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Old 03-03-2017, 15:31   #1
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Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

We're considering heading to Cuba. Our cruising experience so far has been along the US east coast and the Bahamas, and since we usually have internet access through our smart phones, we have been able to get the weather info we need from a few favourite sites + VHF weather reports.
We realize that internet will be a rare luxury in Cuba. We do not have a SSB, and are not opposed to getting one, but only if there are no other reasonable options for us as we are on a rather limited budget. We are wondering what resources others have used to access weather data while cruising Cuba.
Muchas gracias!
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Old 03-03-2017, 16:27   #2
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

Was in Hemingway last month. Ssb and Chris Parker subscription was my primary. You could get by with a ssb receiver, but you lose cp's routing and timing advise. Our Delorme was a backup, as can get noaa type forecasts for the price of a text message. Internet is available for traditional sources such as passage wx, but we found the internet access to be unreliable. And you can always share notes with your neighbors.

Good luck and have fun. Don't let the bureaucrats get you down, the people there are great.
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Old 03-03-2017, 20:13   #3
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

Thanks,kcj. Those are good ideas.
When outfitting for our cruising, we went with a one-function personal locator beacon (Res-Q-Link), which although will do the job in terms of safety, we're kind of regretting not going with something like In-Reach that has other functionality, as you've mentioned, like receiving weather texts.

Hadn't thought of SSB receiver only to get Chris Parker's reports. That could work, although we may decide to squeeze out the funds in our budget to get the transceiver in order to have that 2-way communication with him.

And yes, we do plan to have fun. Experiencing the quirks of the Cuban bureaucracy is part of the charm!
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Old 04-03-2017, 09:53   #4
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

I was talking about the us beurocrats! The Cubans were repetitive but harmless. They kept asking if we had drums----turns out what they meant was drones.
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Old 04-03-2017, 10:36   #5
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

I was talking about the us beurocrats! The Cubans were repetitive but harmless. They kept asking if we had drums----turns out what they meant was drones.
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Old 04-03-2017, 15:17   #6
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

Just did weather routing for friends from Panama-Providencia-Caymans-Cuba-USA.

While on the S Cuba coast their access to Internet was limited so did most updates via SMS to Satt Phone and the occassional conversation.

An InReach or similar could facilitate that kind of weather support via text. You can get spot forecasts via inReach, but not very useful for weather route planning.

I suggest at least an SSB reciever + weather fax software. This way you can a least get NOAA RadioFax independently. A full SSB transciever gives you a lot more options, like participating in cruisers nets and Chris Parker broadcasts.
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Old 04-03-2017, 17:34   #7
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

Depending on your budget, take a look at Iridium Go. Its the future of communication. Predict Wind sells one bundled with their weather service.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:12   #8
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

Ah, yes, the idiosyncrasies of the US bureaucracy! We're Canadian, with a long history of good relations with Cuba, so it's smooth sailing for us to get to Cuba, so to speak.
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Old 05-03-2017, 09:32   #9
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

I have an Icom IC-728 SSB that I will no longer need, It is complete with Icom AT-130 auto tuner and rope antenna. The tuner and rope antenna are new and never used. I have over $2000.00 invested, but I would let it all go for $1000.00
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:34   #10
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

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Originally Posted by Ariose View Post
Ah, yes, the idiosyncrasies of the US bureaucracy! We're Canadian, with a long history of good relations with Cuba, so it's smooth sailing for us to get to Cuba, so to speak.
As long as you dont then travel to the USA...have had several non-USA friends hassled for coming from Cuba...years ago and just recently.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:36   #11
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

I have just sailed from Cuba to key west Florida. Absolutely NO problems with authorities on arrival in the USA. It's a thing of the past.
Weather forecasts....
You can access a Cuban WiFi by purchasing an ETCSA Trajeta de navigation. $1.50 for 1 hour of shitty internet.
It works where you find a state owned hotspot. There are plenty around.
Download GRIBS onto a suitable app.
You will be very limited where you can anchor in Cuba. Bureaucracy is complicated. Great people.
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:45   #12
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

A few years back we were sitting on the hook at Statia on a charter boat. We were having no fun interpreting the wx reports we could pick up from Puerto Rico as our Spanish was pretty thin. Across the bay at the commercial dock was a CSL ship which was flying the Cdn flag of course. We were able to raise it on VHF and got a very comprehensive 48 hour report. Dominica got closer.
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Old 08-03-2017, 19:17   #13
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

Thanks, everyone. We've had some things come up to divert our attention away from Cuba planning for a bit (life can have a way of intruding on cruising priorities, can't it?), but when we do get back to it in a couple weeks, we appreciate having these good options to research & suggestions to consider.
Captndave1 - we'll let you know then if we're going to go with SSB, and if so, and you still have yours available, we'll get in touch with you for more details.
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Old 17-03-2017, 19:56   #14
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

What about cellular data in Cuba?
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Old 18-03-2017, 06:01   #15
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Re: Accessing Weather Data in Cuba

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Originally Posted by Jerry Woodward View Post
What about cellular data in Cuba?
There is no celuar data in Cuba. I couldn't buy a Cuban chip. I think they are difficult to get for non Cubans.
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