Page 25

Baseballs for Cuban Girls By Bart Blankenship Revival and crew brought a little more than 50 baseballs to Cuba.

W

ith getting Revival, my 26-foot Pearson, I also acquired several charts, including charts of Cuba. Being so close, who wouldn’t consider going to Cuba? From where I worked in Everglades City, Key West was 100 miles south, and another 100 miles beyond was Havana!

Revival, a 26-foot Pearson, at the Outward Bounds Camp in Everglades City.

The issue was legality. Without our government’s permission, the fines can be stiff. After being boarded by our Coast Guard coming back from the Bahamas—just because we left from Cay Sal, which is close to Cuba—I decided I’d figure out a way to go legally. It was the summer of 2015. Although President Obama eased restrictions on traveling to Cuba earlier that year, you still needed to obtain permission from the USCG. You could go doing humanitarian missions, or as a journalist—and around 10 other reasons. The form to fill out is called CG3300 “Application for Permit to Enter Cuban Territorial Seas.” The language was intimidating. Finally, the idea hit me after playing catch one day with my daughter. What if we sailed baseball gear to Cuba and gave it away to Cuban girls? We could make a documentary about it. My friend Jimbo Schley from Outward Bound, where I worked, had done some filming for major league baseball. He’d already crewed with me on Revival and said he’d get to work on the permit. He wanted to go to film and as crew. Our plan started to take shape. Over the next few weeks, Jimbo did the research to make sure we knew the rules and how to fill out the application. Two more friends signed on as crew. I mistakenly thought we all had to be journalists or somehow involved in making the film and wondered how the two women who were coming as crew would pass as journalists. I had published before. The guys had made films, but the rest? Well, they would assist, passing cameras, interviewing, interpreting, etc. I would later find out that only one of us needed to be a journalist and the rest could come as crew.

STAINLESS CHAFE GUARD Prevents Wear to Topsides, Gelcoat and Wood

631-759-7713 • CHAFE GUARD •

NoWearGuard.com

Cruising & Sailing Florida, The Southeast & The Bahamas

SOUTHWINDS July 2019

23

Profile for SOUTHWINDS Magazine

July 2019  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

July 2019  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...