Yoga On Yachts


Yoga agreeable is a wonderful option to exercise and relax from day-to-day stress  (posted June 2016)

Sailing is just a physical lifestyle. From increasing sails and grinding winches to dragging the dinghy up a coastline, to schlepping conditions and climbing onboard, every aspect of life for a watercraft requires a particular amount of conditioning. Underway, going for a couple of actions can involve more real dexterity than usual and sometimes even sleeping appears like a full-body work out rather than a restful act—the constant bracing, shifting and compensating the motion associated with motorboat.

But like the tide, the pace of life agreeable ebbs and flows. If the long passages regarding the season are complete, the once a week enjoyable races are completed while the crowds of constant companions that kept you busy have actually sailed on, it may sometimes feel just like task falls to all-time lows. This occurred recently on Kate while we sat out the South Pacific cyclone season in the Solomon isles.

Whilst the months wore on not just was we needs to feel slightly sluggish but there was clearly also a lingering sense of restlessness that i recently couldn’t shake. Therefore, I came back up to a routine that I have been cultivating for over 15 years; I rolled out my mat and got back into yoga.

When many people hear the term “yoga” they immediately visualize the stereotypical images of the thin woman looking serene as she contorts into a pretzel-like pose, and/or hippie dude with dreadlocks and baggy pants having a yin-yang tattoo. While it began with India thousands of years back, the modern yoga practice is made up of a few poses, or asanas where one arranges the human body in positions that encourage understanding, leisure, stability and concentration. These asanas do supply a real challenge, plus in specific variants yoga is practiced nearly purely for physical exercise. However, the root of yoga is holistic in philosophy, by having an emphasis on particular breathing practices and mindfulness  associated with mind-body connection.
At first glance, yoga and yachts may well not appear to be an amazing pairing, after all, numerous yoga poses demand stillness and balance, two conditions not at all times attributed to life on ships. But yoga additionally asks that you look for a feeling of calm and understanding, virtues that’ll gain not only those slower days onboard once the cabin temperature kicks in but also whenever things have hectic and stress levels start to rise.

Actually, yoga and sailing have numerous things in accordance. Every single day from the water is significantly diffent, along with to adapt and adapt to varying winds and seas. Likewise, each day in your yoga pad is different—you have to alter and change poses dependent on your mind and human anatomy suggest that day. When cruising you have to produce to universal forces more than yourself, in yoga you have to accept things as they come and learn from them. In recent years, yoga, like sailing, is stylish with big-ticket brand names and stylish add-ons. Both in situations you reap the benefits not whenever you look the component but when you operate the part.
Yoga can also be quite complementary to sailing—requiring minimal equipment, an advantage when space on board is normally at reduced. All you have to begin exercising yoga is just a non-skid pad and clothes that’s both comfortable and that you are able to go efficiently in. Twenty dollars will buy you a good starter yoga mat and, like many things on board, it may do dual responsibility, supplying traction underfoot while underway. Yoga has also many results including improving power, flexibility and stability; three items that any sailor will reap the benefits of by refining. And all sorts of of the poses, or asanas, is modified to match both your abilities together with conditions in the anchorage. What this means is you are able to do yoga practically anywhere, when and that everybody from junior sailors to old salts can take part and benefit.

There is a wealth of information, mags and videos online concerning yoga but I think the ultimate way to get a appropriate introduction is by going to a class having a qualified instructor. A great teacher can not only show just how to assume the poses precisely but should correct your posture, provide advice and solution any concerns or concerns you have. Recently, yoga teacher schools have actually popped up all over the globe with increased and more people devoting the 200-500 hours needed to attain their teacher rating, therefore chances are somebody inside anchorage is qualified to teach. Check neighborhood radio nets to discover when there is a tuned teacher in fleet, most are keen to lead friends course or offer personal instruction. If you should be already practicing yoga this is certainly another great way in order to connect along with other people in your sailing area.

If you are moored within an urban center you’re prone to look for a yoga studio ashore. I went to a fantastic yoga class in Port Vila, Vanuatu that had a drop-in cost of five bucks as well as rented mats. Another great resource are the resorts and marinas in the locations where you sail to. Today extremely common for resorts to provide yoga classes to guests & most welcome people to join in. As well as for those who have been practicing yoga for a long time, classes are really a great way to master brand new skills, break bad practices and also to find a small inspiration. Once you’ve discover the basics it’s time to move your yoga onboard.

