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Ignore the Noise Online; Get the Facts on Cruising Cuba at TrawlerFest-Florida

A Cuba Chartkit from NV Charts will be the door prize at what is expected to be a heavily attended "Cuba Update" seminar at TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach this week.
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With the sudden change in relations between the U.S. and Cuba, there is a tremendous amount of pure B.S. being aired in online boating forums. Our "Cuba Update" seminar at TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach’s will provide attendees with expertise acquired from years of research and reporting.

“Cuba Update” is all-morning seminar, happening Friday, Jan. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with Cruising Guideto Cuba author, Capt. Cheryl Barr. TrawlerFest-Riviera Beach goes from Tuesday to Sunday, Jan. 20-25 at the new Riviera Beach municipal marina. The boat show portion of the event runs Thursday through Sunday.

"I like to think of myself as knowledgeable about Cuba, having done quite a bit of reporting from the island, but I completely defer to Cheryl Barr on the subject," says PassageMaker Editor-in-Chief Peter Swanson. "No one has more time cruising Cuban waters than she, not even PassageMaker Technical Editor Nigel Calder, who wrote what had been the gold standard in Cuba guides, but which is now somewhat outdated."

 Click the button to see our seminar line-up and buy tickets or VIP passes.

Click the button to see our seminar line-up and buy tickets or VIP passes.

Legal travel by U.S. boaters is now all but inevitable. But there is much to learn before you go. With the knowledge gained from 17 winters cruising Cuba legally, Barr, who is Canadian, will discuss preparation of your vessels and yourselves for a Cuba cruise, officialdom and the checking-in process (facts and myths), marine infrastructure (or lack thereof), routes for long- and short term cruises, and must-see sights and how best to access them. Wait until you see the photos that illustrate this talk!

Cuba itself is a big subject. The island nation has more than 2,000 nm of coastline, nearly 4000 cays, more than 200 sheltered bays, and is easy to get to from Florida. In fact, it is an ideal jumping off point to Mexico and Central America, Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean islands. Because of the country’s political isolation from the U.S. much of the cruising will resemble what the entire Caribbean looked like in 1960.


Barr has written and published four cruising guides: Cruising Guide to Cuba volumes 1 & 2, The Down East Circle Route and The Canadian Maritimes. She also holds a 200-ton RYA Yacht Masters License, has made numerous yacht deliveries worldwide, and is a certified welder and marine biologist.

Don Barr, Cheryl’s father, will also attend the seminar. He is a retired tall ship skipper whose 20-meter Herreschoff schooner has served as their research vessel for the Cuba guides..

 Cheryl Barr

Cheryl Barr

PassageMaker Editor Peter Swanson, who has traveled to Cuba several times, will apply his old newspaper reporting skills to update the group on the state of U.S. government regs. And, finally Bruce Kessler, founder of the FUBAR power cruiser rally to Baja, Mexico, will talk about similar plans for a Cuba rally.

In a separate seminar on marine insurance in general, Al Golden will cover the specific process of getting insurance to cruise Cuba as well.