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Old 16-09-2012, 22:02   #1
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Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

I am planning on cruising Cuba this Winter, along the South Shore. I need advice from those that have done this. I was thinking of first sailing down the Exumas as far as Turks and Caicos, before heading north again toward Cuba, in March-April, but that is when the Trades turn Westerly, putting the Cuban coast to Lee. Any thoughts? Also, are there any good charts available of S Shore of Cuba? Paper, Computer, or for a Raymarine Chartplotter?
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Old 16-09-2012, 22:07   #2
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Depending on how close to the south shore your going, the NOAA charts may suffice. Have you looked at them?
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Old 16-09-2012, 22:41   #3
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Sorry but I'm not really clear on what you're saying.

Are you planing to cruise in Cuba or cruise past Cuba? You list VA as your location so assume you are a US citizen? If so, I further assume you know that the powers that be in the US do not want you going to Cuba and could possibly make things unpleasant for you on your return.

Then you say you would head north from the Turks & Caicos to Cuba but Cuba is mostly west and if you're going to the south coast of Cuba the course would be southwest.

And I'm really confused about the trades turning westerly in March-April and making Cuba a lee shore? The trades are pretty consistently from the E or SE or NE. You can see westerly winds when a winter cold front passes by or on the south side of a tropical low pressure system but otherwise east winds but even if the winds were from the west I don't see how that make the Cuban coast to Lee, especially if you are coming from the east.
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Old 17-09-2012, 20:51   #4
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Sorry but I'm not really clear on what you're saying.

Are you planing to cruise in Cuba or cruise past Cuba? You list VA as your location so assume you are a US citizen? If so, I further assume you know that the powers that be in the US do not want you going to Cuba and could possibly make things unpleasant for you on your return.

Then you say you would head north from the Turks & Caicos to Cuba but Cuba is mostly west and if you're going to the south coast of Cuba the course would be southwest.

And I'm really confused about the trades turning westerly in March-April and making Cuba a lee shore? The trades are pretty consistently from the E or SE or NE. You can see westerly winds when a winter cold front passes by or on the south side of a tropical low pressure system but otherwise east winds but even if the winds were from the west I don't see how that make the Cuban coast to Lee, especially if you are coming from the east.
Two corrections: one, mine, and one, your, plus one clarification. I think that will cover this. Firstly, there is no law that prevents an American from traveling to Cuba, or any place else in the world. The only restrictions on Americans visiting Cuba is that they cannot spend any money, unless the US says that they can. There are many Americans visiting and living in Cuba. I plan on sailing the coast, visiting ports of call, traveling inland, while never breaking US law.

I too am in error, I quoted someone without verifying what they advised about the Trades. I checked my Pilots: On the Sourh Shore of Cuba they blow from the East.

My reference to turning North was confusing. I was referring to heading back north for the summer, and not north to Cuba.

Nevertheless, I am hoping to find some some advice on cruising the South Shore of Cuba. FYI, I received an Email today from SV. It would appear that they (may) have completed their charting of South Cuba.
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Old 17-09-2012, 21:21   #5
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

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Originally Posted by KStepman View Post
Two corrections: one, mine, and one, your, plus one clarification. I think that will cover this. Firstly, there is no law that prevents an American from traveling to Cuba, or any place else in the world. The only restrictions on Americans visiting Cuba is that they cannot spend any money, unless the US says that they can. There are many Americans visiting and living in Cuba. I plan on sailing the coast, visiting ports of call, traveling inland, while never breaking US law.
I am quite aware of the legal status of travel to Cuba. What I said was "the powers that be in the US do not want you going to Cuba and could possibly make things unpleasant for you on your return" which is true. The US Dept of State website does say "Travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens and permanent residents is restricted by U.S. law and regulations" though the restriction is technically an economic embargo. One can argue the semantics of whether it is law, regulation, restriction or whatever but at the end of the day, the US Government does not want you to do it and could penalize you for going.

I am aware that lots of US citizens visit Cuba, claim the loophole of spending no money, even have a friend that cruised Cuba for six months with no repercussions. The subject has been debated on the forum ad nauseum and see no benefit in going into it again. I personally think the ban is stupid but I am not willing to risk fines or possible confiscation of my boat for the trip. I think it will be a beautiful trip and I wish you well. When the rules/law/restriction/ban/embargo is changed I'll be there.