Many people might think that you’ll need a big ship to exercise yoga aboard, or that a monohull is not stable sufficient. Sure, the spacious cockpit of the catamaran could be good to work in however, if you have room enough to roll down your mat you’ll be able to exercise yoga. When I do yoga in the main cabin of our watercraft,  we use up virtually all the floor room and totally block the thoroughfare. It’s a good fit for about an hour, nonetheless it works. On times when it is maybe not blistering hot, so we have small privacy inside anchorage, i take advantage of the foredeck, wedging myself between your cabin top and also the windlass. Yoga shows acceptance, so I acknowledge that my room isn’t perfect but we practice yoga anyhow.
In anchorages which can be specially relaxed, I am able to do an extensive yoga session that incorporates sequences with several standing and balancing asanas. Whenever motorboat is moving sufficient to keep me personally on both foot we change to more stable poses that often include having both feet and practical the mat. And when the harbor is churned up with dinghy wake and also the watercraft is transferring unanticipated methods I practice roles that just require me personally to be seated or prone. Sometimes I have to alter a pose considering area limitation or conditions within the anchorage that day, but that’s OK because as the saying goes in yoga, there is absolutely no “perfect pose”.

To profit from yoga you don’t have to become a certain age, look a particular way or have confidence in a specific deity, you just need to get in your pad, be present and practice! Part exercise, part extending, component meditation, yoga engages your head and human body leaving you experiencing calm yet invigorated. With just minimal gear and almost endless variations of poses, yoga is an excellent way to keep fit and centered while sailing.

yoga-studio-with-a-viewVideos really are a good way to keep your yoga routine going. Downloading different designs and degrees of yoga onto your phone or unit will give you the chance to try brand new things and keep your yoga routine fresh.
   Many people like to practice initial thing each morning, establishing the tone the day ahead. I prefer to apply within the afternoon, letting the stress and interruptions regarding the time break down as I move through various poses. Locate a time that works with your routine onboard and make yoga part of your daily.
   Yoga mats are available in various styles, from dense and cushy to ultra-thin and foldable. If you practice inside tropics and sweat a great deal it is possible to layer a fast absorb yoga towel over your pad to avoid sliding, or get one of these set of yoga socks and mitts.

Heather Francis is originally from Nova Scotia, Canada but has resided and done the ocean for over a ten years. She’s got prepared expertly on land and on ships. Nowadays you’ll find the girl into the galley of Kate, the 41 base sloop she and her Aussie partner Steve have now been cruising since 2008. For lots more tales, photos and meals log onto

There are a large number of yoga asanas, or poses, of varying intensity and
skill levels. Here are my five favorites for exercising onboard.
Calm Conditions
Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar): A classic, sequence of asanas that links
movement with breath, combining standing, ahead fold, plank, cobra
and downward dog. Additionally beneficial to Moderate Conditions.
Standing Ahead Bend (Uttanasana): a good start pose that
stretches feet and straight back.
Tree Pose (Vriksasana): A balancing pose with several variants and
levels of difficulty.
Warrior: (Virabhadrasana) Warrior has three variants and is a pose
that works the total human anatomy; feet, core and arms.
Triangle Pose (Trikonasana): Standing stretch and stability pose.
Moderate Conditions
Chair Pose: (Utkatasana) Works legs, bum, core and arms.
Plank (Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana): Great ab workout, can be
modified for more of a challenge while you progress.
Boat Pose (Navasana): A balance pose that actually works the core—also,
very befitting onboard practice.
Cat & Cow (Marjaryasana & Bitilasana): Performed on all fours this
stretches and releases the complete straight back.
Seated Twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana): A stability and extending pose.
Choppy Conditions
Seated ahead Bend (Paschimottanasana): Stretches feet and spine.
Childs Pose (Balasana): A gentle but firm stretch for the spine.
Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana): Stretch for legs and straight back.
Reclining Twist (Supta Matsyendrasana): an excellent stretch the reduced back
and buttocks.
Corpse Pose (Savasana): Traditional done final, this may be a calm and
relaxing pose.

