Ep. 30: Resolute Sets Sail cruises Mexico, Hawaii, and sails to Alaska with audio sample by Linus Wilson of Navigation Rules Captains’ Exam prep album

Subscribe to the Slow Boat Sailing podcast for free on iTunes and Stitcher!

Native Alaskans Erik and Meagan bought a boat in the San Fransisco Bay area and sailed it down the often unforgiving California coast to the warm waters of Mexico. It may be a surprise to the followers of their blockbuster, YouTube channel Resolute Sets Sail, what they did next. Instead of turning west to the islands of the south Pacific as is more popular or heading through the Panama canal towards the Caribbean, Erik and Meagen went on some epic month long offshore passages to Hawaii and Alaska. Learn about their problems importing their dog into Hawaii. (I could not believe it! U.S. Citizens have to jump through hoops to take their dog to Hawaii.) Learn about the travels of these low-budget adventurers under sail in their Cascade 36. They are super cool, and they make great videos!

Before we get into an interview we have an audio sample of my Navigation Rules: International and Inland (Abridged), Study Guide for USCG Captains’ and Merchant Mariner Exam on CD Baby. It is the least expensive study course for the toughest exam on the USCG captain’s exam that I know of at $9.99.

navrules

I edited this interview during my 27-day passage at sea from Ecuador to French Polynesia, which was hard because we had limited electricity, and I need to buy a newer faster computer to edit podcasts and video. After the Slow Boat was hit by a whale half-way through the 3,500 nm trip, I got much busier with managing downwind sails, autopilot, and engine bleeding problems. I’ll talk about that trip in the next episode. This episode is being uploaded in Tahiti, which has MUCH faster internet than Hiva Oa in the Marquesas. I was only in Hiva Oa for less than a week before having to come back home for work. I hope to release episode 8 of the Slow Boat Sailing YouTube channel’s round the world vlog before the next podcast.

If you are a YouTube subscriber, send me a private message on Facebook or Twitter with your USA address by Wednesday, January 11, 2017, to be in a drawing for the first ever printed copy of Slow Boat to Cuba. This is a one of a kind collectors edition of the Amazon sailing eBook bestseller on its first day on sale. I’ll show the results of the drawing in episode 8 of Slow Boat Sailing’s vlog series.

We will be running contest where our most loyal Patreon supporters can become part of our crew literally as we explore the paradise islands of the South Pacific. Patrons of the round the world vlog and podcast get bonus podcast episodes and free audiobooks of How To Sail Around the World Part-Time and Slow Boat to Cuba. They get never before released audiobook chapters of Slow Boat to the Bahamas.

Slow Boat to the Bahamas
https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Bahamas-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B018OUI1Q2/

and

How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
https://www.amazon.com/How-Sail-Around-World-Part-Time-ebook/dp/B01B0OFYNW/

have been #1 sailing bestseller on Amazon.

Support the vlog and podcast at
https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

When we hit $80 per round the world vlog episode or podcast episode, I will give away 2 weeks in a private berth for two to one of our Patrons. Patrons will be randomly selected based on their long-term support on Patreon. This is several thousand dollar value. Captained charters of similarly sized monohulls usually exceed $400 per day. Thus, this reward is over a $5,000 value. The timing of that berth depends on the schedules of the winner and Captain Linus Wilson. I hope a Patron can join the Slow Boat in the Marquesas this summer.

The rewards of being a Patreon far outweigh the costs.

Since starting the podcast and YouTube channel, we have had to upgrade our cameras, computer hard drives, and audio equipment. Podcasts must pay hosting fees. We have incurred high internet access fees in foreign countries to put out a regular podcast and to upload videos. For every hour of podcast or minute of video many hours of work must go into them to produce them. We only produce highly edited podcasts and videos because we believe our listeners and viewers time is so valuable.

The vlog is also a video cruising guide of the places we visit focused on the seamanship necessary to visit the exotic foreign ports that we visit. The vlogs recount the adventures of the Slow Boat crew.

The host of the podcast and the captain of the Slow Boat is Linus Wilson who holds a “six pack” captain’s licenses issued by the United States Coast Guard.

The “Slow Boat” is an Island Packet 31′.

There are 13 episodes planned for season 1. Hopefully, we will have the support to film many more seasons of our round the world voyage. Season 1 goes from New Orleans, to Florida, to Cuba, stops at Providencia, though the Panama Canal, and across the equator into the South Pacific. Season 2 will feature the trip to and cruising in the most beautiful and remote islands in the world, the Marquesas. If you win the Patreon crew drawing, you could be a star in season 2.

