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FROM THE HELM

STEVE MORRELL,

EDITOR

Will We Ever Get to Freely Sail to Cuba Again? In this issue, we have an interesting story about a couple who sailed to Cuba...in search of a hummingbird. Sounds strange but it’s good to have mission for a trip. Gives it a purpose. It’s about a trip in April 2017. I received the article months later and have been meaning to print it for a long time. Although I wondered about printing it now, as old as it is, I’ve changed my mind. In a way, I believe it’s better printing it now; it’s like reading about the good ol’ days. It was a year ago this month that travel to Cuba returned to the bad ol’ days when the new administration announced the return of travel restrictions to Cuba. How times have changed. When Obama eased travel restrictions to Cuba starting in late 2015, many sailors who, for decades, had been itching to travel to Cuba—the largest island in the Caribbean that’s only 90 miles from the U.S.—were excited about the prospects of going. Regattas were immediately organized and many signed up to go. The St. Petersburg Yacht Club had to limit the list to 80 boats for the return of the Habana Regatta in February 2017. Plus, they had a long waiting list that went beyond that. In 2018, the number of boats was reduced to 20—mainly because of uncertainty and fear that came with the new restrictions put in place on travel to Cuba by the new administration. One of the most important changes for traveling to Cuba that changed when restrictions were removed was the ability of Americans to go to Cuba in the “People to People” category, which was basically cultural exchange of almost anything. Applicants for permits could choose that as their category, give their reasoning and self-qualify themselves in the category. Many did exactly that and sailed their boat to Cuba, met Cuban people and traveled around Cuba with no restrictions placed by the U.S. Government (the Cuban government still had some restrictions). We published many articles about sailing there, entering ports, dealing with

marinas, costs, and visiting and interacting with the Cuban people. They were all great and interesting stories. American people interacting with Cuban people. What better ambassadors from each country could you hope to find? How far did relations between the two societies improve through this real interaction? Yet—no more. That category was removed last year, plus Americans are no longer allowed to travel on their own anymore—they have to travel in organized, sanctioned groups. Even after Obama eased restrictions, I maintained— and still do—that our government has no right to restrict our travel to other countries out of fear of reprisals from our government. At least we gained more freedom to travel to Cuba when restrictions were eased. Now we’ve gone backwards. Our right to travel is a basic human right. We need to bring back the good ol’ days—which were only a year ago. CORRECTIONS Carolina Sailing, May issue In the “Carolina Sailing” section on page 36 in the May issue, the boats involved with the Atlantic Cup were written as Open 40 boats. They were actually Class 40 boats. Youth Regatta 420 Results Change Although not exactly an error on our part, we would like to set the record straight on one of the results posted in the race report in the May issue. On page 35, in the results for the 420 competition in the “Youth Regatta” section, Matthew Snyder/Aine Porter were listed as taking third place. They actually took first place, and the teams listed taking first and second, actually took second and third, respectively. Robert Beringer, who wrote the article, said he listed the results as late as he could, because he knew they sometimes get changed later. But we went to press the day after the race and the results were changed after our press deadline.

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June 2018

SOUTHWINDS

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SOUTHWINDS June 2018  

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

SOUTHWINDS June 2018  

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