In this installment of New Horizons we look at a potentially new cruising destination – Cuba.
On the heels of President Obama’s recent historic visit to Cuba we thought it a good time to talk about the notion of sailing to this third world land. This fascinating and distinct country is only 90-miles off the American coast, but because of tensions brought on by the cold war, it hasn’t been possible to do any kind of normal cruising there. Now, some might say that statement is arguable. There have been many instances through the years of American sailors sailing to Cuba while adhering to the most major obstacle/rule – not spending any money. Many have ventured over and had adventures skirting around the laws and stipulations that went along with being a legal American citizen on Cuban soil and by the letter of the law it was doable, but cruising forums are full of stories that indicate things could get complicated (if not a bit sketchy) when sailing in that part of the world.
In our ongoing series, New Horizons, we look at cool cruising destinations that are maybe a little less known, but plenty interesting. With over half a million sailors who have taken ASA classes and over 300 affiliates worldwide, we’re looking to tap into resources that have the lowdown on places we know not… yet!
ASA instructor Roger Philips, who hails from the Newport Beach Sailing School, is one such resource. Roger is a great sailor and one who likes to explore. The northern region of the U.S. on up to Canada is God’s country and a cruising paradise – Philips recently headed up that way and did some sailing in the Canadian Gulf Islands and brought back some very solid information for the rest of us. Tucked between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, this amazing spot is a necklace of islands and truly a sailor’s delight. Here’s a great overview of the Islands that Philips recently wrote for a local publication:
In our second installment of New Horizons we asked Shannon Jakoby, who is the Marina Manager for (ASA certified) Dillon Marina’s Sailing School in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, what it’s like to sail in the Rockies? Jakoby said Lake Dillon is an amazing place in the world to catch the mountain breeze and get a great sail in.
We have a new series called New Horizons, which will take a look at the many cruising grounds and sweet sailing spots in the US and abroad. We’ve asked the folks from the vast network of ASA schools to help us out and give us the skinny on the cool places they call home. Nothing like getting the lowdown from a local. We all know the BVIs are great, but what about the places we haven’t heard of? This is going to be fun!
First up is Grand Traverse Bay / Lake Michigan. We asked Rod Call from Great Lakes Sailing Company in Michigan about sailing in the gorgeous waters of the north.
“There are quite a few things that always come up when we talk about sailing in our neck of the woods,” said Call. “The water.Crystal clear. Green. You’d think you were in the Caribbean if it weren’t for the pine trees dotting the shoreline. Also, that it’s freshwater – or as we call it ‘unsalted Sailing’. You go for a swim…no need to rinse off. And, that it’s a mostly easy place to sail. The waters of Grand Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan are deep. And the shallows are green and crystal clear. So if you are near, or in, green water…you know to check your depth.”