What do you get when you have 59 boats, more than 200 sailors and a nearby destination that’s very new for most American cruisers?
Simply put, an incredible experience.
The first Cruising World Expedition and Rally: Cuba, sponsored by Fountaine Pajot and Harmony Yacht Vacations, kicked off in Key West, Florida on March 30, 2017, and I was part of team CW aboard the Saba 50 Quince Amor. Here's a taste of our week in Cuba.
Crews gathered ahead of our departure date at Stock Island Village Marina, home to Harmony Yacht Vacations, which handled the mind bending logistics of this event. Due to the number of boats, there were staggered starts throughout the day on Thursday, March 30th so as to not overwhelm Cuba customs on the other end. Quince Amor's start was at 1900, and we enjoyed one of Key West's famous sunsets on our way to sea.
Marina Hemingway served as our home base for the week. This massive facility, about 9 miles west of Havana, was built in the 1950s and features four long canals instead of traditional docks.
Not wanting to venture all the way to Havana on our first night, we stayed within walking distance of the marina and ate dinner at a tiny local restaurant in the nearby town. This street scene was from our walk back toward "home."
Classic American cars and Russian Ladas are everywhere.