Newsletter #297

Newsletter #297 - December 16, 2015

Thoughts of Cuba

>>> Thoughts of Cuba >>>

We arrived in Key West this week where the influence of Cuba is strong. Every US cruiser knows Cuba is on the horizon. A few lucky US boaters have already gone, but for most of us, we'll have to wait until insurance coverage is available. That doesn't stop us from planning!

The 2016 way of planning is easy, fun, and best of all, free.

Frank Virgintino has given a wonderful gift to the cruising world by making a series of free cruising guides available. Together with Amaia Agirre, their 536 page guide for Cuba is something you should download today:

This guide was last updated in 2013 and contains wonderful background information about Cuba and preparing for a trip there. Download the pdf and put it on a laptop or iPad. Or print it out. The information is quite complete, including basics that don't change over time.

However, information about clearing customs, facilities, money, and other subjects will change. That makes the internet your best source for those topics.

Noonsite maintains a country database of clearing, check-in, and other basic information for nearly all the world's cruising grounds. Cuba has a page with the latest information:

As a free internet resource, Noonsite is updated frequently by fellow cruisers. There are recent articles on the page along with the country profile, formalities (10 categories), and general info.

ActiveCaptain users have entered a wealth of information about marinas, anchorages, local knowledge, and hazards along the Cuban coast. The north coast documents all 7 marinas and about 25 anchorages. The south coast shows the 6 marinas and about 35 anchorages on the mainland and nearby islands. All have reviews and comments and will provide a great starting place to create and share routes as we all plan our adventures there.

There's no reason to pay for information especially static paper guides, already stale when they reach your hands. Internet information is alive, particularly important for Cuba where major changes will take place.

While we dream and plan, we picked up a small Cuban coffee maker and have been perfecting our technique of making cortadito and cafe con leche (using almond milk). For half the price of a guidebook, you can buy the maker, coffee, and learn how to make it. It's easy, works well on a boat stove. It makes us feel just one step closer to being in Cuba. Search YouTube for some great how-to videos.

For planning a departure from the US, check out Stock Island Marina Village - this is an exceptional facility with brand new docks, shuttles for provisioning and downtown, and is the perfect jumping off and landing spot for Cuba:

Stock Island is a great destination for spending some time in Key West as well. They are located in a protected basin just off Hawk Channel with 20 feet in the approach channel allowing all vessels to enter and exit in all conditions.

We have to also give a shout out to Conch Harbor Marina in downtown Key West. They've been a long-time partner of ActiveCaptain and are an excellent marina for enjoying the downtown Key West experience.

While sipping your Cuban coffee, explore ActiveCaptain's complete list of marinas in Cuba below. And if you're lucky enough to be cruising there this winter, please share your experiences through reviews, comments, and updates. You'll help all of us plan our dreams.

Marinas on the north coast from east to west:

Puerto de Vita:

Marina Guillermo:

Gaviota Marina:

Marina Chapelin:

Marina Darsena de Varadero:

Marina Hemingway:

Marina Los Morros de Cabo San Antonio:

Marinas on the south coast from west to east:

Maria la Gorda:

Marina Darsena De Siguanea:

Marina Cayo Largo:

Marina Cienfuegos:

Marina Cayo Blanco:

Marina Marlin Santiago De Cuba:

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Remember - Defender 1st: one product, one week, one incredible price.

When you're thinking about purchasing boating supplies, think of Defender first.

Dylan and Dee Dee are enjoying warm days in Key West, Florida. They are finding Stock Island Marina Village a terrific dog place. This is the first marina they've found that built a dog park right on the property! They've already settled into the daily routine - wake up, lick Mom and Dad until they're awake, have breakfast, take a morning nap, and then go to the dog park. You can check out their grueling schedule by visiting Dylan and Dee Dee's blog:

Karen and Jeffrey Siegel
Castine, Maine
sharing the experience
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Newsletter Archive
We are currently merging the different ActiveCaptain websites into a single website.

Because of this, all later newsletters are being only put onto the ActiveCaptain Help Center found here:
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Older newsletters will be duplicated here until these pages are removed.

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