1. North Coast of Cuba boatbook

 

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    Back to Cuba

    Arrival 7 February 2013

    After having an enjoyable time cruising the south coast of Cuba in 2012 we vowed to come back to the north and to visit a few more sites in land. In February 2013 we took the short 80NM hop acr oss from Key West. Unlike several other American boats we were acquainted with the US Coast Guard did not intercept us and send us back. Hemmingway Marina at Havana had a bad reputation for safety and corruption so we made landfall at Dasena Marina at Varadero 80NM east of Havana.

  2. Marina Dasena - Varadero

    February 2013

    The only approach to the marina is via the narrow west entrance to "Laguna Del Paso Malo" which shouldn't be attempted in strong NW winds. Once inside the channel, Marina Darsena, provides excellent protection from winds in all direction. Slips are sound. The coast guard prohibits the use of dinghies in the laguna and discourages the use of your vessel during your stay. Although there is a lovely beach a couple hundred yards on the other side of the laguna it is at least a 30 minute walk via the bridge along the busy highway. Local shops are a 15 minute walk away.

    Debbie, a Canadian live-a-board, the unofficial dock mastress does an excellent job making you welcome and encourages you to join the 'Chesme' table at sundown which is a major part of the marina daily social calendar.

    The marina has many staff but do not know how to provide any service. There is no internet in the marina, but in Varadero itself you can get a reasonable connection.  You can arrive at any time but you can only depart after 8am regardless of what the officials promise. Like the Cuban hotels, the marina is run as a cash cow, to milk foreign visitors, without providing a proper service and re-investment in the marina. At the time of our 6 week stay, there was no hot shower and the men´s toilets unusable. Compared to other marina's in other adjacent poor countries, Darsena is expensive for stays longer than 
    a week. The marina is a good alternative (and some say better) to Marina Hemmingway. Havanna is an easy coach ride away. Even those unfortunate boats flying an US flag may be able to make a 'b' line for Varadero without being caught by their own navy who regularly turn back boats heading direct for Hemmingway ! 

    dasenachartentrance

  3. Unadulterated Food

    February 2013

    The market sold locally grown fruit and vegetables. After several months in America it was a lovely change to get really fresh untreated food.

  4. Watch Out

    December 2012

    The beach at Varadero is popular for people smuggling. If you carefully look at the hotels you notice the watch towers on the roofs.

  5. Jamming Sessions

    February 2013

    We had Cuban drumming lessons. Guess what Salsa !

  6. Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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    Varadero & Surroundings

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  7. Chop Chop

    February 2013

    Vic & Marilyn took us for a bike ride into the countryside. Unknown to Richard at the end of the track there was a solitary house owned by a barber. There was no escape. Richard's two year truce with a hairdresser came to an end. It was was executed under very close supervision from Vic. Thanks mate !
  8. Havana

    February 2013

    Finally we make it to Havana a two hour bus ride from Varadero. It is amazing how many beautiful buildings there are. Unfortunately many of them have been neglected and are lying in ruins. It looked like nothing had been maintained or changed since the revolution.

  9. Venales

    February 2013

    From Havana we travelled west to Venales an unspoiled part of Cuba famous for tobacco growing. The fields were tended by hand. Machines and chemicals were prohibited.

  10. Havana

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    Havana

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    Havana

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    Havana

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  11. After seeing this Volvo racer being boarded by the pilot in the Port of Havana we found out Hemmingway Marina entrance was closed because of big seas. Normally pleasure craft are not allowed into Havana.

  12. Oxcarts

    February 2013

    Oxen are still frequently used to pull carts carrying heavy load! In Vaneles this was an everyday sight.

  13. Venales

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    Venales

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