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Old 09-04-2007, 01:48 PM   #1
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A cruiser's sad tale:

http://www.cubacruising.net/html/shipwreck.html
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Old 09-04-2007, 06:29 PM   #2
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Truly a sad story and one which every cruiser should read.

The friendliness of the Cuban people is well known but with corruption rife I think cruisers should give that island a wide berth. In fact, corruption is one thing but officially sanctioned piracy is something vastly different. I believe the British authorities should have made an official protest.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 09-05-2007, 05:38 PM   #3
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A must read for crusiers, particularly those thinking of going to Cuba.

I strongly believe in knowing as much as possible about where one is going, before one goes there.

Ray Oliver may have been exhausted, disappointed and overwhelmed with the situations and circumstances, further worn down and over powered by the Cuban authorities, nearly helpless, submitted to "The Authorities". In 20-20 hindsight it appears he should not have; but than what else could he have done differantly.

Ray Oliver lived his dream, he went and did it, but lost his yacht in the process. The cost and results, seems to have exceeded his dream, but only he can judge that. Ray seems very resilent.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:10 PM   #4
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A heartbreaking read ... with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight what would our unfortunate colleague have done differently ? .....

In my humble opinion his problems started (& could have been easily avoided) here :

"The mainsail snagged as I tried to reef it in, and the boat drifted inshore without my realizing."

As a fellow singlehander I know how quickly & easily things can turn pearshaped due to shorthandedness & sleep deprivation ... in a similar situation, instead of attempting the shortest inshore route it may have been wiser to head offshore & grabbed some sleep by letting the Aries windvane steer for a few hours ... ?

Singlehanding means that anytime I need to go forward to handle sail I start the motor & engage my Autohelm ST1000 pointing direct into wind ... my 2 crewmates are my Aries windvane, used when under sail & my Autohelm for use when motoring
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Old 01-12-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
As a fellow singlehander I know how quickly & easily things can turn pearshaped due to shorthandedness & sleep deprivation ... in a similar situation, instead of attempting the shortest inshore route it may have been wiser to head offshore & grabbed some sleep by letting the Aries windvane steer for a few hours ... ?
Great insight, and I hope it was not hard-won.

Heading offshore out of harm's way and sleeping is a good strategy for cruisers even if they are not singlehanding. Early in our cruising life we were sailing in company with a singlehander when he had to employ this strategy or come to grief. We were fortunate to learn from him a strategy that stood us in good stead many years later when we found our judgment impaired from too long a stretch beating into nasty wind and waves.

The extra day or so that it costs one to get off a dangerous shore and catch up on needed sleep is more than repaid by the safe arrival at one's destination.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:23 PM   #6
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The critical issue seems not to be seamanship, or stormy weather tactics . . . . but whether he could possibly have dug in his heels when he was in a safe harbour ?

Knowing there's a storm approaching, and having the authorities order you out to sea is a real quandry.

If he had refused to leave, could he have been arrested ? jailed ? would the harbourmaster go to that extent ? . . . . no doubt Ray wishes he had called their bluff, . . . . but that's all with hindsight. . . . and he wouldn't have forseen that the very worst thing would actually happen.

Defying authority is not something anyone does lightly (especially abroad) i'd be interested to know what the skippers reading this forum would have done . . . .

Stay in harbour and risk arrest . . . . . or face a mounting storm ? Hobsons choice eh. . . . what do you say skippers ?
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Same thing happened to my friend Leiam in the Bahamas. Anchor rode parted and the boat ended up on the shore. With in hours there was nothing left.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:18 PM   #8
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I am seriously thinking about visiting Cuba next year, February to June. Any other information would be gratefully received

John

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Old 01-22-2009, 08:26 PM   #9
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I've been to Cuba 7 times and it b far surpasses any other place I have been in the Caribbean.
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Old 04-12-2009, 01:19 AM   #10
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After years of the embargo and with little material goods, opportunity presents itself where human beings act contrary to their culture. I sail Cuba and never lock the boat or dinghy. They are a friendly people. Isolated cases like this are dis-heartening but very isolated. Could this happen elsewhere? Yes, and on a more frequent basis. Anchored in St. Davids Bay Grenada in the midst of Hurricane Emily, and watching Bellamar from shore cling on her last anchor, I too thought of the scenario if she beached. Would anything be left of her by mid-day. It happens but it is not a condition of Cubans but of humanity. No one should by-pass Cuba. It is a better path to the Caribbean (through the South coast) than any Thorny Path scenario.
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Old 04-12-2009, 07:49 AM   #11
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Good post Bellamar - and so true.
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