guessing that the Canadian crew bit was a joke). If you get permission to go, there are rules regulating how much you can spend.

If you choose to go without permission, the Cuban authorities will refrain from stamping your passport. They want the tourodollars. Even the locals want, well anything you can spare. Few would dare steal from tourists, but they won't be shy about asking if you are leaving anything behind.

Even though I can go legally, I would pay close attention to the finer points of the political situation. I went with plans to fund my stay that were voided out by a break in diplomatic relationships while i was on the plane which meant that I only had funds if I reneged on a promise to provide funds to a local on behalf of their family.

All of that being said, even I would not go with my boat under the current regulations. I suppose it could be justified as a research platform that would require me to spend less money, but I would sit down with at least two lawyers before I made that decision.
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Old 18-09-2012, 18:55   #17
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Calder's guide is quite good. A bit dated now, but still worthwhile to have I think.

Also, there used to be a paper chart kit available for Cuba. I believe it was produced using Russian surveys. Check with Bluewater Books & Charts in Ft. Lauderdale -- they may have it.
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Old 18-09-2012, 18:56   #18
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

I should think any of the older coastal charts will be of value as most of southern Cuba is very much the same as it was in pre-Castro days but don't count on the bouys being where they should be, they come and they go. The locals tri-angulate postion using land markers i.e. mountains, coast guard lookout posts etc...
You will find very little traffic and in fact very few foreign flagged vessels in the southern ports. In Santiago in February I have somtimes seen only a handfull of vessels at a time and many of thoes were Cuban. Trindad de Cuba has a nice little marina near the hotels, They have been fixing it up for the past couple of years...has only about 20 berths +/- perhaps more now... If you tie up thier ask for El Nino he is a local tour boat operator/fisherman and one of the few that can/might give you local knowledge of coastal waters as he has permission to travel a fair way down the coast. p.s. he can always use fishhooks and only speaks Spanish.
On that point harbours and points close to shore can be a nightmare....when you sail into Santiago de Cuba harbour beneath El Morro castle you will think you are travelling back in time with old wooden building dangling over thier foundations and sunken fishing boats and even Spanish American War wrecks dotted along the shore West of there, and reefs everywhere!
One more thing...while the U.S.A. authorities can be an issue for you...be sure your papers are in order for the Cubans...they have been know to impound boats that don't comply.
Otherwise the people are great and the water is warm.....safe journey.
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Old 18-09-2012, 19:50   #19
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

This site has very recent information. Cruise Cuba, current planning and advice for sailing to Cuba
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Old 19-09-2012, 04:55   #20
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Vidas.
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Old 19-09-2012, 09:48   #21
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Here's a chronicle of our trip along the south coast, done on our Mariner 40 ketch, Sea Trek, The Trawler Beach House: Cruising the South Coast of Cuba – East to West . Chuck
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Old 20-09-2012, 16:38   #22
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

BTW . . . this is the latest update on 'foreign flagged vessels travelling from Cuba to USA':

Foreign flagged vessels should not have a problem travelling between Cuba and the US, however Key West should be avoided for clearing-in as several foreign yachts coming from Cuba in 2012 experienced problems here and were denied a cruising permit.
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Old 20-09-2012, 16:57   #23
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Many americans go all the time.

Read Calders book carefully. In my opinion, Cuba is a bit of forbidden fruit and the cruising isn't really that good especially in the winter when cold fronts hit pretty hard after crossing the Gulf.

I went in 2009, but my boat was British registered. Still not legal as you have to spend plenty of money to clear in and out. My reading of the laws was that my boat would not be subject to US repo if I was caught.

If Romney wins; don't go this year! Rubio will be twisting his arm to stay "tough" in Cuba and patrols in the straits will increase as well has helicopter patrols in the southern Bahamas.
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Old 20-09-2012, 18:13   #24
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Just a heads up to all contributors to this thread.

We know it is an election year, and Cuba often invokes political commentary and passions. However, blatant political postings are not allowed. We know you understand our efforts to keep a positive forum, and this policy contributes to that.

Of course, issues that various travellers that go to or contemplating a Cuba trip maybe faced with are legitimate.

Keep the good commentary coming.
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Old 20-09-2012, 19:00   #25
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

When Clinton was president there were lots of regattas and cruising to and from Cuba.

When Bush won with a strong Florida Cuban vote there was tons of bluster and sailors dragged to federal court.

Have not heard of any problems for Americans in recent years, but no longer live in S Florida so may have missed something.

Just the facts, no politics.
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Old 20-09-2012, 21:43   #26
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Thanks, everyone. Great thinking, and great advice. Hopefully, I can come back and contribute to the knowledge base deposited here.
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Old 20-09-2012, 22:06   #27
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

The fact is that the politics of nations and their leadership does affect the ability of those of us who explore our world from the water's edge. Remarks and events in one country or another in this interconnected world affect the safety and enjoyment of cruisers and cruising. An obscure video in the US posted on YouTube, a cartoon in France, a remark made to garner votes by a candidate running for high office is, with the speed of the Internet, capable of affecting where we cruise, safely.

I agree that this forum should be free of the partisan politics of any nation. I also think that there should also be a way to discuss how certain political events may unfold in the world affect us as cruisers.
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Old 20-09-2012, 23:31   #28
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by KStepman View Post
The fact is that the politics of nations and their leadership does affect the ability of those of us who explore our world from the water's edge. Remarks and events in one country or another in this interconnected world affect the safety and enjoyment of cruisers and cruising. An obscure video in the US posted on YouTube, a cartoon in France, a remark made to garner votes by a candidate running for high office is, with the speed of the Internet, capable of affecting where we cruise, safely.

I agree that this forum should be free of the partisan politics of any nation. I also think that there should also be a way to discuss how certain political events may unfold in the world affect us as cruisers.
If you read the rules, it specifically allows for discussions of politics, as follows:

Quote:
Discussions about politics, weaponry and religion are permitted only in association with the topic of this forum and will be closed or removed if they become disruptive.
Obviously there is a political side to travel to Cuba; how it affects us as cruisers is fair game, however, wandering off into a larger discussion of politics is not.

I hope that clarifies it.
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