Finally, it was time to head for home. As we cruised into international waters, a full moon was rising over Havana, in all its dilapidated glory. Never mind a moon over Miami: it was the most romantic dusk I'd ever witnessed.
With each nautical mile, Cuba was slipping away. After a blissfully calm night we awoke to a sea "as blue as a plate," as the Cubans would say. Soon we spotted the first U.S. buoy, indicating we were almost home. Not long after that, Michael was on his cell phone to New York and Jim was dealing with a business crisis in Brazil. Elias got out his Filofax. I checked my phone messages. We hadn't even touched land, but we were back to work.
Cruising to Cuba
Even if you have no boat of your own, you can still sail to Castro's shores, and legally at that. Beginning in November, Toronto-based Cuba Cruise Co. (800/387-1387 or 416/964-2569; www.cubacruising.com) will offer Americans three- to four-night cruises to Cuba from Nassau, Bahamas, from $535 per person. Passengers are registered as guests of a Canadian nonprofit foundation, thereby classifying them as "humanitarian travelers" (the ship does bring medical and educational supplies to approved Cuban organizations).
Since the law is constantly in flux, call the Cuban Assets Control Regulations bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department (202/622-2480; www.treas.gov/ofac) for the current U.S. regulations before you book.