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Cuba: Chasing Zunzuncita By Paul Gebert

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Paul and Malinda Gebert on Daydream, their Morgan Out Island 41.

es , that is a strange title for a cruising article. But there’s more to it. This story begins, I think, in 1958. Two of my best friends in high school, Nicholas and Angelo, were from Cuba, and I thought then that I’d like to visit their homeland someday. A few years ago, we visited Machu Picchu in Peru and saw the giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas), the world’s largest hummingbird, and later discovered that the world’s smallest bird, the Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae), lived only in Cuba. So the plot thickens. Let’s go to Cuba, the land of my long-ago friends and the home of the Bee Hummingbird, known locally as Zunzuncita. We’ll just bookend our hummers with the largest and the smallest. In 2017, my wife Malinda and I were hanging out in Boot Key Harbor after the New Year. We talked to a few fellow cruisers who had visited Cuba and who willingly helped us fill out our CG3300 form, which allows us to legally enter the country. Three weeks later, we received approval to depart U.S. waters and enter Cuba on April 8. Since I had articles published, in years past, in a sailing rag called Squalls and a current article in SOUTHWINDS, I decided to travel under the journalism tag—this article proof of my sincerity. We were supposed to arrive in Cuba on April 8, but

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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...