Pasa de la Manuy

The Pasa de la Manuy connects the Bah a de Santa Clara with the Bah a de C rdenas. The controlling depth of 1 -8m is found at the south end, while there are just 2m at the NW end of the channel. From the south (Bah a de Santa Clara) There are no distinguishing features at this end of the Bah a de Santa Clara. You will simply have to keep on heading west until you pick up the channel through the mangroves (it is wide and straight, and visible from some distance). A position at approximately 23...

Cayo Algodon Grande

Cayo Algo3on Grande has that fine combination of an easy-to-enter, extremely well protected_lagoon anchorage, some lovely coral heads tor Unorkeling, and a gorgeous beach. Unfortunately they are separated by a mile or two, but that's what the dinghy's for The anchorage is at the SW extremity of the island, the coral heads are just outside the line of the reef to the west, and the beach is on the north coast. There is an abandoned resort development on the beach, with a dilapidated dock. In...

Cayo Campos

Cayo Campos has mile after mile of unspoiled white sand beach on its south coast. The cay is a protected area which is home to a considerable number of monkeys. The reef apron contains some gorgeous coral in protected waters at shallow snorkeling depths. There are lobster crawling around all over the place Unfortunately, there is shoal water between the cay and the reef along almost all of the southern shore, with the reef itself being submerged sufficiently to allow the swells to sweep in -...

Currents and tides

Although the Caribbean Current flows in a generally NW direction off the south coast of Cuba it is well out to sea and has little or no significance for this guide. Closer inshore the currents are variable, although there is a general tendency to flow toward the SE along the coastline and the outer reaches of the Golfo de Batabano. At times this SE current can get quite strong (up to 2-0 knots). At other times it

Casilda And The Marina Cayo Blanco

Of the officials have to come from Trinidad, they may take some time in arriving. Once cleared in, you will be advised to go to the 'Base Nautica' across the bay - this is th local 'manna (called the Marina Cayo Blancoj, which is situated in tne mangroves immediately to The South ---- Whoever called this a marina was being a little optimistic. There is a shoal-draft dock with water and electricity,and a fuel line (diesel). By dropping an anchor out in the lagoon it is possible to get the stern...

Canal De Paso Malo

Puntarena ., , (conspic) H te'. , . i i Paradisd I-1 (conspic) 19' 18-5' 18' 81 17-5W 17' 16-5' 16' I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Adapted from ICH 1738 Courtesy GeoCuba The entrance to the Canal de Paso Malo (at approximately 23 08-0'N 81 18-7'W) is not at all clear until close inshore. However, immediately to the east are two substantial hotels (currently, the westernmost hotels in the Varadero strip), which can be picked out from miles offshore. The channel...

Cayos Falcones canal Canal de Ranchera

This canal cuts through the Cayos Falcones from the Bah a de C diz to the eastern end of the Bah a de Santa Clara. It is relatively shoal at both ends (1 - 5m at low tide), and the south end in particular is not always easy to follow. Once inside the north end of the canal, there is plenty of room to anchor (on s muddy bottom), providing good protection in all conditions. From the north The canal entrance is hard to detect. You should head for the south end of the Bah a de C diz to a point near...

Pasa Boca Falcones

The Pasa Falcones is a substantial break between the Cayos Falcones (just south of the Cayo Bah a de C diz) and Cayo Blanquizal. The pass has fairly uniform depths of 3-4m, shoaling gently the further you go into the Bah a de Santa Clara, the large bay to the south. On the southern side of the Cayos Falcones is a conspicuous fishing camp built on piles a couple of hundred meters out into the bay. The piles are driven into an extensive shoal, much of which dries at low tide. This shoal hooks out...

Santiago De Cuba

ENTRANCE CHANNEL TO THE 'MARINA PUNTA GORDA more or less in a line running parallel to the shore from the tip of the jetty, so anchor to the west of this. Here the bottom drops off rapidly to 9m if you anchor in 4 or 5m with about 20m of rode you will be about right. An anchor light will be needed at night since there is a certain amount of traffic. Santiago is a port of entry for Cuba so you will most likely be greeted by the full range of officials, including (for the first time between here...