Offshore Anticipation


Preparations for the Bermuda Race are planning to commence, but getting ready for an overseas passage isn’t unfamiliar territory despite the variety possibilities that lurk as time goes by  (posted June 2016)

I simply made my flight reservations. Moondance, the Swan 56 we delivered to Spain final June is now in St. Martin and has to be brought house to New England when preparing the upcoming Bermuda Race this June. Michael Johnson, Moondance‘s owner, Tom Carrol, Dana Bolton and I will deliver the ship to the Jamestown Boat Yard (JBY) in belated April. All the crew have previously taken their Safety at water Seminars therefore the motorboat and crew had been completely prepared the transatlantic this past year despite the fact that it had been 1st transat for some of these aboard.

Moondance will once again be re-inspected and fawned over before our departure from St. Martin in two weeks, but that journey north will provide united states with ample possibility to refine the JBY worklist, prepare for the state Bermuda Race inspection and generally speaking reacquaint ourselves with the motorboat before pushing her harder in battle conditions. Being over-prepared is just a concept so it totally beyond my comprehension.

In fact, it really does not make a difference whether you’re finding your way through a mid-winter passage up the East Coast regarding the U.S., a Newport to Bermuda Race, Pacific Cup or just an extended cruise, having your preparation wrong or insufficient can truly add to the danger and probably will reduce the enjoyment for the trip. Joyfully enough, and unlike all of the deliveries that I make, people have significantly more when compared to a couple of days to prepare for passage.  Regardless of timeframe necessary, though, the bare bones of planning remain much the same for everyone.

Despite the truth that I’ll again be loading up my backpack and lugging my ocean bag through airports and parking lots, Charles Nethersole has already been onboard ensuring that Moondance is prepared for ocean, and my own brain is training the overseas details.  At the least this time around i’ve the blissful luxury of knowing a number of exactly what we’ll take for once we arrive in St. Martin.
Regardless of the fact, but my first task is to survey the particular onboard situation and seek advice from Charles and Michael.While I poke around into the nav place, finding ship’s documents, charts, and tools and trying out the Iridium phone, computer as well as other other instruments, I’ll ask the usual questions. “just what does it seem like for fuel and water?” “Have you had the opportunity to check on every one of the thru hulls?” “What have we got onboard for sleeping bags?” The questions will quickly move down my tongue as quickly as they can be answered. “How well is the dinghy secured?” “What’s the problem with all the tools that people have? Think About the sail fix kit we had onboard final summer time?” More questions will observe as I get into full-on information collection mode and I make reference to my generic pre-departure check listings.

After the initial overview, we’ll finish an exact selection of everything we must buy.  Simultaneously, we shall develop a a number of items that have to be done on the boat just before departure. We shall digest into two teams of 2 or 3 people each, one team to do the shopping and other group to stay onboard for the time, planning the watercraft for departure. If the preparation group believes that they will desire a couple of items to complete a certain task such as specific tools, we’ll include that towards the range of things to purchase prior to going regarding “shopping spree”.

Most of the time, we often break tasks into various divisions: nav area, sails, deck hardware, mechanical, provisioning, safety and so forth. I’ve a rather generic listing of tasks that needs to be addressed just before departure, plus pretty complete set of tools that i’d wish for long passages. Neither list is wholly complete. Nevertheless they give a good start in the idea process. Some things regarding lists apply to a particular boat or passage, plus some things don’t apply.  Together, they provide a great starting place from where to build an accurate list that will assist united states obtain a motorboat from aim the to Point B, anywhere on earth. For short events, we might require a minimalist way of spares and tools, but on long passages and events, we shall wish to have a more comprehensive bag of tricks that we could solve numerous possible dilemmas.

