Sailing and travel tales

Cuba : The fishermans extra risky lot

with 2 comments


Dead fishing boats lay here and there everywhere.

It was a curious moment when I noticed that

the coast guards – controllers- run about in quite new fast boats

while Cubas fishermen – producers – seriously risk their lifes in disintegrating fishing boats.

Coming down the west coast we took shelter for two nights

on the uninhabited and very flat Casa ( Island ) de la Lena

in a big protected channel with Mangroves all around while

a “Northerner “ went through.

Also taking shelter were fishermen in rusting dilapidated

concret fishing boats of about 60 ft long.

There has been no money available to maintain the fishing fleet in Cuba

which was originally established with Russian help.

On board were 10 men. A couple of them jumped into their dinghy

and brought over 7 or 8 crayfish – lobster tails with to live ones on top

and a big fish. In exchange they first asked for rum, which we did not have

on board because we had already given our rum away for two fish to fishermen

further up the coast. They accepted 10 cans of beer.

Then they asked if we had a 24 volt light bulb on board.

We were very sorry not to have one for them. We have 12 volts.

It would have been good to know what people need, like light bulbs,

for their everyday lives before we came. Hand soap, spark plugs light bulbs,

dried fruit like apricots and raisins are all gladly accepted in exchange.

The fishermen were warm and friendly people as we have found the

Cubans generally are. If they had been seen exchanging fish with us they

are liable for up to 10 years in goal. The fish they catch is government property

They get paid in food rations and a tiny bit of money but we are told Cubans

do not get enough money to get by each week now and that there is a

fairly desperate situation developing. Made worse because the Cuban authorities

have now lain off around a million government workers.

The population is around 9 – 10 million.


Written by teoranga

January 10, 2012 at 3:00 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Hi there, do you have any high resolution pic of the cuba ferro fishing vessels ?
    Like to place some at my website.

    Raymond Fehrmann

    September 6, 2012 at 9:03 am

    • Sorry , have not checked in on my sailing site for a while becaue I am back home in NZ for a few months catching my farm up to date. I will look through my Cuba photos and forward some on to you . The fishermans situation really bothered me so I did take quite a few of their rotting boats. I am not sure that they are high resolution though – How high do you want? rgds
      Janet Hyde


      December 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm

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