Subscribe to the podcast at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/slow-boat-sailing-podcast/id1084423845?mt=2
http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/slow-boat-sailing-podcast

Slow Boat to Cuba hits #1 in Sailing eBooks on Amazon on its first day on sale after launch.

1-sailing-11-23-16

Thanks to everybody who made Slow Boat to Cuba a #1 bestseller in sailing eBooks on Amazon. With all those royalties, I got a small cappuccino at Dunkin Donuts :)! I’m thankful, nevertheless. The 650+ folks who snagged a free copy on the first two days after launch is also a record for one of my books. Here is the pricing schedule for the rest of the holiday weekend.

1. November 23, 2016, $.99

2. November 24, 2016, $1.99 (Turkey Day)

3. November 25, 2016, $2.99 (Black Friday)

4. November 26, 2016, $3.99

5. November 27, 2016, $4.99 (the everyday bargain basement price!!)

In the USA
https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9AG/

Get Slow Boat to Cuba on other amazon sites in

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9AG

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9AG

All I ask is that you write an host review when you finish the ebook.

https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9AG/

 

 

Ep. 29: (URGENT LISTEN NOW) Chase the Story’s Tasha Hacker and Ryan Horsnail Speak to Linus Wilson about Sailing French Polynesia (+free Slow Boat to Cuba book info!!!)

Get the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast on Stitcher and iTunes!

Tasha Hacker and Ryan Horsnail of the Chase the Story YouTube channel and Turf to Surf blog speak to us about cruising French Polynesia. In the bonus episode available to Patrons, they talk about touring the Galapagos, cruising with pets in the South Pacific, and downwind sailing techniques.

My book Slow Boat to Cuba is launching on Amazon on November 21, 2016. To celebrate I am giving away the eBook version on Amazon worldwide. Here are the free and discounted days.

1. November 21, 2016, FREEEEEEEEEE!

2. November 22, 2016, FREEEEEEEEEE!!

3. November 23, 2016, $.99

4. November 24, 2016, $1.99

5. November 25, 2016, $2.99

6. November 26, 2016, $3.99

7. November 27, 2016, $4.99 (the everyday bargain basement price!!)

Get Slow Boat to Cuba on other amazon sites in

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9

UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9AG

Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Slow-Boat-Cuba-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B01MFFX9AG

We briefly hit our first $20 per episode goal and I will make Slow Boat to the Bahamas free on Amazon’s worldwide sites for 1 day in December 2016 or January 2017. Subscribe to my free newsletter at www.slowboatsailing.com to get notified of the exact date.

When we hit $80 per round the world vlog episode or podcast episode, I will give away 2 weeks in a private berth for two to one of our Patrons. Patrons will be randomly selected based on their long-term support on Patreon. This is several thousand dollar value. Captained charters of similarly sized monohulls usually exceed $400 per day. Thus, this reward is over a $5,000 value. The timing of that berth depends on the schedules of the winner and Captain Linus Wilson.

Slow Boat Sailing is making a podcast and vlog about sailing around the world part-time. The podcast interviews the most interesting cruising sailors in the world, including the crew of SV Delos, White Spot Pirates, Chase the Story, Sailing Miss Lone Star, Wicked Salty, SV Prism, and many more. This costs time and money and we love our supporters who subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and YouTube as well as those who support us on Patreon.

We will be running contest where our most loyal Patreon supporters can become part of our crew literally as we explore the paradise islands of the South Pacific. Patrons of the round the world vlog and podcast get bonus podcast episodes and free audiobooks of How To Sail Around the World Part-Time and Slow Boat to Cuba. They get never before released audiobook chapters of Slow Boat to the Bahamas.

Slow Boat to the Bahamas
https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Bahamas-Linus-Wil…
and
How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
https://www.amazon.com/How-Sail-Around-World-Part-…
have been #1 sailing bestseller on Amazon.

Slow boat to Cuba launches on Amazon on November 21, 2016.
Support the vlog and podcast at
https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

The rewards of being a Patreon far outweigh the costs.
Since starting the podcast and YouTube channel we have had to upgrade our cameras, computer hard drives, and audio equipment. Podcasts must pay hosting fees. We have incurred high internet access fees in foreign countries to put out a regular podcast and to upload videos. For every hour of podcast or minute of video many hours of work must go into them to produce them. We only produce highly edited podcasts and videos because we believe our listeners and viewers time is so valuable.

We make content that is for all audiences and will not sacrifice safety or our relationship with our loved ones to create suggestive thumbnails. Our crew wears life jackets and harnesses in all weather. We don’t cut corners on crew safety to get exciting video.