As soon as offshore, we understand there aren’t any malls, chandleries, sail lofts or machine shops.  We’re it. And we’ll have to make do with whatever we’ve around or learn to do without one. We’ll must fix it or forget using it when something is broken. And things do break. Spinnakers blow out. Racor filters must be replaced. Hose connections leak. Winches begin to rattle. Lines chafe. You will take to your very best to take care of nearly all of those things prior to departure. You’ll check lines while underway. You’ll make sure to reef very early and downshift your headsails conservatively. But issues will occur anyhow.  And the thoroughness of the preparations will decide how effective you are in conquering those issues.
whenever shopping group returns utilizing the acquisitions, the things will likely to be stowed and updates given by both groups. If the onboard planning group requires more hours or gear to perform necessary tasks, the shopping group can pitch in or fetch the required equipment. Whenever we’re prepared to keep, the final remaining tasks is to fill up the fuel and water tanks. We are going to leave the marina dock, visit the gas dock last but not least head overseas. If one of the water tanks possesses leak inside top, the formerly purchased and stowed fast setting epoxy may be used to simply take that off the selection of tasks. Once we fuel up the main tanks, we’ll additionally refill four five-gallon jerry cans and another of two two-gallon jugs that individuals formerly purchased.  We are going to keep one of many two-gallon jugs empty to utilize for waste oil whenever we need certainly to alter oil while underway. And we’ll make use of the two gallons of diesel fuel for things like topping down Racor filters, finish gaskets or other tiny tasks if necessary and steer clear of using a large five-gallon jug while bouncing around in a motor compartment. Prior and likewise to topping down our tanks, we are going to all go for a ride to your regional West aquatic or other chandlery to see when there is whatever any of us thought required to bring.  I want everyone’s mind involved inside procedure so we don’t keep any such thing critical behind just as it hadn’t taken place to one of us.

If we now have the true luxury of the time by having an unfamiliar motorboat, and also as element of our preparations for the Bermuda Race, we will just take the boat out for considerable evaluation days ahead of the final preparations, seeing just what could need readjusting or extra attention.  Water studies certainly are a valuable learning tool, therefore’s better to find out your weaknesses during trials than to find out them 500 kilometers from coast. Onboard Moondance, we’re lucky that individuals are doing our pre-race sea studies during our distribution up from St. Martin. We are going to have a number of complete team sea studies in-may and June to look for extra tasks and to assist the rest of the crew become reacquainted utilizing the vessel.  We were all onboard last June, but that does not imply that somewhat “refresher course” isn’t beneficial in 2010.

Our preparations for this next trip would be extremely quick and efficient, thanks in big measure towards efforts that Charles is undertaking.  Having some one familiar with the ship as well as on site prior to the rest of the crew’s arrival will be a critical element in the method this time.  Engines has been run, oil changed, and things very carefully surveyed even prior to most of us getting to St. Martin.  Diligence and concentrate by everybody else involved will eventually allow it to be all feasible through the Bermuda Race and Moondance’s ultimate return house.

Couple of passages are totally problem-free, but hopefully the ending back in brand new England will be utilizing the boat in better shape than just before our arrival in St. Martin.  If we’re able to achieve that goal, it’ll be because of preparation as well as the efforts that the team help with throughout the campaign.

Throughout the preparations we have broken the method down to several easy actions: 1) evaluation of present situation of ship, 2) arranging exactly what would have to be bought and achieved into lists, 3) buying and completing the mandatory tasks by the assigned teams, 4) re-evaluating the specific situation with everyone’s input 5) reacquainting the entire crew because of the watercraft.  We shall test things while heading out from St. Martin, and hopefully, we are going to restore our understanding of Moondance while making the lady a safer, better vessel.

Bill Biewenga is just a navigator, delivery skipper and weather router. Their web sites are and He is able to be contacted at

Sailor, 74, Sets Sights On Being Oldest To Sail Solo Non-Stop Across The World


Jeanne Socrates has sailed enough ocean kilometers, 160,000, to circumnavigate the entire world seven times. Now she desires to begin a new record. Socrates had been acknowledged by Guinness World reports and nautical associations, such as the Cruising Club of America, since the oldest woman to circumnavigate the world in a non-stop, solo, unassisted sailing trip. She completed the trip in 2013, Victoria to Victoria in 258 times.
On Oct. 17, the 74-year-old English woman will leave Ogden Point once again to perform another circumnavigation. But this time she really wants to become the earliest individual to sail throughout the world, solamente, non-stop and unassisted. The record is held by yachtsman Minoru Saito of Japan, who completed a fruitful sail around the world in June, 2005 at age of 71, in accordance with his site.
“If I had waited just one 12 months doing the past one I would personally have now been the earliest person and not just the earliest girl,” said Socrates within an meeting within Royal Victoria Yacht Club.
She was not created regarding the water or raised because the offspring of a sailing family members. She had been a mathematics teacher at a university in London, England, where she’s got three grandkids from the son plus daughter. “And they don’t really determine what I’m doing.” (Read more.)

