Connie McBride, author of Simply Sailing and Eurisko Sails West: A Year in Panama writes about sailing dreams coming true:
Dreams are funny things. You create them, you covet them, you venture to share them. My mother-in-law’s response to our dream of selling the house, quitting our jobs and sailing away with our three small sons was, “It’s good to have dreams, Dear.” Yes it is. It’s even better to make them come true.
When I asked our oldest son what he thought of his childhood spent sailing around the Caribbean, his words let me know that we had made the right choice in following our dreams all those years ago. “People are always telling kids that they can do anything they want, but they don’t really mean it. They mean that you can do anything that fits in their little box. But you guys taught me that there is no ‘supposed to’ and that you really can do anything. So now, when I think about what I want to do with my life, nothing is out of my reach. I really can do anything.”
The best thing about dreams is that we control them. If you can dream it, it can happen.
Eurisko Sails West: A Year in Panama
Cheryl Barr, author of the Yacht Pilot’s Guide to Cuba has written a series of blog posts for us about Cuba. Here’s the first of three, Why we go to Cuba:
Having sailed to Cuba more than a dozen times, I am frequently asked, “Why do you go to Cuba year-in, year-out?” The quick answer is “It is warmer than Canada in the winter, it’s an easy sail across the Gulf Stream and Cuba has amazing “theatre of the street”. But Cuba is so much more than this.
Cuba’s land area is greater than half the Caribbean islands combined and it has a population of 11 million. As a result, it offers so much more than anywhere else in the Caribbean. For many years it has been a friendly place for Canadians to travel—almost 2 million fly-in tourists arrive annually. Canadians are issued a 3-month tourist visa which is renewable for an additional 3-months while all other nationals receive only a 1 month visa.
UPDATE: While not universally or rigidly enforced, regulations about what ships in Canadian waters carry are quite explicit and not at all ambiguous. The Charts and Nautical Publications Regulations of 1995 clearly require all vessels to carry up to date, corrected paper charts for all the waters they travel as well as Notices to Mariners, Lists of Lights, Radio Aids to Marine Navigation, Sailing Directions, and, where applicable, tide tables.
We’ve heard scuttlebutt about some Lake Ontario boaters who have been charged for not carrying the proper charts. While the Canadian Shipping Act is very clear about what is required on large ships, it is less prescriptive for small boat operators. Although the law requires all marine vessels to carry charts, small boat operators are exempt as long as they have “local knowledge” of the area. It is the definition of “local knowledge” that is variable and can get the average mariner into trouble.
Whether it illegal or not to operate your boat without charts, mariners should always have at least a small-scale chart of the area they regularly boat in. And if in unfamiliar waters, charts are a helpful aid for keeping your boat out of trouble. In addition to maritime law and basic self-preservation, some boat insurance policies may also require current charts of the area you’re operating in.
We know that buying a ton of individual charts can be expensive. There is often a more economical solution. For example if you are boating on the Great Lakes, there is a Richardsons Chartbook for each lake that includes both the small-scale, large area charts and the more detailed charts. New editions are issued every few years. However, they may not be considered “proper charts” by the very strictest/most litigious authorities.
We list thousands of charts on our site, and link PDF copies of the Canadian Hydrographic Service chart catalogues down the right-hand side of our chart pages. We keep our inventory fresh so are charts are always up-to-date, and we’ve had years of experience in chart selection and can help you choose the right compliment of charts for your needs, anywhere in the world. Have a look at the Chart section of our website, or call or email us for a tailored list.
Nicola Rodriguez reflects on the genesis of her book Sail Away – How to Escape the Rat Race and Live the Dream:
It is coming up to a year since I delivered the first draft of the text of the book.
It is exactly ten years to the day that my whole department was made redundant, the day after John and I found the perfect boat for us to sail away in. The redundancy paid for the re-fit and gave us the final impetus to go.
It was a time of high stress and industry preparing for a large Wedding and to sail away. Our Wedding List at a chandlery encouraged guests to get into the Sail Away mood of the Wedding. It was also the story of my first article for Yachting Monthly which the then Deputy Editor Miles Kendall titled, “For Wetter or Worse”. Nine years, 25,000 miles, two sons, and three hurricanes later Miles, now Executive Editor of Wiley Nautical, commissioned me to write Sail Away.
Sail Away Author Nicola Rodriguez
Two new Cuban chart kits have been released by surveyor specialists from NV charts. The first is Cuba Northeast which covers from Cabo Maisi to Varadaro, and the second is Cuba Northwest which covers from Varadero-Habanna to Cabo San Antonio. The package has a companion CD containing the charts in digital format. These are the first up-to-date and publicly available charts to Cuba in many years. Nigel Calder’s Cuba: A Cruising Guide is an excellent guide to accompany the charts for this area.
Northeast Cuba Chart Kit
Cuba: a Cruising Guide by Nigel Calder
Northwest Cuba Chart Kit
We forsee this area becoming a very popular destination for cruisers. Several new international marinas have been built in Varadero and there are now 1,500 new berths. Varadero and Marina Hemingway in Havana are the main ports for cruisers clearing in and out of Cuba. Many boaters have found cubacruising.net to be an excellent resource in their travels around Cuba.