The vlog is also a video cruising guide of the places we visit focused on the seamanship necessary to visit the exotic foreign ports that we visit. The vlogs recount the adventures of the Slow Boat Crew.

The host of the podcast and the captain of the Slow Boat is Linus Wilson who holds a “six pack” captain’s licenses issued by the United States Coast Guard.
The “Slow Boat” is an Island Packet 31′.

There are 13 episodes planned for season 1.
https://slowboatsailing.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/3…

Hopefully, we will have the support to film many more seasons of our round the world voyage. Season 1 goes from New Orleans, to Florida, to Cuba, stops at Providencia, though the Panama Canal, and across the equator into the South Pacific.

I will likely be in the South Pacific in December with limited access to internet. The next podcast and vlog will likely be released in January 2017. Happy holidays!

Thanks for joining the voyage!  Check out my book How to Sail Around the World Part-Time, which is now available as an album on iTunes or Amazon. Links to my books are at my website. Buy How to Sail Around the World Part-Time or Slow Boat to the Bahamas at Amazon. Both books have been #1 bestsellers in the Amazon sailing eBook categories. (If you are a non-US Amazon customer, e-mail me at linuswilson outlook [dot] com, and I’ll send you the link addresses for your country’s site.)  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and tell your friends to do the same. I’m putting up more videos of the Slow Boat crew on YouTube. Also check out my new study guide entitled Navigation Rules: International and Inland (Abridged), Study Guide for Uscg Captains’ and Merchant Mariner Exams.  Episode 6’s South Pacific Weather with Met Bob has became anAlbum on iTunes. Subscribe to my free newsletter at http://www.slowboatsailing.com for free books and boat repair and upgrade tips.  There you can also find a orange banner link at the bottom of the page and promo code to save $15 off your next purchase of $200+ at West Marine. Write a review on iTunes for the podcast or on Amazon for my books. Finally, have some fun on the water!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: President-Elect Trump May Close the Door on Cuba Travel on Inauguration Day

November 15, 2016

truck

Caption: In May 2016, Neuva Gerona, Cuba’s transport options were on display: a motorcycle, a truck from the 1950s, and horse and buggy.

“The statements coming out of mouths of the President-Elect and Speaker of the House indicate that Americans will no longer be able to visit Cuba after inauguration day, January 20, 2017,” said Dr. Linus Wilson, author of the new book Slow Boat to Cuba.

“Repealing controversial executive orders on day one is low hanging fruit for an incoming administration. President-elect Donald Trump can pay back his debts to the Cuban-Americans who helped him win the key state of Florida. Many older Cuban Americans oppose any normalization of relations until pre-revolution reparations are paid and the Castro’s are out of power,” said Dr. Wilson. “An American who wants to visit Cuba should seize the day and travel before inauguration day. You might have to wait another 50 years for the chance.”

“What most people don’t realize is that Obama Administration executive orders led to the sudden surge in travel between the U.S. and Cuba over the last year. They are narrow regulations that no other Presidential administration has interpreted in this way. There is absolutely no support among the majority in the House of Representative or the White House to repeal the 50-year-old embargo.”

“All of the concessions that Barack Obama has granted the Castro Regime were done through executive order, which means the next president can reverse them – and that is what I will do, unless the Castro Regime meets our demands,” said Donald Trump on the stump in Florida prior to the election.

Vice President-Elect Mike Pence was even more direct when speaking to Miami voters before the November 8, 2016 election. He said “Well, let me make you a promise. When Donald Trump is president of the United States, we will repeal Obama’s executive orders on Cuba.”

“As the past two years of normalizing relations have only emboldened the regime at the expense of the Cuban people, I fully intend to maintain our embargo on Cuba,” said House Speaker (R-Wisconsin) Paul Ryan in a statement in October 2016.

“My book Slow Boat to Cuba shows that the number of US boats going to Cuba legally went up by over 9,000 percent in 2015 compared to 2014.” Dr. Wilson said. “I saw first-hand how engagement was allowing ordinary Cubans to surf the internet and learn about the outside world. Tightening the embargo would be a human disaster that has been condemned by every country in the United Nations except two.” The U.S. and Israel recently abstained in a United Nations resolution condemning the embargo.

“The embargo has failed to lead to regime change for over fifty years. It is hard to see a more ineffective policy,” Wilson said. “The only hope is that cruise ship companies and airlines such as JetBlue can successfully lobby the new administration to not roll back the relaxation of travel restrictions which started in late 2014.”