This Couple Balances Work and Play While Cruising The World


“Freedom.” That’s how Victoria Fine defines the lady life.In April, Fine left a large task at Slate to launch her own company, Finally, a rise hacking company that provides editorial and market development answers to develop electronic audiences. In June, she set sail with her spouse now lives full-time on a sailboat, traveling our planet and residing a life many individuals just dream about.
    “We can get anywhere we want, at our very own schedule, without based on anything but wind and sunlight to get us there. I have customers to response to, but eventually, I’m my own employer,” states Fine. “I control my entire life totally. That’s a unusual and gorgeous thing that we don’t ignore.”
And simply to prompt you to much more jealous: she actually is making far more money and getting way more time down than she ever did while working at a full-time job.
So just how is she pulling it off? Here’s the information. (browse more.)

Cruising Cuba, A First Timer’s Perspective


Since 1960, therefore the beginning of the U.S. led trade embargo, Cuba happens to be mainly off restrictions to Us americans. Since has all changed  (posted September 2016)

My spouse Brenda and I have desired to see Cuba for quite some time, and as relations between our two nations have begun to thaw, we chose to “jump the gun” and get before things really changed. With that in mind, we sailed here in early 2016 aboard our Aerodyne 47, Pandora, through the Bahamas for an extensive two month see checking out the south and northwest coasts.

Receiving needed U.S. government approvals to check out Cuba, for an extended go to, proved to be a serious training in patience and involved nearly six months of research and much communication with three agencies. Finding insurance to cover Pandora although we had been in Cuba was a challenge, and that didn’t fall into destination until only days before making Georgetown, Bahamas to mind the Windward Passage. While Pantaenius has established that they will soon be offering coverage for vessels visiting Cuba, we had been just capable of finding coverage for the trip from a Lloyds affiliate, an expensive option.

With persistence, its a fascinating experience getting through traditions and paperwork

With persistence, its a fascinating experience getting through customs and paperwork

The U.S. government at this time permits Americans to go to Cuba for 12 certain reasons as defined by OFAC (Office of Foreign Asset Control). Once we have both held blogs for a long time, compose articles and speak to teams, we opted to travel under a Journalism General License. In those days, while the real procedures are evolving each day, the initial step included some calls utilizing the workplace of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC), hawaii Department workplace that settings go places such as for instance Cuba and North Korea, and also other “enemy states.” This office doesn’t provide written permits but after reviewing our case, verbally agreed which our reason for visiting did actually fall in the journalism category. Being a next step, we requested an export and re-importation license, a SNAP-R through the Bureau of Industry and safety division of this U.S. Department of Commerce, to allow united states to go to Cuba aboard a private vessel and return to U.S. waters.

After three months, we’d secured our approval to journey to Cuba from Bahamas and come back to Ft. Lauderdale from Havana. The last action would be to submit form CG3300 on U.S. Coast Guard and thus we had been needed to provide them with the lat/lon coordinates of where we expected entering Cuban waters, within a four day screen and when and where we’d exit Cuban waters and return to the U.S.

A year later it is very feasible that these procedures are a great deal various so that you should talk to the appropriate federal government agencies (see call-out package for selection of resources). Our trip, designed to make use of strong easterly tradewinds, would be to cross from Florida on Exumas chain in Bahamas, sail south through southern Bahamas and Great Inagua, transit the Windward Passage between Haiti and Cuba and travel west the 100 kilometers on southern Cuban coastline to Santiago de Cuba, the first slot of entry.
As we approached the entrance to Santiago de Cuba, we had been greeted by an imposing fort guarding the harbor entry, Castillo del Morro, built-in the 1600s. Exactly what a sight. We continued at night fort and in to the harbor, whilst hailing the authorities as we’d been instructed to do, but received no response.

The entire process of clearing in with Pandora and having our visas became, while fairly simple, quite a fascinating experience.  As we came within sight of Marina Santiago, we had been finally hailed regarding radio by the Guarda Frontera and instructed to anchor on the other side of harbor into the “quarantine” area, about a mile through the marina.  A while later a launch pulled up and dropped off the health inspector, a new Cuban woman with striking cherry red colored hair. We offered her a cold Coke which she accepted with many thanks and quietly slipped it into her bag. She took our heat by having a laser thermometer pointed at our foreheads, smiled and declared Brenda to be “hot”. Yes, she can be that, we consented.

