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Old 18-12-2015, 08:31   #16
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

I don't think 4-5 boats mostly equipped for cruising is a "sporting" event.

I am in favor of normalizing relations and cruised one month myself in 2009. I just find this cock and bull approved activities for hire providers to be redicilous.

FYI, I checked the cruise ship. They plan to depart and return from MIAMI starting in 2017. I wonder if you get a refund based on the outcome of the '16 election?
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:21   #17
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

The Coast Guard nowadays is a shadow of its former self. Basically your local cop. Most of their staff have no idea about the sea nor about sailing. Outside of SAR, they really are worthless nowadays. Too bad, use to be a great organization.
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:38   #18
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

So back in the "good ole" days when most coasties were essentially draft dodgers was the good times?

While I have had several negative interactions with then CG, I don't have an overall negative opinion.

I find having a orange or yellow ring on each stern pulpit seems to ward them off.
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:46   #19
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
The Coast Guard nowadays is a shadow of its former self. Basically your local cop. Most of their staff have no idea about the sea nor about sailing. Outside of SAR, they really are worthless nowadays. Too bad, use to be a great organization.

I don't think I'd be dissing them, as they save cruisers all the time.
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Old 18-12-2015, 10:53   #20
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

Just got this from a US travel agent.

Good Afternoon,

My name is Jim Buckley and I am sending you an email to help you sort through a lot of press coverage and confusion that will occur in the next couple of weeks. This is all about travel to Cuba.

Starting today you will hear a lot about an agreement between the USA and Cuba to begin commercial air service between the two countries. Another company is planning on instituting a ferry service between the two countries. Many companies are promoting travel to Cuba who are, at the moment, not authorized to sell travel to Cuba but have applications pending. All of this will create confusion and misinformation in the short term.

This information will stimulate conversation among friends and families so we want to provide you with some basic information that is fact and current.

Only certain US companies have been granted licenses/permits authorizing them to bring tourists to Cuba. At this moment the government still requires these groups to be in a approved category such as “cultural”. The groups all depart from south Florida and these companies use charter flights to and from Cuba. There are a few companies that are currently authorized by our government for this travel and among them are International Expeditions and Tauck.

What has changed recently is the following:
o Single travel is now authorized by permit.
o You may now open a bank account in Cuba and Cubans can do so in the US.
o You may now purchase gifts in Cuba and they are allowed to be brought back to the US. Among these items are Cuban cigars, as an example.

The bottom line is that this scene is rapidly changing and there is a lot of info floating around that is either misleading, being released prematurely or will go into effect in the near future.

If you, a family member, or a friend is thinking of a visit to Cuba please refer them to us. Do we know all of the answers? No, the scene is changing rapidly but we are wired into sources enabling us to provide accurate information.
James A. (Jim) Buckley, CTA


President, Island Travel
95 Mathews Drive, Suite B-3
Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
843.681.3033
President, Carolinas Chapter of ASTA
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Old 18-12-2015, 11:24   #21
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

Yet another day when it's great to be a Canadian and have a vessel flagged in Canada. My second year of retirement will have me cruising Cuba just as the influx of Americans hits the island nation.

I'm looking forward to exploring the last frontier in the hemisphere... Above water.
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Old 18-12-2015, 12:19   #22
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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I don't think I'd be dissing them, as they save cruisers all the time.
Evidently you have not been sailing for some time.Nowadays the CG does not save anyone except for SAR missions. Otherwise they refer you to private tow operators. Since you probably are not a sailor, SAR means Search and Rescue operations where there is imminent threat of a vessel floundering or a crew in dire need of medical evacuation. That they perform well. Otherwise their primary task seems to be drug interdiction and harassing sailors.
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Old 18-12-2015, 12:40   #23
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Evidently you have not been sailing for some time.Nowadays the CG does not save anyone except for SAR missions. Otherwise they refer you to private tow operators. Since you probably are not a sailor, SAR means Search and Rescue operations where there is imminent threat of a vessel floundering or a crew in dire need of medical evacuation. That they perform well. Otherwise their primary task seems to be drug interdiction and harassing sailors.
There's a difference between saving someone and giving someone a tow.