“Unfortunately, raising trade restrictions was one of Donald Trump’s core promises in the campaign. There is no more extreme trade restriction than an embargo,” said Dr. Wilson. “Trade and travel restrictions make Americans less productive and poorer. The protectionist policies proposed by President-Elect Trump are bad for the economy and will lead to lower U.S. incomes and economic stagnation. We don’t want to turn back the clock on American prosperity. I saw plenty of cars from the 1950s in Cuba. The 1950s are not the good old days. Just ask any Cuban.”

A recent Bloomberg article alleged that Trump representatives may have violated the embargo with Cuba, trying to get approval to build a golf resort in Cuba. “Since Mr. Trump has put his children in charge of his companies and his transition team, President-elect Trump may have a genuine conflict of interest on his Cuba policy. His use of the power of the presidency may favor his business ambitions on the island nation of Cuba. It does not take much imagination to see how Mr. Trump could get approvals for his golf resort or any other development by threatening to repeal the executive orders that opened up Cuba to many Americans. What assurances can the President give us that this is not leverage for more Trump company projects or pay back for rejecting his golf resort all those years ago? President Trump’s Cuba policy could be more about crony capitalism than legitimate public policy,” said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Linus Wilson traveled to Cuba in May 2016 on his 31-foot Island Packet sailboat under a U.S. Coast Guard permit. Slow Boat to Cuba is his third book. It is set to launch on Amazon worldwide on November 21, 2016.  His previous two books Slow Boat to the Bahamas and How to Sail Around the World Part-Time have been Amazon bestsellers. He earned a doctorate in financial economics from the University of Oxford in England in 2007, and has been teaching finance at the college level for over a decade. He is an Associate Professor of Finance at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

S1E7: Caribbean High, Hiking up El Pico “The Peak” in Providencia, Colombia, Sailing Round the World

 

Stevie and I leave the boat to hike up the highest mountain in Providencia, Colombia. To our surprise we found a well marked and maintained trail. It was as high quality as you would find as in any U.S. national park, but we only saw one other couple hiking the trail. Compare that to the 1,000s that hike Diamondhead in Oahu every day. The views at the top of El Pico in Providencia, “The Peak’, were magnificient. You must do this hike if you visit! If you can walk a 5K, you should be up for this challenge. Just take lots of water!

The El Pico, “The Peak”, hike begins is in the Bottom House neighborhood of Providencia. It is almost on the opposite side of the town and ferry dock.

It probably takes about two hours up and one hour down. Give yourself plenty of daylight. (You could kill yourself in the dark.) There is no guard rail at the end and the path is narrow. We did not have a guide and I don’t think one is necessary. It is better to hike it when its dry otherwise the path will be muddy.

When we hit 500 subscribers, I will give away the first print copy of Slow Boat to Cuba to one of my YouTube subscribers. To be entered in this free contest send me a personal message via Facebook to

Include your USA mailing address. This free book drawing is only open YouTube subscribers with USA addresses.

We will be running contest where our most loyal Patreon supporters can become part of our crew literally for up to two weeks as we explore the paradise islands of the South Pacific. Patrons of the round the world vlog and podcast get bonus podcast episodes and free audiobooks of How To Sail Around the World Part-Time and Slow Boat to Cuba. They get never before released audiobook chapters of Slow Boat to the Bahamas.

Slow Boat to the Bahamas
https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Bahamas-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B018OUI1Q2/

and

How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
https://www.amazon.com/How-Sail-Around-World-Part-Time-ebook/dp/B01B0OFYNW/

have been #1 sailing bestseller on Amazon. Slow boat to Cuba launches on Amazon on November 21, 2016.

Support the vlog and podcast at
https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

The music was by

http://www.BenSound.com

Don’t forget to leave a like, subscribe, or leave a comment.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPODaIKSa35ZZwtOECFFC3w?sub_confirmation=1

Subscribe to our friend’s SV Moneypenny’s channel at
https://www.youtube.com/user/justinmoliver1

Join the Slow Boat’s South Pacific Crew by Pledging on Patreon

Slow Boat Sailing is making a podcast and vlog about sailing around the world part-time. The podcast interviews the most interesting cruising sailors in the world, including the crew of SV Delos, White Spot Pirates, Chase the Story, Sailing Miss Lone Star, Wicked Salty, SV Prism, and many more. This costs time and money and we love our supporters who subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, and YouTube as well as those who support us on Patreon.

We will be running contest where our most loyal Patreon supporters can become part of our crew literally as we explore the paradise islands of the South Pacific. Patrons of the round the world vlog and podcast get bonus podcast episodes and free audiobooks of How To Sail Around the World Part-Time and Slow Boat to Cuba. They get never before released audiobook chapters of Slow Boat to the Bahamas.

