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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Forbidden Fruit - Havana, Cuba

cruiser destinations a cruising guide to cuba frank virgintino amaia agirre
Map courtesy of “A Cruising Guide to Cuba" byAmaia Agirre and Frank Virgintino.
Sloppy red arrows and lines charting between the US
and our Panama destination are mine.
“Where are you headed?” we asked the crew aboard Christina, a sizable Voyager catamaran, gliding past us as she sailed out of the Dry Tortugas anchorage.

“Cuba!  Before McDonald’s gets there,” Captain Walter replied, beaming.

“That’s exactly our sentiments too!”  Wayne hollered back.  “No McDonald’s, no Starbucks!” 

Both our boats proudly bore U.S.A. ensign flags, denoting our country of origin.

cuban rum and cuban cigars sailing to cuba
Kirstey and Walter of the catamaran Christina.
Photo pilfered from Kirstey's Facebook page.
Later Christina’s Co-Captain Kirstey told us her Dad initially asked, “What are you doing going to Cuba?  Are you crazy?” Dad, Kirstey explained, was pretty savvy on the topic of world affairs. 

Even before Obama spoke of his desire to re-establish US - Cuban relations, we figured it was just a matter of time before the tourism floodgates opened between the two neighboring countries. 

Once that friendly invasion happens, we believe Cuba will forever lose much of its unique culture in its desire to accommodate the inevitable pressures accompanying an economic boom. 

Our desire to explore distinctly different cultures and terrain compels us to make this journey.  Well, that and our penchant for sunny skies and tropical temps balmy enough to encourage scanty clothing.

We’re thrilled  with the idea of arriving before “the masses.” 

Amaia Agirre and Frank Virgintino of “A Cruising Guide to Cuba” concur....
The mystique of Cuba is a big factor in itself. Cubans are vivacious and love music and dance, family and life. To be with Cubans is to celebrate life; not what was in the past or what may be in the future, but in the present. For without doubt Cubans are experts at living in the present. If you want to get rid of some anxiety, go to Cuba; drink some rum, smoke a good cigar and dance until the sun comes up.

And did we?

You’ll just have to read the next post to find out!

us cuba relations sailng destination
We saw this sculpture after our 
last stop in the US, which was Florida's
Dry Tortugas.  Guess -- where did
we see this sculpture?
Location Location

January 21, 2015. Recent retrospective of December 29th 2014, USA, in the Dry Tortugas.  Even if we did not step ashore, hugging Cuba’s coastline is one viable track from Florida to Panama.  Panama is the point where we’ll cross the canal from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We are currently in Altamira Panama (N09.17.265 W82.23.146) where we just got our mast pulled and repaired before our trip through the canal. Tomorrow or the following day we're likely headed to the San Blas, Panama.