Surgidero de Batabano

Surgidero de Batabano is at the northern limit of the Golfo de Batabano, more or less due south of Havana. It is the main port in this area, and the principal connection between the mainland and the Isla de la Juventud (the port of Nueva Gerona). The anchorage off the port is an open roadstead which can get quite jough when the wind is out of the south, but there is a dredged channel, reportedly with a controlling depth of 2-5m, to a couple of fully protected basins. As we said earlier, we have...

Casilda and Trinidad

Casilda has little to recommend it, being a small port and commercial fishing town with few facilities of interest to cruisers. However, it is a port of entry to Cubju and it is also the gateway to I rinidad.T-'or this Tatter reason alone, it should be a stop on everyone's itinerary. Trinidad and Casilda are a couple of the oldest cities in the New World (Trinidad was first settled in 1514 Hern n Cort s departed from Casilda to conquer Mexico). Trinidad is a fine colonial city Adapted from ICH...

Bahia De Guantanamo

Adapted from ICH 1803 I Courtesy GeoCuba Adapted from ICH 1803 Courtesy GeoCuba immediately to the north of the pilot dock (l-6m depth), or else anchor out. For once there is not a Guarda post in sight, but rest assured, it is not far away (just up the street leading away from the head of the dock). If you wait a few minutes, the officials will show up and clear you in. Note The bay is reported to be subject to violent squalls that arrive with little warning, so two anchors are recommended.

The Cayos de San Felipe and Cayos los Indios

Although the Cayos de San Felipe consist of one long line of mangroves when viewed from the north, from the south you see many miles ofjoristine, uninhabited, beach. A great variety of vegetation is found on the narrow strip between the two. Offshore are numerous coral patches. You can happily spend several days here beach-combing, snorkeling, and relaxing. In contrast, the CayosJQsJndios are almost entirely mangroves and apart from some interesting bird life on drying mudflats, have little to...

Bahia De Pilon

South of it you pass between these two, and then curve north toward the conspicuous sugar-mill chimney, leaving another green beacon (No. 11) to port (i.e. passing to the east of it). In front of the sugar mill there is a substantial concrete dock with an ironwork extension in poor repair. In calm conditions it is possible to come alongside the dock to clear in, but typically there are some small swells here so it would be better to anchor off. If necessary, some protection can be found by...

Marina Chapelin

The Marina Chapelin is found about midway along a more than 2-mile canal that runs through the mangroves on the south side of the Peninsula de Hicacos. The marina is primarily a base for tour boats catering to the tourists in Varadero. There are a number of sailboats and sport fishing boats available for day charters and the occasional diving trip. When there is space available, the marina will take in private boats. The charge is SO.45 per foot per day, which includes water and electricity....

Golfo de Ana Mara and Golfo de Guacanayabo south to Cabo Cruz

Together the Golfo de Ana Mar a and the Golfo de Guacanayabo form a huge, relatively sheltered bay almost 200M long and up to 40M deep. The seaward perimeter of the Golfo de Ana Maria is defined by a long chain of cays and shoals known collectively as the Jardines de la Reina (the Gardens of the Queen). At its south end this barrier curves eastward to intersect the mainland, forming the dividing line between the Golfo de Ana Maria and the Golfo de Guacanayabo to the SE. The seaward side of the...

Cays and reef between Cayo Largo and Cayo Guano del Este

It is a little more than 25M from the southwestern tipT)FCaycTEargo to Cayo Guanodel Este. The reef, whicEcloses the southwestern tip ot Cayo Largo, runs more or less due east west, while Cayo Largo hooks away to the north, opening up a substantial sound with navigable water between the two. The reef itself is partially submerged for much of its length, with substantial breaks, so that it creates a very imperfect barrier, but nevertheless when the wind is in the SE, and heavy seas are sweeping...

Cayo Rapado Grande

The south coast of Cayo Rapado Grande offers groicctioajn all conditions. On the SW tip there is a fishing station built orTpiles, but aside from this there is nothing to see but mangroves. From Punta Tabaco and the NE, the anchorages are approached by rounding the western end of the cay. You need to stay more than a mile to the north of the northern tip of Cayo Rapado Grande, since there is a very extensive shoal in this area. Once past this shoal, head SW. Another very extensive shoal extends...