Slow Boat to the Bahamas
https://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Bahamas-Linus-Wilson-ebook/dp/B018OUI1Q2/

and

How to Sail Around the World-Part Time
https://www.amazon.com/How-Sail-Around-World-Part-Time-ebook/dp/B01B0OFYNW/

have been #1 sailing bestseller on Amazon. Slow boat to Cuba launches on Amazon on November 21, 2016.

Support the vlog and podcast at
https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

We briefly hit our first $20 per episode goal, and I will make Slow Boat to the Bahamas free on Amazon’s worldwide sites for 1 day in December 2016 or January 2017. Subscribe to my free newsletter at www.slowboatsailing.com to get notified of the exact date.

When we hit $80 per round the world vlog episode or podcast episode, I will give away 2 weeks in a private berth for two to one of our Patrons. Patrons will be randomly selected based on their long-term support on Patreon. This is several thousand dollar value. Captained charters of similarly sized monohulls usually exceed $400 per day. Thus, this reward is over a $5,000 value. The timing of that berth depends on the schedules of the winner and Captain Linus Wilson.

The rewards of being a Patreon far outweigh the costs.

Since starting the podcast and YouTube channel we have had to upgrade our cameras, computer hard drives, and audio equipment. Podcasts must pay hosting fees. We have incurred high internet access fees in foreign countries to put out a regular podcast and to upload videos. For every hour of podcast or minute of video many hours of work must go into them to produce them. We only produce highly edited podcasts and videos because we believe our listeners and viewers time is so valuable.

We make content that is for all audiences and will not sacrifice safety or our relationship with our loved ones to create suggestive thumbnails. Our crew wears life jackets and harnesses in all weather. We don’t cut corners on crew safety to get exciting video.

The vlog is also a video cruising guide of the places we visit focused on the seamanship necessary to visit the exotic foreign ports that we visit. The vlogs recount the adventures of the Slow Boat Crew.

The host of the podcast and the captain of the Slow Boat is Linus Wilson who holds a “six pack” captain’s licenses issued by the United States Coast Guard.

The “Slow Boat” is an Island Packet 31′.

There are 13 episodes planned for season 1.
https://slowboatsailing.wordpress.com/2016/09/18/3-new-episodes-planned-for-slow-boat-sailings-season-1-13-planned/

Hopefully, we will have the support to film many more seasons of our round the world voyage. Season 1 goes from New Orleans, to Florida, to Cuba, stops at Providencia, though the Panama Canal, and across the equator into the South Pacific.

Subscribe to the podcast at
https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/slow-boat-sailing-podcast/id1084423845?mt=2
http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/slow-boat-sailing-podcast

Book trailer for SLOW BOAT TO CUBA by Linus Wilson

In SLOW BOAT TO CUBA, the author, Linus Wilson, wants to start his round the world trip by sailing to the Panama Canal before hurricane season. Unfortunately, a 50-year old embargo, wild currents, and adverse winds and waves stand in this American sailor’s way. This is the story of how he overcame government road blocks and sailed offshore to the forbidden paradise of Cuba. He stops at the remote west coast and southern barrier islands fighting human and nautical obstacles to get a clear path to Panama.

You can watch the whole vlog series covering the material in the book on YouTube.

The audiobook at

https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

is 3 hours and 30 minutes long and the vlog series Slow Boat to Cuba is only 40 minutes long. Thus, the movie version leaves out a lot of material from the book.

You can get the full audiobook of Slow Boat to Cuba by pledging as little as $3 at

https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

The paperback and Kindle versions of SLOW BOAT TO CUBA will be launch on Amazon worldwide on November 21, 2016.

This is Linus Wilson’s 3rd book.

Buy How to Sail Around the World Part-Time
http://www.amazon.com/How-Sail-Around…

and Slow Boat to the Bahamas
http://www.amazon.com/Slow-Boat-Baham…

at Amazon.

Charts are by Jennifer Clark’s Gulfstream.

Music is by http://www.bensound.com

Ep. 28: Slow Boat to Cuba (audiobook sample) by Linus Wilson

Get the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast on Stitcher and iTunes!

Your podcast host has been hard at work on his third book over the last couple months and is ready to share part of it with you. Slow Boat to Cuba does not go up for sale in print and Kindle versions until the end of November, but you can listen to the audiobook now. In this episode, we listen to the the first four of 19 chapters of the audiobook of Slow Boat to Cuba.

