Online magazine promotes Cuba as cruising destination

From Ocean Navigator #143
January / February 2005
One of the most popularized images of the Caribbean’s most forsaken island nation is being exploited by the new online magazine Cuba Cruising Net. Cuba is a relic, a place frozen in time a tropical Brigadoon whose beaches and coves, ports, and welcoming people are akin to the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos of 40-odd years ago, before the infiltration of Disney cruise ships, McDonald’s restaurants, and certain other joys of pop culture that now shape much of the developed world.

Whether the image is true or not, and whether you agree with the magazine’s stated objective to once again allow trade with Cuba, is a personal – and highly-charged political – decision. Nonetheless, the website is a fine trove of information about exploring Cuba by sea.

“The Cuban coast, with its 2,000 miles of coastline, 1,600 cays and dozens of bays and inlets, comprises some of the finest cruising grounds on the planet precisely because of 40 years of enforced isolation,” wrote Peter Swanson, the site’s founder and moderator, in an email news release in November. “Right now, European and Canadian cruisers are enjoying these waters with impunity. To them, will strive to be both a source of information and an outlet for the stories they have to tell. It is axiomatic that once cordial relations are reestablished coastal and marine infrastructure will develop at a blinding pace. The goal of will be to chronicle these changes from the coastal cruiser’s point of view, providing timely intelligence to the tens of thousands who will make the crossing from Florida.”

The site is still lean; it only started publication a few months ago. But, moderated as it is by a veteran newspaper and marine magazine editor, it will likely grow to be a valued source of information – for those wishing to comply with the law or those who simply wish to be aware of what the laws are – on a subject that, for Americans, has historically been laced with mystery and rumor.

One article (posted at press time in mid-November) described the legal tribulations of the organizers of the Key West Sailing Club whose rally to Cuba was the subject of criminal charges by the U.S. government. Another series of stories described the cruising adventures of a Canadian couple who are exploring Cuba aboard their Bayfield 36. Another story describes the recent changes in the Cuban government’s attitudes toward the legitimacy of the U.S. dollar.

Visit for more information.

By Ocean Navigator