The process of clearing in was fairly straightforward

The means of clearing in was fairly simple

She knew very little English and patiently waited although we thumbed through the phrasebook to locate answers to her questions. Your whole process lasted about one hour and was extremely pleasant. When we were done she began discussing “toasting” our arrival.  After a significant back and forth and puzzled looks from us, we finally discovered that she desired a beer. Obviously!  Brenda and I split one therefore the officer quaffed hers down quickly.  We exchanged information regarding family members, revealed photos on our phones of our children all around, and posed for a “selfie.”  What a hoot.  “Welcome to Cuba!”  She asked for a tip that we provided, within the level of five bucks, and which she accepted having thank you. Formalities finished, we raised the anchor and headed together straight back over the harbor and anchored nearby the marina as there is no room on dock for all of us.  We dropped the dink and took the lady ashore to meet up with with Immigration.  That procedure took another hour and ended up being followed by that official developing to Pandora where he searched through nearly all our compartments, ostensibly for medications, pornography and stowaways.

The whole means of clearing in took a long time and had been really interesting. We’d been told that any chicken, frozen or fresh would be confiscated but we didn’t experience this on our visit and we were astonished that a screen package of natural herbs and flowers stayed aboard Pandora unchallenged and.

Cuba is just a big island, over 600 miles very long, and our trip took us across the whole south coastline plus good portion of the north shore. Interestingly, if you were to lay Cuba over the eastern Caribbean island string heading south from the BVI, Cuba would extend from there almost to south usa.  It’s a large island, with an increase of land mass than the other islands into the Caribbean combined. And, once we traveled the southern coast, at various points we discovered ourselves within an over night sail to Jamaica, the Cayman Islands and finally the Yucatan peninsula, Cancun and far of Mexico. As soon as you reach Cabo San Antonio, the westernmost point of Cuba, it is a simple reach to and from many points into the western Caribbean.  The opening of Cuba will likely change cruiser’s perspective of just what it’s to check out “the Caribbean” and the capability to make use of Cuba being a jumping down point to Central and South America is likely to make the western Caribbean way more accessible to cruisers than is the scenario for the huge amount of years.

Those visiting Cuba needs to be willing to be self sufficient as there are limited solutions, also less marinas and free parts are impractical to find, specially across the less traveled south coastline.  Combined with requirements of this Guarda Frontera, a sort of army shore guard that requires you to definitely sign in and from most of the places where you are more likely to stop along the way, the trip are challenging from time to time for People in the us that regularly going “where we wish, as soon as we want.” Whenever you can produce a point out “go using the flow” you can expect to, as we did, find the procedure quite direct plus an interesting experience.

Finding internet access, provided via an undersea cable from Venezuela, are remarkably irritating since it’s mostly available in federal government run tourist resort hotels and nearby general public squares with speed that differs. For online, you’ll need an access card, offered at accommodations and also at Etecsa workplaces, the online world provider. These cards are advantageous to one hour of moderate to slow internet. Whenever visiting Marea del Portillo, a little fishing town, we rode in a horse-drawn carriage to check on our email and do a post at a nearby government operate hotel. Speak about tradition surprise.

After leaving Marea del Portillo we made the short run to Cabo Cruz, a rather remote area only recently opened up to cruisers. Very nearly instantly, the Guarda Frontera, commandeered a small vessel and needed the fisherman to row out to see us—a distance of nearly a mile—with a drug sniffing cocker spaniel in tow, and asked their typical concerns and examined our papers.  We discovered the procedures in each port to be a bit different with all the concerns asked sometimes puzzling, such as how much gas does your dinghy hold.  In this case they took our cruising license together generally there was no leaving until that they had checked united states out of the early morning of our departure, the only time this happened. You can’t look into another slot with no permit, under any circumstances.

