Jan 25, 2017

Salty Dawg LogoCanadians have been free to cruise to Cuba forever but now, US citizens can too. As a result the nonprofit Salty Dawg™ Sailing Association (SDSA) will launch a new cruising rally to Cuba this spring. The Rally to Cuba has been organized to comply with current US government requirements for US vessels and citizens visiting Cuba. Vessels from other countries are also welcome to participate in this unique event. Canadians frequently participate in Salty Dawgs events, so this may be a natural opportunity.

The Rally to Cuba will depart Virgin Gorda in the BVI in late March and will be in Cuba April 5 – 20, 2017. While most vessels will be cruising to Cuba from the BVI, others will cruise from the US East Coast and the Bahamas. The 14 day visit will support an educational-based, people-to-people exchange, a necessary condition for US citizens who wish to visit the island. The Rally complies with OFAC and US Coast Guard regulations.

The new Rally is a natural, downwind passage from the Caribbean back to the US, via Cuba. In order to conduct the proper research in support of this educational activity, and with the time constraint from various regulations and American insurance companies, the Rally will make landfall in Havana and conduct its research activities in Northwest Cuba. This is a large area to visit including Havana, villages and countryside on the north and south shores.

With the structured nature of the visit, in order to properly manage the activity, the Rally is being limited to 24 boats. “With the strong interest in this rally, we could have easily registered more than 75 vessels. But, we need to keep this inaugural rally manageable to comply with US regulations. All participants will be busy conducting our planned research, which will be designed to develop reference material that hopefully will be of interest to all US cruisers with future plans to visit Cuba,” said Rally to Cuba director Hank George.

The Salty Dawg Sailing Association is a non-profit educational organization that hosts several rallies, rendezvous and a series of blue water sailing seminars. Over 1,900 sailors and 480 boats have participated in Salty Dawg Rallies and over 1,300 sailors subscribe to notification of Salty Dawg events.

Membership in SDSA is available to anyone interested in blue water sailing. For more information and to join the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, visit the SDSA web site.

Salty DawgMany Canadian boats visit Havana’s Hemingway Marina