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AN UNPLANNED VISITA ment promising never to do an infraction on any subsequent trips to Cuba! Yeah, right, I’m going to risk my boat on a lee shore rather than anchor a half mile away in the lee of the point? But guess what? It’s their ball game and you play by their rules. I will say I had two of the marina officials tell me sotto voce that there were too many rules and this was a stupid thing for the officials to enforce. The Guarda official even blamed it on his superior when it was time to leave and I was passing out propinas.

M

ichael, our friend from Mill Valley, had flown into Cancun and then on to Havana, spending a couple of days carousing around the big city before taking the four-hour bus ride to join us at Cienfuegos. Judging by his photos, we missed a lot of the Cuban experience, but truth be told, we are so comfortable living on our big cat that enduring so many Cuban restaurant meals and nights in shoddy hotels would have best been left

to our backpacking youth. The food in Cuba is horrendous by California standards. There's not a Whole Foods in sight. (Just kidding!) Cienfuegos was city enough for us, and we could escape the crushing poverty of the majority of the population by returning to the boat. It’s heart wrenching to see a people literally starving to death. There appears to be little incentive to do too much. Many of the older generation are reportedly still believers in the revolution, but the younger people have already been seduced by hip western wear and try to hustle a few 'kooks' from the tourists. The beautiful colonial

You won't find American-style supermarkets in Cuba, but some types of fruits and veggies are readily available from street-side vendors.

architecture is crumbling. There is one shopping street where you can buy food and goods not available to the average Cuban, if you have the CUC’s. It’s a twotiered economy.

Photos by Onne van der Wal

Yacht at Rest, Mind at Ease

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Latitude 38

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Latitude 38 May 2010  

The May 2010 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.

Latitude 38 May 2010  

The May 2010 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.