Time for Reflection

By maritime protocol, a visiting ship flies her own flag, as well as the flag of the nation visited. When calling on Cuba, the Harvey Gamage flies both the U.S. and Cuban flags.

While change in Cuba – and in its relationship with the United States – has been underway for many years, the death of former President Fidel Castro underscores the complexity of this challenge.  On the island, among Cuban-Americans and the U.S. citizens and for all those of goodwill, this is a time for reflection.  Politics aside, our hearts are with the people of Cuba, who have welcomed us for many years with warm hospitality.   

Simply put, the mission of a sailing school ship voyaging to and within Cuba is to foster mutual respect and common purpose – and offer formative personal experiences to our students.  The unique perspective of a traditional sail training vessel reflects our shared maritime heritage and provides a mobile platform for direct engagement between the next generation of Americans and Cubans.  Close economic relations between the people of Maine and Cuba date back over three centuries, kept strong mostly by sailing vessels.  Now, Ocean Passages offers young Americans a chance to participate personally, as able sailors and citizen diplomats, in this time and place of such historic significance.  In our own modest way, one port visit, one person at a time, we hope to navigate a positive course forward with our friends, the people of Cuba.  The only thing we can change is the future.