Fin and MechanicO: Last Boat To Cuba

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by FinTec, Feb 27, 2021.

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  1. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Like a lot of us, I read this article by RTWPaul: Stahlratte Tours - End of an Era about 4 weeks ago.
    And like a lot of us, I screamed "Nooooooo!" as I have read so many ride reports of riding this famous boat across the Darien Gap and dreamed of doing it myself. Now that dream is gone as the boat is being sold.

    But then I took a breath, and went through this thought process: my current job contract stops at the end of February with an option to renew in May. I have been dogless for a while now. My friends and neighbors can keep an eye on my building. And I have absolutely zero matches on Tinder. I CAN do this trip.

    One email to Captain Ludwig and I had a spot for the March 14th departure. Which is essentially the last trip for this famous boat. Thus begins...

    The Last Boat to Cuba

    cu-02.jpg

    This is a big moto trip for me. From door to door it will be about 2 months. I need to truck and trailer to south Texas, then ride all the way down and over to Cancun, 3 days sail on the boat, one month in Cuba, then reverse home. And less than 4 weeks to plan. I got his.

    The key to this trip is to have the best motorcycle on the planet. OK, best motorcycle to me. And that is my good buddy MechanicO. He and I have been on some amazing adventures and this was going to be the biggest so far.

    MechanicO2.jpg

    He was a 2013 BMWF800GS I bought as a salvage in 2013. Only 704 miles on him. Short initial life. I won't go into a lengthy description of all the mods I have done to him as you can go to his build thread here to see more:



    Rest assured, he is more than up to the task. The only real issue is he is kind of a dick sometimes and tries to kill me. But we'll have a chat before we go.

    I have always wanted to do a real time ride report so this is going to be my stab at that. Only real issue is Cuba has VERY poor internet and not to mentions days on a boat on the Caribbean. So there might be big gaps in the report but I shall do my best. I will also be taking as much video to do some vid stuff for when I get back.

    To kick this off proper, here is a quick opening vid:


    That's all for now as I get ready to launch this mission next week.

    Cheers.

    Fin & MechanicO
    #1
  2. Graniteone

    Graniteone 3,2,1...Beer me! Supporter

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    Awesome FIn! Look forward to the updates. Now repeat after me “No soy americano, estas buscando” ( I am not the American you are looking for ).
    #2
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  3. nvklr

    nvklr Been here awhile

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    In!
    #3
  4. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Cubans are going to love your bike!

    One place that I tried to go on my island trip years ago, and just barley missed the boat after heading up to Havana and failing to make it back in time, was the Isle of Pines, there is a ferry boat that travels there from the mainland that can take your moto. I’m sure it would be worth a look and there would be plenty of good beach riding.
    #4
  5. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Throttlemeister,

    Agree, MechanicO does seem to fit the theme in Cuba!

    Now this is where I got as little confused, I believe what you call the Isle of Pines is now called Isla de la Juventud. Wiki says it changes names back in 1978. So I am assuming you mean this one?

    If so, I absolutely looked at ferries to the island and was told this:
    - There is a ferry that goes every day but it only takes people.
    - There is a barge that does the route 2-3 times a week and can take vehicles, but it will not take people.
    - So you have to put bike on barge and yourself on ferry.

    Not saying this is how it is but it is the only info I could find on this. Be fantastic if there was one ferry for both.
    Can you elaborate on what you found when you where actually there? Sounds like you could have done this if just a little earlier. Nuts!
    #5
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  6. pitbull

    pitbull Long timer

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    I'm very much looking forward to following you on your Cuba trip.
    #6
  7. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    Same place, I must had really damn old map I scavenged off the SteelRat:roflCuba was literally a last minute change of plans for me, never had even crossed my mind until Lulu asked me and 18 other riders if anyone wanted to give it a try as he’d never yet brought a bike in until 2010 when I went up with him from Cartagena.

    My Spanish was really shite at the time but I was at the port where the passenger ferry and possibly the cargo ferry and from all the interactions I had with the people waiting there it would not have been a problem. Thing was ferry schedules where kinda of like when it wants to leave it leaves, I keep getting just little bit longer, after the most official info from the ticket booth, I thought I had time to make a run to Havana and back but I got caught up there just a little too long and say the ferry leaving off as I pulled up.
    As always YMMV but I would strongly suggest just showing up at the port and asking yourself, only thing I really wished I hadn’t missed while I was on island.
    #7
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  8. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile Supporter

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    Yep, that is what I figured, just show up and see what the deal was. Thanks for the tip and we'll see how it goes.
    #8
  9. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

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    So if this plays out, you and Jamie Z be on the boat/trip/adventure at same time.
    I think it’s changed twice on him so hopefully for you guys this plan holds firm.
    Going to be following along.
    Thanks for posting up this R R.
    #9
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  10. Wveniez

    Wveniez Been here awhile

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    Didn’t know about the discontinuation of the Stahlratte tours. Pretty bummed out.

    Followed your MechanicO thread. Such an amazing build.

    Enjoy every second.
    #10
  11. docwyte

    docwyte Long timer

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    Gotta follow a fellow Coloradan...
    #11
  12. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Brilliant! Definitely in for this; good on you for taking the plunge and doing it. Going to be very fun to follow your report as well as Jamie's as you guys make your way to Cuba.

    Safe travels as you make your way to TX and then knobby side down through MX.
    #12
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  13. sawpit

    sawpit no bad days...

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    hmmm, my bet is you get lost....
    #13
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  14. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Veterinario

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    Looking forward to your trip :thumb
    #14
  15. Charmin

    Charmin Been here awhile

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    Totally agree, will be fun and interesting to have different sources and point of views for a similar travel.
    #15
  16. Golden955

    Golden955 Been here awhile

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    Truck and trailer? I'm so confused.its going to be 60 tomorrow in Denver??
    #16
  17. steved57

    steved57 Long timer Supporter

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    I'm in and will be following along - safe travels
    #17
  18. mpusms

    mpusms Been here awhile Supporter

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    I’m willing to bet that the Cuban version of Tinder may very well work out for you. Only once left are Ed and Rad. I’ll be enviously following along.
    #18
  19. Essbee

    Essbee Been here awhile

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    I only discovered the build thread now and am rather engrossed ( after picking up my lower jaw off the floor that is)....I cannot offer any further words of amazement and praise and complements, it'd merely be repeating what others have already fittingly said...but WOW!!!!
    #19
  20. radmeister

    radmeister Been here awhile Supporter

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    I, too, have just discovered this thread. It beats Netflix, Crave, and Prime Video combined.
    #20
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