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I too am in error, I quoted someone without verifying what they advised about the Trades. I checked my Pilots: On the Sourh Shore of Cuba they blow from the East.
From south FL to the northern part of South America you will be in the easterly trades winds belt and can expect winds from NE-E-SE I guess >90% of the time. Makes a tough trip going but fun coming back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KStepman View Post
My reference to turning North was confusing. I was referring to heading back north for the summer, and not north to Cuba.

Nevertheless, I am hoping to find some some advice on cruising the South Shore of Cuba. FYI, I received an Email today from SV. It would appear that they (may) have completed their charting of South Cuba.
There are some cruising guides out there. Can't remember the titles but a search on the forum should turn them up.
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Old 17-09-2012, 22:05   #6
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Checked old posts and Nigel Calder published a cruising guide to Cuba, including the south coast. Book is a bit dated but should still be quite helpful. I found them various places online for $35-$95. Cheapest was on eBay.
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Old 17-09-2012, 22:33   #7
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Eastern parts, the coast of "Oriente" is deep with few anchoring places, actually only the bay of Santiago de Cuba and Guantanamo bay. Lot of shipwrecks along the coast. Lee shore every afternoon anyway..
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Old 18-09-2012, 03:52   #8
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Thanks everyone.
Last year I was planning on sailing across to the Cuban North Shore from Georgetown, but was dismasted as I was entering the Georgetown channel. Five year old Rig just failed and fell. I wasn't even under sail.

Looking at the charts, and pilots, it looks like a clear shot sailing WSW from Turks and Caicos, to Cuba's South Shore. Any thoughts?
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Old 18-09-2012, 05:38   #9
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

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Originally Posted by KStepman View Post
Thanks everyone.
Last year I was planning on sailing across to the Cuban North Shore from Georgetown, but was dismasted as I was entering the Georgetown channel. Five year old Rig just failed and fell. I wasn't even under sail.
Wow thats a horror story-what failed?
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Old 18-09-2012, 06:05   #10
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

Sailing around Cuba ➥ Sailing Aerea Cuba

Cuban Waters Chart Kits ➥ New Cuban Waters Chart Kits | Nautical Mind Blog

Google:
“The Cruising Guide to Cuba" by Simon Charles
“Cuba: A Cruising Guide” by Nigel Calder

Under the Cuba Sanctions, transactions related to travel for tourist activities are not licensable, and temporary sojourn licenses are not available for pleasure boaters.
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_p...y_requirements

"Cuban Assets Control Regulations”
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...uba_tr_app.pdf
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:07   #11
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

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Wow thats a horror story-what failed?
The SS forestay cable split. Looks like metal fatigue, where the swag fitting meets the foil for the roller furler. Bad engineering? Bad cable? I had the rig inspected and a new top drum installed for the roller furler where it broke. Bad installation? No one hurt. Only a few scratches to the boat. I was able to motor in with the mast head in the water off the starboard. Lucky! Mast is probably newest court uprights on Volleyball Beach. :-)
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Old 18-09-2012, 09:12   #12
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

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Sailing around Cuba ➥ Sailing Aerea Cuba

Cuban Waters Chart Kits ➥ New Cuban Waters Chart Kits | Nautical Mind Blog

Google:
“The Cruising Guide to Cuba" by Simon Charles
“Cuba: A Cruising Guide” by Nigel Calder

Under the Cuba Sanctions, transactions related to travel for tourist activities are not licensable, and temporary sojourn licenses are not available for pleasure boaters.
Cuba

"Cuban Assets Control Regulations”
http://www.treasury.gov/resource-cen...uba_tr_app.pdf
Thanks. I'll pass these on to my Canadian Crew;
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Old 18-09-2012, 10:03   #13
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

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The only restrictions on Americans visiting Cuba is that they cannot spend any money, unless the US says that they can.
There are in fact other legal restrictions beyond 'not spending money'. Just for example:

"The regulations state that any U.S. vessel or vessel assimilated as one without nationality less than 100 meters (328 feet) in length must have a Coast Guard permit to depart from the 12-mile territorial sea and thereafter enter Cuban territorial waters regardless of intervening entry into, passage through, or departure from any other territorial waters. The regulations are enforceable against the vessel, its owner, agent, master, officers, persons in charge and members of the crew.