You can get the full audiobook of Slow Boat to Cuba by pledging as little as $3 at

https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

You can be part of sailing history and be thanked in the acknowledgement if you pledge at the Captain or Admiral Level on Patreon to support monthly podcasts and vlogs.
In this book, the author wants to start his round the world trip by sailing to the Panama Canal before hurricane season. Unfortunately, a 50-year old embargo, wild currents, and adverse winds and waves stand in this American sailor’s way. This is the story of how he overcame government road blocks and sailed offshore to the forbidden paradise of Cuba. He stops at the remote west coast and southern barrier islands fighting human and nautical obstacles to get a clear path to Panama.
You can watch the whole vlog series covering the material in the book on YouTube. The book is 3 hours and 30 minutes long and the vlog series Slow Boat to Cuba is only 40 minutes long. Thus, the movie version leaves out a lot of material from the book.
We start our “On the AIS” segment in this episode. We have some great mini-guests, who tell us in 30 seconds in their own words about their awesome sailing channel in their own words. When you see a boat on the AIS you are usually not close enough to touch them, but you may be close enough to hail them for a brief chat on the VHF. Our “On the AIS” guests are the creators of Coast Life.  Check out their great YouTube channel. I have recorded many great hour plus long conversations with awesome sailors like the creators of Chase the Story and Sailing Baby Blue but there are way more sailors than I can edit hour long interviews for that you should check out.
We have been giving away signed books when we hit key numbers on YouTube and Twitter. Our next book giveaway will be held after hitting 500 YouTube subscribers. To win the book you have to be YouTube subscriber who sends us their USA address by Facebook messenger before the drawing.

Thanks for joining the voyage!  Check out my book How to Sail Around the World Part-Time, which is now available as an album on iTunes or Amazon. Links to my books are at my website. Buy How to Sail Around the World Part-Time or Slow Boat to the Bahamas at Amazon. Both books have been #1 bestsellers in the Amazon sailing eBook categories. (If you are a non-US Amazon customer, e-mail me at linuswilson outlook [dot] com, and I’ll send you the link addresses for your country’s site.)  Like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and tell your friends to do the same. I’m putting up more videos of the Slow Boat crew on YouTube. Also check out my new study guide entitled Navigation Rules: International and Inland (Abridged), Study Guide for Uscg Captains’ and Merchant Mariner Exams.  Episode 6’s South Pacific Weather with Met Bob has became anAlbum on iTunes. Subscribe to my free newsletter at http://www.slowboatsailing.com for free books and boat repair and upgrade tips.  There you can also find a orange banner link at the bottom of the page and promo code to save $15 off your next purchase of $200+ at West Marine. Write a review on iTunes for the podcast or on Amazon for my books. Finally, have some fun on the water!

SLOW BOAT TO CUBA by Linus Wilson audiobook sample Chapters 1 to 4

In this book, the author wants to start his round the world trip by sailing to the Panama Canal before hurricane season. Unfortunately, a 50-year old embargo, wild currents, and adverse winds and waves stand in this American sailor’s way. This is the story of how he overcame government road blocks and sailed offshore to the forbidden paradise of Cuba. He stops at the remote west coast and southern barrier islands fighting human and nautical obstacles to get a clear path to Panama.slow_boat_to_cuba_album

You can get the full audiobook of SLOW BOAT TO CUBA by pledging as little as $3 at

https://www.patreon.com/slowboatsailing

If you liked this book you will probably enjoy my other books,

Slow Boat to the Bahamas
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018OUI1Q2

and How to Sail Around the World Part-Time.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01B0OFYNW/
If you want to keep abreast of our latest travels and get the opportunity to get free books, subscribe to my free e-mail newsletter at http://www.slowboatsailing.com. In addition, you can check out my blog.
There are many other ways to connect. You can follow our adventures on Twitter @slowboatsailing. Moreover, you can like the “Slow Boat to the Bahamas” page on Facebook for daily updates at http://www.facebook.com/slowboatsailing.
In addition to interviewing the most interesting sailors in the world on the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast on iTunes and Stitcher, I talk about the preparation for and the progress of my most recent travels in the Slow Boat Sailing Podcast.
A vlog of the Slow Boat’s round the world trip is on the Slow Boat Sailing channel on YouTube. While the videos cannot do justice to one one-hundredth of the adventure in the book, they let you see key parts of the journey. Below is a list of our episodes covered in this book and how they correspond to chapters in Slow Boat to Cuba:

The whole playlist is

S1E1: Getting Easting, Sailing Offshore from New Orleans to St. Petersburg went over the same time period as chapters 5, 6, 7, and 8 in this book.