I don't really have a problem with them enforcing U.S. laws.
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Old 18-12-2015, 12:49   #24
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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I would hope that the CG has something better to do.
My estimation of the USCG improved ten fold few days ago when I ran into difficulties rounding Cape Canaveral in a heavy storm. Due to conditions SeaTow would not come out; however, they called USCG and they came out and towed us into Cape Canaveral. Even some of the Coast Guard crew were sick for their first time.
There was no charge to me.
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Old 18-12-2015, 13:09   #25
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

We have some thread drift here from going to Cuba to an evaluation of the USCG. I thnik Evans' original thread was to warn people to be observant of the still existing (even if seemingly changing daily) rules about going to Cuba. For Americans, there are some laws to observe and harsh penalties for ignoring them. A good reminder in view of some articles in boating magazines extolling the virtues of cruising in Cuba. US citizens need to be careful, but things are changing.
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Old 18-12-2015, 13:48   #26
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

I'm glad we are free, that is as long as you do as your told.
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Old 18-12-2015, 14:16   #27
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by Moody46CC View Post
We have some thread drift here from going to Cuba to an evaluation of the USCG. I thnik Evans' original thread was to warn people to be observant of the still existing (even if seemingly changing daily) rules about going to Cuba. For Americans, there are some laws to observe and harsh penalties for ignoring them. A good reminder in view of some articles in boating magazines extolling the virtues of cruising in Cuba. US citizens need to be careful, but things are changing.
Thanks well stated.
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Old 18-12-2015, 14:17   #28
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Evidently you have not been sailing for some time.Nowadays the CG does not save anyone except for SAR missions. Otherwise they refer you to private tow operators. Since you probably are not a sailor, SAR means Search and Rescue operations where there is imminent threat of a vessel floundering or a crew in dire need of medical evacuation. That they perform well. Otherwise their primary task seems to be drug interdiction and harassing sailors.
I don't believe this for a moment and I'm Australian. They may refer you to a private tow company if you need a tow. But the media is full of examples of the USCG rescuing people.
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Old 18-12-2015, 14:22   #29
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

Given this is an international forum, would someone mind explaining this post to an Aussie?

I thought the silly childish spat with Cuba was over and the embargo lifted?
Cuban cigars are really not worth all the hype now days.
Can the USCG give out a 'ticket' amounting to $100 000? Seriously? For what exactly?
In Australia marine insurance excludes a 'race' of any disscription and we need to get cover for a race.
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Old 18-12-2015, 14:46   #30
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Re: Cuba .. . Fine

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Originally Posted by Rustic Charm View Post
Given this is an international forum, would someone mind explaining this post to an Aussie? I thought the silly childish spat with Cuba was over and the embargo lifted? Can the USCG give out a 'ticket' amounting to $100 000? Seriously? For what exactly?

In Australia marine insurance excludes a 'race' of any disscription and we need to get cover for a race.
The embargo is still technically still in place. Only congress can pass or repeal laws and they have not.

Obama has decided we should normalize relations with Cuba. He cannot get congress to play along and pass new laws. So he has taken purely administrative action to redefine and re-interpret these existing laws to make them as weak as they can be. So, we are currently stuck with laws that were written to be very tough but with an administration that is interpreting them as weakly as possible. It is a very muddled situation. (we have an entirely dysfunctional government at the moment)

Right now it appears that americans need to specifically comply with 4 different existing laws to sail (legally) to cuba. (1) Purely tourist travel to cuba is still clearly illegal, but there are 12 categories of allowed travel that are somewhat 'flexible'. (2) You need a permit (SNAP-R) from the Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) allowing the vessel to enter Cuba. (3) You need a permit from the USCG allowing US vessels to enter Cuban territorial waters, and this permit requires that the applicant identify the OFAC license and provide the BIS permit. (4) And you need record keeping of all transactions (to meet the specific requirements of 31CFR501.601 and 602).

If you jump thru all four of those hoops successfully you can legally sail to cuba. If you mess up on any of them you can be severely penalized because the penalties were written when cuba was 'the enemy' and you were supporting the enemy if you dealt with them.

It appears that the boat mentioned in the OP somehow failed to do at least #3. And has gotten dinged for it. In the past sometimes officials cared about and enforced the rules (Bush W years) and at other times they did not (Clinton years). We don't know if the USCG really cares about the other rules/permits, but the new fact we have learned from this incident is that they do now care about whether you get a permit from them.

As to racing and insurance - BoatUS has been unusual in the industry historically covered racing as part of its normal cover. It is an actuarial fact that race boats have a higher damage rate, so whether they will continue that 'generous' practice I can not say.
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