We have wanted to go to Cuba for as long as we have been cruising and almost did it in 2000, but the weather made it nearly impossible to cross the Straits of Florida and we ran out of time. Actually had the paperwork done and were sitting on go in Key West. (did the Dry Tortugas instead)
We've always been fascinated by the Island that is so close, yet so far away. Even our dog, Radar, is Cuban... a Havanese (Havana, even though he was born in Nashville.)
Lately, reading all the press about lifting certain bans had given us hope, but our government hasn't really done much but talk. The latest rumors hint at easing the ban, but not giving up the embargo. Which means, at least, we are easing out of the Bush —Axis of Evil— thinking and back to the Clinton style ban. Which is kinda like, don't ask, don't tell — and if you have trouble — don't call us. Better, but not what we had hoped for.
The other side of the story...
We've been pokin around South Florida for a while now and have made friends and acquaintances with many Cuban Americans. Their take on the whole thing is a bit different than ours.
While they hope for more freedom for their home country, they're also fearful of having the embargo lifted. They have different reasons for feeling the way they do and unless you're Cuban, you probably wouldn't understand.
So, we have this fantasy of pristine beaches, spicy food, great music, and a mysterious country that seems time abandoned in the Fifties. That's probably true at this time, but what if American capitalism receives a toe hold. Taco Bell on the corner vs. the local cuisine in a Paladare with fine cuban music blasting out from the apartment next door... Hmmm
Crew Istaboa is working on a way to cruise Cuba. Not sure how yet, but we're resourceful. We did hear Cultural Exchange is a pass. Hmmm...
Anyway, there are many cruisers that are bumping around Cuba now. Just from other countries.
Below you find a couple of links if you're interested.
Nat Geo does Cuba... http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0311/sights_n_sounds/media2.html
Seven Seas, Seven Summits... Cruising tips for Cuba http://sevenseassevensummits.com/?page_id=191
read this guys blog, it's very interesting. Cut from his site:
This voyage across the Seven seas and to the top of the Seven summits has never been completed before. Can it be done?Graham Hoyland has climbed Mount Everest and McKinley, the two hardest mountains, and has sailed across the Southern Ocean to Antarctica by sailing yacht, certainly the most difficult ocean, so he is confident that this project is possible.
The itinerary is to leave Florida and sail to Chile through the South Pacific to climb Aconcagua, recuperate at the southern end of Latin America ready for our crossing of the Southern Ocean. Vinson (Antarctica) can be climbed from late November to mid January. Then across the South and North Pacific to Carstenz Pyramid, west across the Indian Ocean to Africa and Kilimanjaro, up the Red Sea, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea to climb Elbrus. Then across the North Atlantic to attempt a summer traverse of the North-West passage, giving us a complete circumnavigation of all seven summits and seven seas in just over two years.