Dry Tortugas

The Dry Tortugas are included in this guide since they make such a useful and delightful stopping point on many passages between the USA and Cuba. The Dry Tortugas are the end of the line in the Florida Keys. A substantial reef area, intersected by-several deep-water passages, contains a half dozen small islands, the most notable of which is Garden Key on which the US government built an enormous fort in the mid-1800s. In the lee of the fort is a well protected anchorage - surely one of the...

Los Arroyos

Los Arroyos is a pretty little fishing town on the mainland, to the SE of CayoBuenavista. It is worth atjeast a short visit, and an amble up the main street and back (which may take longer than you think since you will probably be stopped and engaged in conversation by a number of very friendly people ). Although the anchorage off the town is for all intents and purposes an open roadstead, it is well protected in prevailing NE and easterly winds, but is wide open to northers. The approach...

Marina Gaviota

The Marina Gaviota is tucked up in the mangroves to the north of Cayo Libertad. It can be entered via the marked channel immediately to its south (presently made conspicuous by a beached barge on the west side of the channel), or by curving around through the mangroves in the channcl that is found just north of Cayo Libertad (see above). In either direction, there is a minimum of 2-4m. The marina is fully occupied by charter boats catering to the tourists in the Varadero strip, so you are...

Fishing Station Cabeza Del

CAYOS LABERINTO DE LAS DOCE LEGUAS CAYO CACHIBOCA TO PUNTA CABEZA DEL ESTE Adapted from ICH 1427 and 1426 with additional material from US government surveys for entering the tongue is about 2-2m over an uneven bottom , deepening to 5m on the inside the controlling depth for entering the lagoon is basically l-6m, although the Cubans regularly take a l-8m draft inside, and we did the same at close to high tide. Despite the fact that the tongue is wide open in an arc from the NW to the east, it...

Marina Acua

The Marina Acua is a port of entry into Cuba. It is a similar development to the Marina Hemingway, also dating from the 1950s. A substantial lagoon has been dredged and bordered with cement walls, which are all in surprisingly good condition. At the east end of the lagoon a channel runs under a couple of drawbridges into the Bah a de C rdenas at the west end of the lagoon a canal Canal de Paso Malo cuts through the isthmus of the Pen nsula de Hicacos to give entry to the lagoon. Originally the...

Cayo Breton

Cayo Breton is a substantial mangrove cay which is not particularly interesting. It is, however, the northernmost of the cays in the Jardines de la Reina, with a 25M jump between it and Cayo Zaza de Fuera the next cay to the north . Aa a resnlLjt is a popular spot in which to rest a night either before or after_sailing this_ tretch. It_ has several good anchorages. From Cayo Zaza de Fuera Depending on the wind and sea states, you can come either inside or outside the Meda os de la Vela, a 16M...

Marina Tarara

To the west of Puerto Escondido the coastline continues to be rugged and we get into the oilfield. A limestone ridge over 100m high in places runs along the shoreline. This ridge is cut by a number of rivers, forming interesting gorges which look like tempting exploration, but all are reportedly obstructed by shoal water. The Rio Canasi at approximately 23 08-6'N 81 46-9'N looks particularly inviting. Its mouth can reportedly be entered by vessels with a draft of up to 2m, but the river shoals...

Bahia de Guantanamo and Caimanera

The Bahia de Guantanamo is of course Guantanamo Bay, the American base, and a bone of contention between Cuba and the USA ever since Castro's accession to power. The base, however, does not occupy the entire bay - the northern half is still Cuban territory, and here will be found the small port of Boqueron, on the east side of the bay, and the town of Caimanera, on the west side of the bay. Except for emergencies, the American base area is off-limits to all visiting boats, but there is no...

Before you shove off Call the experts at Bj

4 Latest information on entry policies and procedures 4 Advice on the best charts and routing for your trip 4 Official Cuban government chart kits in stock j 4 Cruising guides, publication and travel books in stock , Mjm 4 Cuba courtesy flaesmir mmm amp For the latest on cruising Cuba, check our website www.bluewaterweb.com 2. Information for the navigator 3. Passagemaking to Cuba the Marina Hemingway and Havana 4. Marina Hemingway to Cabo San Antonio and the western capes 5. Cabo Franc s to...

Cayo Hicacal Esquivel del

Cayo Hicacal is a small cay which forms the northwestern tip of Cayo Esquivel del Sur. At the northwestern tip of Cayo Hicacal there is a small promontory on which there is a steel-frame light structure. In prevailing winds the area just to the south of the light structure makes a well protected anchorage, although it is wide open to northers. From the inside, you can cut well to the east of the marked Boca de Sagua la Grande channel, heading directly for the light structure from the SW. If the...