S1E2: Sailing Into Venice Inlet, Florida, Preparing for Cuba corresponded to chapter 9.

S1E3: Cuba’s Cabo San Antonio, Sailing to the End of the Earth covers the parts of the trip in chapters 11 and 12.

S1E4: Nueva Gerona, Cuba, Sailing Back in Time touches on chapters 13, 14, and 15 of the book.

S1E5: Cuba’s Cayo Largo del Sur Resort and Marina Vistited by Sailboat was based on the parts of the trip covered in chapters 16, 17, and 18.

Subscribe on YouTube for free. More videos that go beyond our Cuba trip have been uploaded at the time of writing. At the time of writing, the Slow Boat is in Ecuador.

Capt. Linus Wilson, October 2016

Getting Permission to Sail to Cuba, Chapter 2 of SLOW BOAT TO CUBA

photo-may-08-8-56-35-amThis is chapter 2 of the Slow Boat to Cuba (c) 2016, by Linus Wilson, Oxriver Publishing. It will be available on Amazon.com in late November 2016.

 

2.Getting Permission to Sail to Cuba

 

According to my research, only one U.S.-flagged boat received a permit required to sail legally to Cuba in 2014! Regulatory changes in 2015, allowed 90 boats to obtain the necessary permission from the U.S. Coast Guard to sail to Cuba in the first 10 months of that year.[1] My route planning to sail to the Panama Canal via Cuba was made possible based on the changing regulations in 2015, allowing some U.S. sailors to visit Cuba.

There are many tales of U.S. sailors who have violated the embargo and faced no sanction. Nevertheless, if a U.S. sailor violates the Cuba embargo, the penalties can be very stiff:

“Any person …may be subject to:

(1) Imprisonment for not more than 10 years;

(2) A monetary penalty of not more than $10,000;

(3) Seizure and forfeiture of the vessel; and

(4) A civil penalty of not more than $25,000 for each day of violation.”[2]

Starting in December 17, 2014, the President of the United States, Barak Obama, began announcing executive orders which made travel to Cuba easier.[3] The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control’s (OFAC) general permit process began on January 16, 2016.[4] The general permit process allowed individual Americans to determine on their own if they fall under one twelve categories. This allowed Americans to travel to Cuba without applying to the U.S. government. Qualifying travelers could visit Cuba with no spending limits while in Cuba and with no prior U.S. government approval under the new regulations.[5] For decades prior, OFAC licenses were almost impossible to get. Even well-qualified journalists complained about how difficult it was to obtain one. Suddenly in early 2015 no application was necessary.

I did apply for an OFAC license in July 2015. The U.S. Treasury wrote back to say no application was necessary as long as I wrote down for my own records why I qualified. I travelled under journalistic license based on my writing in books, magazines, and blogs. The twelve permissible categories of travelers were as follows:

  1. family visits;
  2. official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations;
  3. journalistic activity;
  4. professional research and professional meetings;
  5. educational activities;
  6. religious activities;
  7. public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions;
  8. support for the Cuban people;
  9. humanitarian projects;
  10. activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes;
  11. exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials;
  12. and certain authorized export transactions

Unfortunately, this was not enough. The boat needed an export license. I found from other sailors on Facebook that an export license for the boat could be obtained from the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and applied in August 2015. I made some errors in what was a complicated two-page application. It only took about an hour to fill out. BIS also had telephone support that was helpful. The person who checked my application showed me my errors by e-mail and told me to reapply with corrections. In early September 2015, I was granted a 1-year license to take my 31-foot Island Packet sailboat, the Slow Boat, to Cuba.

A few days after I got the 1-year license, on September 18, 2015, export license applications were not necessary for many U.S. boaters. As long as the visit was 14 days or less to Cuba, the boater did not have to apply to BIS. Boaters could obtain general licenses for themselves and their crew (OFAC approval) and for their boat (BIS approval) merely if they wrote down why they were in one of the 12 categories of travelers permitted by the embargo.[6]

I thought I was ready to legally sail for a few weeks. Unfortunately, I soon found out that one more government approval was needed to legally sail to Cuba. Three approvals were needed. The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and U.S. Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) offer no application licenses. Still one application is mandatory for all boaters. U.S. boaters have to apply for the Coast Guard permit CG-3300 form to legally sail to Cuba.

I sent in my CG-3300 application, which is a simple two-page form, on October 23, 2016. Rosa Garrison, who processes the Cuba permit applications for the USCG, called me a few days after I applied on October 27, 2016. Unlike the folks at OFAC and BIS, Ms. Garrison did not seem to have a good grasp on the regulations and was unable to answer the most basic of questions.

