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Old 09-23-2016, 07:09 PM   #61
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Back to the topic of Cuba, we're waiting to hear from others like Bill who are making the trip. Normal people making a normal trip there, other than claiming one of the 12 reasons.
I believe you will find that Bill is doing so under one of the twelve reasons.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:34 PM   #62
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I believe you will find that Bill is doing so under one of the twelve reasons.
I know....I meant it was all normal except having to claim a reason.
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Old 09-23-2016, 09:22 PM   #63
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Can you expand on this - over and above the usual watch-outs when cruising the islands?
Well, for starters, you're dealing with a third world country. Also, they are very new to tourism. And there's still restrictions so theres not a lot of travel there.

Not for me, but have had a LOT of friend go down there for various reasons, and non have had problems but there have been some uncomfortable moments.
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Old 09-23-2016, 10:00 PM   #64
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No. First I don't have a boat card. Second, our licenses aren't 100 Ton. And it's nothing about ego itch, it's just about learning. We came into coastal and ocean cruising brand new to it. We also got considerable training by a captain. Then some courses like Advanced Firefighting and Medical Person in Charge and Survival Craft and Rescue Boats are courses we hope are never needed. Some courses we love, some not. Celestial Navigation reminds me of astronomy in college and I didn't like it either. We both have one more course to take this year to be STCW compliant by December 31.

We have friends taking the basic captain's courses with no intent to ever get a license or it will be years away, but they just wanted to learn more in a formal environment.

We've not taken any of the courses online.

Beyond the initial courses very little is about rules.
I applaud you sir and mam.... It's refreshing to hear of someone taking responsibility for their safety and security.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:29 PM   #65
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Well, for starters, you're dealing with a third world country. Also, they are very new to tourism. And there's still restrictions so theres not a lot of travel there.

Not for me, but have had a LOT of friend go down there for various reasons, and non have had problems but there have been some uncomfortable moments.
Third world nation describes Rwanda or Nigeria, not Cuba. At least no where a tourist might intentionally visit. Cubans might be a lot of things but "new to tourism" taint' one of 'em. Limited to serving tourists largely from the Eastern Bloc nations for several decades didn't exactly force them to compete head to head with other nations so understandably retarded development, some folks actually think of that as a positive.

I have experienced "uncomfortable moments" in the USA so have no doubt someone may feel that way in more exotic locales.
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Old 09-23-2016, 11:48 PM   #66
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I applaud you sir and mam.... It's refreshing to hear of someone taking responsibility for their safety and security.
We didn't do it for applause, although appreciate it. Mainly we knew we were going to do a lot of cruising and wanted to learn what we could. We're by no means the most experienced or self sufficient, in that our mechanical side is very limited. We like learning too, about things that interest us.
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Old 09-24-2016, 12:03 AM   #67
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Well I have visited Cuba at least 30 times and the tourism facilities are reasonably good. There are 5 star hotels and lots of 4 star hotels. You can go anywhere day or night without fear of entering the wrong neighbourhood. I frequent one in Holguin that is full of Canadians, Brits, Germans, Italians and even adventurous Americans that have flown in from Canada or Mexico. The people are friendly and helpful. Many speak English and now that they are allowed some simple self employment there are guesthouses and restaurants available as well. Cultural visits are one of the 12 reasons but don't spent the fortunes that the "approved US tour companies" are charging. Fly to Toronto and you can take an all inclusive package to Cuba with Air, Hotel, transfers, Meals and all you can drink at a 4 star resort for $750 US or less. Hire an air conditioned car and Driver for $80 a day and see the countryside. There are World Heritage sites you can visit if you must justify the trip but just meeting a few local Cubans is a People to People experience and all that you need. Or look up Cuba Cruise and take a small cruise ship around Cuba for half of what Carnival is charging for a two port visit. They are approved for US Citizens so you can fly to Havana legally.


Just bring an open mind and you may be surprised at what you learn.


Or continue to hate the Castros and ignore 10 million really nice people that really want to learn about the world beyond their borders.


Once you have done that you may want to take your boat over. Two years ago the Cienfuegos Yacht club was 45 cents a foot per day with electric and in the bar 3 beers for me and a Mohito for the admiral was 7 bucks with tip. Nice place too.
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Old 09-24-2016, 07:44 AM   #68
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An absolute fantastic resource for cruising Cuba can be found in the Cuba, Land and Sea Facebook group. Addison Chan has been to Cuba many times and moderates the group of 1,500 boaters. There are daily discussions about all aspects of bringing a boat to Cuba - things you might not have thought about like pets, credit cards, or getting reliable cellular and WiFi connectivity. Many of the members post pictures and the whole group is filled with good information.