Approaches To Cayo Largo

Entered on a northerly heading from a position at approximately 21 34-5'N 81 36-7'W, leaving the red buoy several hundred meters to starboard TF. passing to the west of it , and aiming midway between the two yellow buoys about a mile to the north. This is a very easy entry, 1M wide, and free of hazards. From the yellow buoys you head 060 to the dredged channeTinto tKc niarina. From the east, you must round the southwestern tip of Cayo Largo, staying the better part of V2M off the coast to avoid...

Bahia de Vita

The Bahia de Vita is a small pocket bay with a narrow, deep-water entrance leading to a well protected anchorage in attractive surroundings. Inside is the small port town of Puerto Vita, but it has little in the way of supplies. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant overnight stop. There are no off-lying hazards to either the east or the west - it is simply a matter of staying at least 'AM offshore. The lighthouse on Punta Barlovento can be seen from several miles out. v FI.G.3s3M 06 FI.R gt 6s3M ,

Cayo Zaza de Fuera

Cayo Zaza de Fuera has the best-protected anchorage between Casilda and Cayo Breton-Otherwise, tEe island Hoes not have much to recommend it it is all mangroves although there is a fair amount of bird life in the interior lagoon providing a wonderful dawn chorus . Adapted from ICH 1431 Courtesy GeoCuba Adapted from ICH 1431 Courtesy GeoCuba From Casilda The easiest route is down the outside of the reef, heading directly for Cayo Zaza de Fuera once past the channel marker for the Canal de Tunas...

Bahia de Bariay

The Bahia de Bariay, just 3M to the west of Puerto Vita has a pretty beach Playa Blanca but is chiefly interesting as one of the claimed sites at which Columbus first set foot on Cuban soil. For Columbus buffs there is a small monument lAM to the south of Playa Blanca. On the attractive headland on the west side of the bay there are some intriguing ruins which we were unable to explore. There are no off-lying hazards cither to the east or the west of the bay, but since it is wide open to the...

Strategies for circumnavigating Cuba

The primary factors to be considered are the generally easterly winds, but with a northerly set in the winter months and a southerly set in the summer months, the inshore currents, which tend to flow in a counterclockwise direction, and the prevalence of northers in the wintertime. Because of the northers, so far as it is possible we would recommend cruising the south coast in the winter months, particularly January and February, and the north coast in Spring March and April or Fall November...

Chivirico Exit From Alongside On North Shore Of Lagoon

Some effort to see Santiago, both because of what it has to offer culturally, and also in terms of the opportunity it affords for re-supplying the boat the best for many miles in any direction . But in die future, until the harbor is cleaned up and the marina improved, we will leave the boat in Chivirico, rent a car from the Hotel Galeones, and drive to Santiago. Note, however, the recent prohibition on Chivirico - see above. In the city, the magnet for tourists is the Parque Cespedes, with the...

Cabo Cruz

At Cabo Cruz a solid barrier of reef extends westward for 2M from cliffs at the southern tip of Cuba. Between the reef and the mainland there is a lovely, well protected anchorage, with a strong breeze coming in over the reef to keep the bugs at bay. A small fishing village nestled between the lighthouse and a dramatic cliff forms a picturesque backdrop. The region north of the reef is relatively free of hazards. It is possible to simply come around the reefs western tip, or to head down from...

Money and shopping

The currency and shopping situation in Cuba is unusual. The national currency is the peso, subdivided into one hundred centavos, but overshadowing everything is the almighty American dollar. The government has established, an entirely arbitrary official exchange rate of one peso to the dollar, whereas the black market has established a radically different rate which has been hovering around 20 pesos to the dollar for the past four years, but has been as high as 200 pesos to the dollar . Outside...

Isla de la Juventud

The Isla de la Juventud was discovered by Columbus, but largely ignored for centuries. As late as the Batista regime it was primarily a prison island, with an enormous 'model' prison capable of housing up to 5,000 prisoners on the north coast. Since the revolution it has been developed as a major agrarian region, with huge citrus orchards around the hills in the center of the island, and many other crops grown on the fertile lands in the northern half of the island. The southern half of the...