In just about any harbor, fishermen wanted to offer united states lobsters

In almost every harbor, fishermen wanted to offer us lobsters

Even as we sailed the south shore we had been approached in nearly every harbor by fishermen who wished to offer us lobster.  In one single instance, after we agreed on just how many and exactly what the price would be, the fisherman rowed a short distance from Pandora, donned fins and snorkel, jumped overboard and within moments swam over with two big lobsters and plunked them on our swim platform. Since’s fresh lobster.  In more rural regions of Cuba lobsters are extremely abundant.  Often we had been approached multiple times each day so we were never short for an exceptional seafood supper.  In one single situation we even traded yet one more lobster in exchange for a will of diet Coke. Only in Cuba.
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when you must register aided by the Guarda Fontera in the many populated areas, there are many uninhabited cayos where you could come and get while you be sure to.  Although the snorkeling is wonderful all over the place you can find hardly any beaches regarding southern coastline, east of Cienfuegos.  As a result, most cruisers have a tendency to spend their time regarding the western 50 % of the southern shore where there are lots of gorgeous unspoiled beaches. Even yet in in these more populated areas, the anchorages will never be crowded and more usually than maybe not, you’re alone.   In fact, we never saw a single U.S. flagged motorboat until a month into our trip when we visited Cienfuegos, the most popular stopping point for visiting ships, definitely, on south coastline.

In Santiago de Cuba, an important slot of entry, there have been only a handful of boats, mostly from Europe whenever we visited.  You can find hardly any marinas in Cuba and also those in the larger ports have become basic by U.S. criteria, generally speaking tangible bulkheads. Good drinking tap water is tough ahead by numerous cruisers have actually RO devices agreeable or if they must take in water from shore, just utilize this for washing and make use of water in bottles for cooking and consuming.

Electricity at marinas can be quite a challenge. As they can be hot in marinas numerous cruisers opted to anchor out and give a wide berth to these issues totally.  As soon as we were in the dock Santiago de Cuba, where holding can be quite a challenge, the voltage dropped to significantly less than 100 volts with merely a modest draw.  As well as in Marina Hemingway, near Havana, we encountered voltage of almost 140 volts during the week when the tourist accommodations were less occupied.  Management told us that when the hotel visitors departed and there clearly was less draw in the grid the voltage was high in certain parts of the marina.
Our amount of time in Cuba coincided having a go to by President Obama, and lots of Cubans indicated hope that effective would originate from their go to. Additionally, it was hoped that with change the good of Cuba wouldn’t be lost in the name of progress. Every-where we went we had been greeted warmly and now we constantly felt totally safe, both aboard and ashore. The principles in Cuba prohibit nationals visiting international vessels, even in marinas, also it had been clear to united states that these prohibitions are taken very seriously.

One of the high points of our see was going to the free concert in Havana by the Rolling Stones which attracted a crowd expected at one million.  It was a remarkable experience, specifically for those of us “of a specific age” whom grew up making use of their music.  Attendance was very international with many nations represented proudly waving their colors above the audience so other people may find them. The concert ended up being terrific and made more unforgettable when you’re in Havana at such an historic time. Unlike other Stones occasions, there clearly wasn’t even a whiff of any illicit substances since the Cuban government has a no threshold policy on medications and crime.  Cigarettes are inexpensive in Cuba and simply about everyone else there clearly was smoking cigarettes. The laugh we heard had been that “for every smoke smoked some body loses a minute of their life and that minute would go to Keith Richards.”  And, to see him and Mick Jagger strutting their stuff up on phase, just like a number of 20 somethings, that’s many cigarettes.
To attend the concert in Havana, from Cienfuegos, in which we were visiting during the time, we took a “bus”, a converted 1952 Ford armored vehicle the trip to Havana and back.  All over the place we switched in Cuba we spied 1950s automobiles converted into “busses” with many resembling troop providers with canvas tops always jammed complete with locals and belching exhaust because they rumbled over the roads from town to town.

While the colonial architecture and antique cars are wonderful places during Cuba, for all of us the true enchantment of visiting Cuba is the people. We enjoyed spending some time with them, specially in the most rural areas.  We witnessed wonderful creativity, not merely in music and arts with this tradition, however in how everybody else been able to balance residing a rich and satisfying life in an attractive setting, with so small product wealth.
Yes, nowadays it’s getting easier and simpler to catch a flight to Cuba from the U.S., with several air companies recently announcing daily scheduled trips.  However, there clearly was just no better solution to go to Cuba than to cruise the coastline, now is the time for you to do so as it won’t be long before the country changes forever. The pristine reefs, the dramatic scenery and, most of all, the individuals are remarkable.  Don’t miss out.

For more information about their voyage to Cuba browse Bob’s web log and Brenda’s, March and April articles from 2016.

Cuba mapResources
OFAC regulations for visiting Cuba:
USCG CG3300 form:
Cruising guides:,  Cruising Guide to Cuba, Cheryl Barr.  Cuba:  A Cruising Guide, Nigel Calder.