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Old 13-02-2014, 07:53   #1
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Cruising around Cuba

Hi, fellow cruisers,
hope life is fantastic and the sailing sweet
I'm about to leave for the Far Bahamas and make my way towards Cuba.
Some years ago I read on this forum some suggestions for best ports of entry in terms of getting the best value cruising permit that covers all the Cuban coastline, not just port by port.
I'm wondering if anyone has recently cruised in Cuba and can offer some advice.
I'm a Kiwi with Kiwi and Swedish crew, my yacht is a NZ registered vessel.
I plan to spend at least a month mainly on the south coast of Cuba, and want to leave the yacht for inland exploration. I hear there are some secure marinas, and I also have contact with a couple of other boats heading that way at the same time.
All thoughts welcome
Murtaig
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Old 14-02-2014, 04:21   #2
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Re: Cruising around Cuba

Your first port to check in on the south coast is Santiago if coming from the east. There is no permit that will allow you free cruising without checking in and out of every port. That does not mean the outer cays, you can cruise them as you please. The towns and cities are a different story. Some , you will not be able to go to shore. Others will require the check-in and out process. Chuck
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Old 14-02-2014, 05:15   #3
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Re: Cruising around Cuba

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Murtaig.
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Old 14-02-2014, 06:15   #4
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Re: Cruising around Cuba

Hi Murtaig,
I haven't sailed the south shore of Cuba, but I have spent some time on the South coast between Cabo Cruz and Santiago. If you are planning to spend some time there on land, I highly recommend a couple of things. If you can pack aboard a couple of cheap bicycles, you will be well served by them for inland adventure. I have cycled the road between Santiago and Cabo Cruz and it is a fantastic unspoiled coast for riding. Sometimes you ride for 2 hours on the paved (somewhat) road, and share the road with no cars!
The National park with Mt. Turquino (spelling?) is something I want to go back and hike.A guide can be hired inexpensively, and there is very basic accommodation available near the top.
If you can manage, plan on leaving the bikes there with some locals. You will be visiting one of the poorest provinces in cuba and leaving the bike is well appreciated. This act of goodwill will come back to you twofold, be sure.

Here, on the right, is a pic approaching Turquino from the West, typical of the terrain there.
I'm not sure about anchoring/marinas along that coast, may be a bit of a challenge. I don't recall seeing a lot of options. There were a few boats anchored in Marea Del Portillo where I stayed, but I got in trouble while taking a rented resort kayak out to visit a boat flying a Canadian flag. Decent anchorage though. On the left is a pic of the anchorage, zoom in and you can just see a boat anchored off the the right of the peak.
Best of luck Murtaig and Crew, enjoy!
Les
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Old 14-02-2014, 06:18   #5
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Re: Cruising around Cuba

Sorry about the pictures, for some reason all of my uploads to posts do this. The administrator is trying to figure out why. They are small jpegs, that don't need rotating, so I'm puzzled...
I'll continue to work on it

Les
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