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Old 22-09-2006, 08:35   #1
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Any Canadians Going to Cuba ?

... are there any Canadians (or those interested in buddy cruising with Canadians) thinking of going to Cuba in the next year or so? I've been all along the NE 500 miles of the coast of Cuba in 2002, and can help you with the Charts from Puerto Vida back to the typical jumping off points back to the Florida keys.

If there is anyone interested in making this trip, please send me an email and I can help you be legal, and also would like to send along a box of school supplies to one of your stopping points in Manatee.

BTW, I know that people are burned out on going to places which don't like cruisers, or are rude, or unsafe, or extremely crowded. Cuba is absolutely none of those things. It's one of the friendliest, safest, and most untouched places you will ever go.

Cheers!
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Old 16-01-2007, 23:18   #2
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UK boat with a Canadian/Australian and UK/Australian dual nationality crew considering heading there in winter 2007/08 so meet some of your criteria!

First question is it a shallow area like the Bahamas or is there actually some water, we draw 7' 6" so have been seriously discouraged by the Bahamas as a cruising ground.
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Old 17-01-2007, 06:41   #3
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I agree - the Cuban authorities were very pleasant and helpful (they offered NOT to stamp my passport - but I wanted the stamp as a souvenir!).

I was there last month for a quick re-fuelling stop: this was a mistake - fuel was extortionate!! But perhaps they saw this gringo coming....

Nigel Calder's excellent guide book is slightly out of date with regard to facilities but the sailing directions and nav info are still good.

Tony
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Old 17-01-2007, 12:30   #4
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Sydney time, typically coastal waters drop off quick just off the Cuban coast, while the bahamas, as you know too well, are on one big bahamian shelf. So the cruising off Cuba would be much deeper in general. Going to Cuba you would definitely want to be well provisioned for fuel, spare parts, etc, so going there would be for the cultural exchange, which would be extraordinary.

Send me a private email with where you want to go and I can give more specifics as to those destinations. Nigal Calders book is OK, but there are some now significant changes for ports of entry and he has one completely fictional marina on the north east coast which is kind of funny. The specific route we went was along the north east coast from just below Ragged Island in the Bahamas (puerto vita) to Vero Dero.
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Old 17-01-2007, 14:11   #5
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I've never been to Vero Dero; but I hear Varadero is nice.
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Old 17-01-2007, 17:30   #6
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It's ok (smaller ports have much more local flavor), but obviously my spelling isn't great!
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Old 22-03-2007, 15:31   #7
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I was in touch with a Canadian couple via Ham radio last spring, who hit the South coast of Cuba while on their way back to Canada from Mexico. They enjoyed their stay, but regulations restricted their ability to properly provision, regardless of the cost. They ultimately had to make an unplanned stop in Jamaica (I think) to get enough food to carry them further north!!
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Old 22-03-2007, 16:22   #8
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Problem with provisioning is not regulations but availability. Sumarpo is the provisioning agent for the commercial shipping and will sell small lots to pleasure boats. But they can be completely out of some items. Other areas along the south coast are restricted and foreigners can not go ashore. If the local stores have items you can buy anything you like but the shelves are very often bare.
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Old 23-03-2007, 06:43   #9
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correct, the ability to provision isn't guarenteed, and it's wise to go with all of the food you would need unless you are going to be travelling via car and stopping in restaraunts. Things like medicines, dog food, bath needs, etc will almost certainly not be available. Water is free and generally good quality.
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Old 23-03-2007, 17:22   #10
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Cuba

Be careful. If Uncle Sam believes that you are leaving any US port to go to Cuba , they can steal your boat, no proof neccessary, and no appeal allowed.
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Old 24-03-2007, 03:28   #11
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I’d welcome any authoritative exposition of the legal implications involved in visiting Cuba; but don’t think socio/political emotionalisms serve any useful purpose on the CF.
Lets leave our heartfelt (and important) political opinions for more appropriate assemblages.
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Old 24-03-2007, 07:35   #12
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I've been nibbling around the edges of a Cuba cruise for some time. I have heard that a yacht carrying school supplies and/or medical (first aid) supplies can enter Cuba and return to the US lawfully, such voyage being designated as a "humanitarian voyage". There is more than one US based volunteer organization that has an export licence under which such a voyage may be lawfully made.

There is a wealth of information about voyages to Cuba on the "Boot Key Harbor" website: Cuba , however many of the references are two or three years old. Apparently, several US citizens were arrested and their boats seized after returning from Cuba on a "humanitarian voyage" in 2004. The case was dropped in Federal court in 2005. All very well, but a considerable period of time in "limbo" without a boat and limited freedom of movement for the individuals who, presumably, were on bail.

bvimatelot says, " ... the Cuban authorities were very pleasant and helpful ... ". I don't think that is the issue. Returning to the US without being arrested and/or having your boat seized is the problem. There are links the Boot Key Harbor website leading to documents and permits (apparently) required. But will dotting your " i's" and crossing your " t's" ensure a hassle free return? Does anyone have any more recent experience with this?

It has been said, "... it’s not illegal to go - - only to spend money there." Is that US currency only? Can I spend Canadian or Mexican money there? (Anyone can get a bunch of foreign currency at any US bank. It may take a day or two for the bank to accumulate a requested amount.)

Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 24-03-2007, 11:57   #13
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For Americans...it is against the law...your insurance is no good there and if anything happens you are on your own. Don't like the law?? Change it.
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Old 24-03-2007, 14:20   #14
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Tony, The guy with the biggest gun makes the rules.

If anyone would like to open a thread to debate the ethics or realities of travel to foreign nations and the individuals rights to free travel to wherever they chose based on their own conscience and desires I would be happy to debate those issues but that is not what this thread is about.
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Old 24-03-2007, 16:20   #15
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Very well stated.
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