She asserted over the phone that I was going to visit under a temporary (14-day) sojourn from BIS. In fact, I applied and was granted a one-year permit, for which I supplied a license number, on CG-3300. She also asserted that you must return to the U.S.A. under OFAC general licenses. This is only true under temporary sojourns without a BIS application. One-way trips are permitted with BIS applications. Further, OFAC since September 2015 has circulated a FAQ that says that there was no requirement that travelers to Cuba had to return directly to the United States.[7]

After my application languished for a few days, I submitted a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) on November 11, 2016. I requested the submission dates, decision dates, and the decisions (accept or reject) for all CG-3300 applications submitted between January 1, 2014, and November 1, 2015. I did not get a response for the FOIA until late January 2016.

On November 20, I got word that my application was rejected. I immediately disputed the grounds for rejection over e-mail. I was not travelling under the 14-day rule as they asserted. I spoke to the captain who reviewed and rejected my permit, Mark J. Fedor. He granted that they had made an error not reading my BIS export license. Nevertheless, he insisted that I had to specify the names of my crew members on my reapplication. I had left the crew blank. He encouraged me to reapply.

This meant I had to choose a crew member quickly. I had been interviewing dozens of crew members since July. All the trouble with the USCG permit made me risk-averse about selecting an American crew member. I would have to justify why that crew member qualified. I selected my first choice among the crew applicants who were not U.S. citizens. Stevie was a Canadian citizen and backpacker who had lots of offshore in boats in the low 30-foot range. I really liked that he filmed himself living in a cave in the Bahamas for several weeks. Contango had to be a step up from the hot, buggy cave. If he could tough out being a cave man, he was tough enough for life on a small boat. He was my first choice among that pool of applicants. Stevie quickly accepted.

I resubmitted my application with Stevie as crew on November 24, 2015. Captain Fedor reconsidered and approved my Cuba application on November 30, 2015. It took me four months and three applications from three different federal agencies, OFAC, BIS, and USCG, to legally travel to Cuba. My BIS license took about a month as did the USCG permit. I applied to OFAC even though I did not need to which also delayed the process a month. Between the BIS approval and USCG application, I waited over month before filling out the CG-3300.

Based on my research, Half-of-the-time a CG-3300 application has a decision within 13 days. In 10 percent of the cases, a decision is reached only after a month has passed. Some applications are approved the same day. One application took 143 days to process. Since March 2015, the acceptance rate was 95 percent. Prior to that, only 14 percent of applications were accepted. Based on the time until acceptance and the initial rejection, my experience was worse than the typical applicant in the sample. Nevertheless, I suspect that the USCG got very few applications for trips that did not start and end in the U.S.A.

There were 50 times more applications (100 applications) in the first 10 months of 2015 than in all of 2014 (two applications). The changing regulations had a huge impact on the numbers of U.S. boaters seeking permission to sail to Cuba.

[1] I filed a Freedom of Information Request (FOIA) on November 11, 2015, requesting the application dates, decision dates, and decisions for all CG-3300 applications with the U.S. Coast Guard for all applications made between January 1, 2014, and November 1, 2015. That request was replied to on January 26, 2016.

[2] Taken from 33 CFR Part 107.230.

[3] FACT SHEET: Treasury and Commerce Announce Regulatory Amendments to the Cuba Sanctions, U.S. Treasury, accessed online on October 11, 2016, at https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/jl9740.aspx.

[4] See 15 CFR parts 730-774. Accessed online on October 11, 2016 at https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2015/01/16/2015-00632/cuban-assets-control-regulations.

[5] Under the new Obama-administration rules, there was no limit on the amount of money authorized travelers can spend in Cuba although exporting goods for sale was generally prohibited.

[6] See https://www.commerce.gov/news/press-releases/2015/09/commerce-and-treasury-announce-further-amendments-cuba-sanctions.

[7] See the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY, FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS RELATED TO CUBA which was updated on July 26, 2016, which said, “33. As an authorized traveler, may I travel from a third country to Cuba and from Cuba to a third country? Yes, a person subject to U.S. jurisdiction engaging in authorized travel-related transactions may travel to Cuba from a third country or to a third country from Cuba. Persons subject to U.S. jurisdiction traveling to and from Cuba via a third country may only do so if their travel-related transactions are authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, and are subject to the same restrictions and requirements as persons traveling directly from the United States.” It was accessed online on October 13, 2016, at

https://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_faqs_new.pdf.