Check it out:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/Cubalandandsail/
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Old 09-24-2016, 09:09 AM   #69
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Interesting link Jeffrey,
Thanks
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Old 09-24-2016, 02:52 PM   #70
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Here's a couple of pictures of the raft we ran across on the way over.
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Old 09-24-2016, 03:04 PM   #71
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she'll make a fine little tender some day
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:06 PM   #72
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Wow. That raft is crazy. What kind of engine is that?
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Old 09-24-2016, 08:54 PM   #73
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Well I have visited Cuba at least 30 times and the tourism facilities are reasonably good. There are 5 star hotels and lots of 4 star hotels. You can go anywhere day or night without fear of entering the wrong neighbourhood. I frequent one in Holguin that is full of Canadians, Brits, Germans, Italians and even adventurous Americans that have flown in from Canada or Mexico. The people are friendly and helpful. Many speak English and now that they are allowed some simple self employment there are guesthouses and restaurants available as well. Cultural visits are one of the 12 reasons but don't spent the fortunes that the "approved US tour companies" are charging. Fly to Toronto and you can take an all inclusive package to Cuba with Air, Hotel, transfers, Meals and all you can drink at a 4 star resort for $750 US or less. Hire an air conditioned car and Driver for $80 a day and see the countryside. There are World Heritage sites you can visit if you must justify the trip but just meeting a few local Cubans is a People to People experience and all that you need. Or look up Cuba Cruise and take a small cruise ship around Cuba for half of what Carnival is charging for a two port visit. They are approved for US Citizens so you can fly to Havana legally.


Just bring an open mind and you may be surprised at what you learn.


Or continue to hate the Castros and ignore 10 million really nice people that really want to learn about the world beyond their borders.


Once you have done that you may want to take your boat over. Two years ago the Cienfuegos Yacht club was 45 cents a foot per day with electric and in the bar 3 beers for me and a Mohito for the admiral was 7 bucks with tip. Nice place too.
Yeah, many/most Americans have no idea what has been and is going on down here.

But that doesn't seem to keep them from talking or posting like they do. :-)

So far the owners and guests have had a wonderful time and are really enjoying Cuba and it's people.

I've been keeping notes and I'd be happy to share them with anyone who's interested when I get back and have faster, more reliable internet.
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Old 09-24-2016, 10:58 PM   #74
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Yeah, many/most Americans have no idea what has been and is going on down here.

But that doesn't seem to keep them from talking or posting like they do. :-)

So far the owners and guests have had a wonderful time and are really enjoying Cuba and it's people.

I've been keeping notes and I'd be happy to share them with anyone who's interested when I get back and have faster, more reliable internet.
I would be interested in that. Take plenty of photos and videos as well.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:02 AM   #75
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Wow. That raft is crazy. What kind of engine is that?
I was busy manuvering the boat so I didn't get a close look at it. But based on the pictures I'd guess it's a gas or diesel small tractor or farm implement engine.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:14 AM   #76
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I was busy manuvering the boat so I didn't get a close look at it. But based on the pictures I'd guess it's a gas or diesel small tractor or farm implement engine.

Thanks. It is sobering for me that there are still folks that desperate to leave Cuba.

Do you see any small trawler type boats my size making it over to Cuba? Or should I keep my goal on the Bahamas. Similar distance it seems, but I'm sure there other factors I'm not considering that make getting to Cuba (and enjoying it once there) different from the Bahamas.
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:29 AM   #77
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No. First I don't have a boat card. Second, our licenses aren't 100 Ton. And it's nothing about ego itch, it's just about learning. We came into coastal and ocean cruising brand new to it. We also got considerable training by a captain. Then some courses like Advanced Firefighting and Medical Person in Charge and Survival Craft and Rescue Boats are courses we hope are never needed. Some courses we love, some not. Celestial Navigation reminds me of astronomy in college and I didn't like it either. We both have one more course to take this year to be STCW compliant by December 31.



We have friends taking the basic captain's courses with no intent to ever get a license or it will be years away, but they just wanted to learn more in a formal environment.



We've not taken any of the courses online.



Beyond the initial courses very little is about rules.

My take on it is exactly the same, and I've done the same thing re training and licensing. No, the CG licenses don't require demonstrated boat handling skills, and that is arguably a shortcoming. But beyond the entry level tickets, you actually need some serious time as master or mate to upgrade. 200 and above, with near coastal or oceans requires some real hands on experience.
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:37 PM   #78
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Wow...what a terribly horrible irony of this event. Jose Fernandez, a pitcher for the Marlins, came to the US by speedboat 8 years ago. This morning early (around 3:00) he and two others were killed when they ran a 32' SeaVee into a jetty at Government Cut.
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Old 09-25-2016, 12:50 PM   #79
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Wow...what a terribly horrible irony of this event. Jose Fernandez, a pitcher for the Marlins, came to the US by speedboat 8 years ago. This morning early (around 3:00) he and two others were killed when they ran a 32' SeaVee into a jetty at Government Cut.
Not to drift here but.... Speedboats running into jetties at 3am seems to be a semi regular occurrence. Hmm.
Happened here a couple of years back and the social media solution was to remove the jetty since it was the second occurrence in 3 years so it must obviously be a hazard to navigation. Fortunately Coast Guard had a different opinion.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:36 PM   #80
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Thanks. It is sobering for me that there are still folks that desperate to leave Cuba.

Do you see any small trawler type boats my size making it over to Cuba? Or should I keep my goal on the Bahamas. Similar distance it seems, but I'm sure there other factors I'm not considering that make getting to Cuba (and enjoying it once there) different from the Bahamas.
While there are not a lot of boats in the marina, they are in all shapes and sizes.

Since we came down on on the 21st I don't think the seas have been over 3' between here and Key West. So if you pick the weather is not much more of a trip than going to Bimini or West End in the Bahamas.

So with the right weather window you don't need a large boat to get here.
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