Failure to comply with the Coast Guard, Commerce, Treasury, or other Federal government regulations regarding travel to Cuba will subject violators to federal criminal prosecution, as well as possible administrative proceedings by the Department of Commerce and Department of Treasury. Penalties for violations of these Federal statutes and regulations can result in fines, imprisonment, vessel seizure and forfeiture, and denial of future export privileges.

If you do not have all of the appropriate permits and licenses required by the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury, and you make a voyage into Cuban territorial waters, you are subjecting yourself to any and all of these sanctions. You are hereby advised that, in compliance with direction from the President, the U.S. Coast Guard will be stringently monitoring maritime traffic to and from Cuba in order to ensure that vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction have complied with all applicable licensing requirements, laws, and regulations, and will take aggressive enforcement actions if those conditions are not met."

From: USCG site and Federal register
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:17   #14
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

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There are in fact other legal restrictions beyond 'not spending money'. Just for example:

"The regulations state that any U.S. vessel or vessel assimilated as one without nationality less than 100 meters (328 feet) in length must have a Coast Guard permit to depart from the 12-mile territorial sea and thereafter enter Cuban territorial waters regardless of intervening entry into, passage through, or departure from any other territorial waters. The regulations are enforceable against the vessel, its owner, agent, master, officers, persons in charge and members of the crew.

Failure to comply with the Coast Guard, Commerce, Treasury, or other Federal government regulations regarding travel to Cuba will subject violators to federal criminal prosecution, as well as possible administrative proceedings by the Department of Commerce and Department of Treasury. Penalties for violations of these Federal statutes and regulations can result in fines, imprisonment, vessel seizure and forfeiture, and denial of future export privileges.

If you do not have all of the appropriate permits and licenses required by the Department of Commerce and the Department of Treasury, and you make a voyage into Cuban territorial waters, you are subjecting yourself to any and all of these sanctions. You are hereby advised that, in compliance with direction from the President, the U.S. Coast Guard will be stringently monitoring maritime traffic to and from Cuba in order to ensure that vessels subject to U.S. jurisdiction have complied with all applicable licensing requirements, laws, and regulations, and will take aggressive enforcement actions if those conditions are not met."

From: USCG site and Federal register
I am not engaged in either piracy, smuggling, or importing US manufactured goods into Cuba, which the above is intended to regulate.

According to my research, the last hard time cruiser received going to Cuba was in the first two years of Bush-the-Younger's administration and only boats traveling to or from Cuba and the US, and only from Miami, south to Key West. And, then, if there was a fine, it was for spending money in Cuba, with the average fine $800. I am also told that their is an appeal process, to a tribunal, which has never been convened since the law was passed. You tell me how much this selective enforcement has to do with the voting pattern of rapidly diminishing numbers of Cuban exiles in S. Florida. Last Winter, one of the two man crew was himself one of those very exiles.

Yes, I can ask for permission of State, because I am doing research for a book. The odds are 99.99% I would get a waiver to spend money. Everyone is looking passed Castro, to normalized relations. There are hundred of American medical students in Cuba. I know Americans who fly there routinely for medical treatment. This government has no taste to enforce sanctions, nor did Bush. Even my boat insurance from a US company will cover my boat in Cuba through a Canadian subsidiary. Haiti they will not.

In any case, I do not believe that I have the right to break a law of my country, unless it is an unjust law. I will not be spending money while in Cuba. If a Canadian on board wishes to do so, I have no reason to object.
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Old 18-09-2012, 17:56   #15
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Re: Cruising Cuba South Shore, advice wanted

I have asked for and recieved from the USCG, permission to land in Cuba, for repairs I was unable to do at sea ! Never had a problem after having the repairs done, and leaving the Cuban waters ! Of course I went home to the Bayou country and cked in at my normal place!! nothing said then or since! Just sayin ya might need repairs !!
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