Thursday, January 8, 2015

What Cost Freedom?

Cuban Chug Lying Inverted on the Sand Bar
     Another little break from daily life in Key West at Bahia Honda State Park today.  Walking out to the beach brought me an image of a Cuban Chug upside down on the sand bar.   It brings to mind what does it take for the citizens of Cuba to jump aboard one of these 18 to 24 foot boats made up of scrap sheet metal, odd boards and cast off engines, props and steel rods and head across 90 to 120 mile wide Florida Straights?

The Bottom of the Crudely Constructed but Seaworthy Chug
    I travel around the keys in everything from my 11 foot dinghy to the 51 foot boat that I live on, but to head out on the ocean in the middle of winter where you could hit 20 foot seas, wind, rain and lightning, that is quite a different thing.   One has to be a strong desire in addition to fearing for their lives for these Cuban refugees to head out on such a perilous journey bring them to America.   It makes me wonder, if these people are willing to put their lives on the line to make the crossing in order to be here in a country that most of its citizens take their  freedom for granted.

The Gateway to Freedom for the Cuban Refugees
     I have seem many of these vessels throughout the keys from the Marquesa Keys all the way to Key Largo, but I guess that I will never know personally how bad things are in order for people to jump into one of these "chugs" and head out across the ocean to freedom.