CON­TRASTS

Passage Maker - - News & Notes -

At its clos­est point, The Ba­hamas is only 45 nautical miles from the Florida coast. Hun­dreds of Amer­i­can cruis­ers are wel­comed each year. It couldn’t be eas­ier to visit. The of­fi­cial web­site (ba­hamas.com) in­cludes up-to-date in­for­ma­tion on en­ter­ing and ex­it­ing the coun­try and you can print out the cus­toms and im­mi­gra­tion forms ahead of your trip, as well as fish­ing reg­u­la­tions, ma­rina guides, and nearly any­thing else you want to know be­fore you go.

Cuba is also close—only 94 miles from Key West to Ha­vana. Yet with the U.S. em­bargo keep­ing Amer­i­can tourists away for nearly 60 years, the is­land had nearly be­come the stuff of myth. So of course we wanted to go! But we had de­cided on two re­quire­ments be­fore we would make the trip: We wanted to spend an ex­tended pe­riod of time cruis­ing and ex­plor­ing, and we wanted to do it all legally. Given that the U.S. govern­ment only is­sued per­mits for vis­its of up to four­teen days, we were stymied im­me­di­ately.

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