clearing in

Cruising Cuba: Learning the Rules

In Cuba, officials never arrive alone. Ordinary citizens aren’t allowed on foreign boats without the Port Captain’s permission, and then they use the buddy system.

The first to board is the doctor. He leaves his shoes on the dock, covers his stocking feet with cloth booties and asks permission, then swings a leg over the rail. After checking on the general wellbeing of the entire crew — nothing more serious than seasickness and a slight cold — he scans each forehead and records temperatures.

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