Dr. Moisés Hernandez, (on far right, above) a Miami resident and the first Cuban-American to participate in a Hemingway tournament, fished aboard the boat that finished third in the Tag & Release category. At the awards ceremony, Dr. Hernandez thanked Commodore Escrich, noting that thanks to him he could now participate in the tournament. He added that, as the first to take part, he would join in the efforts of Commodore Escrich to make it possible for more Cubans living abroad to enjoy the great festival of sport fishing that will be the 65th tournament.
Again showing that restrictions on travel between the US and Cuba may be easing was the participation of a group of U.S. fishermen. They were there thanks to efforts by the Florida-Cuba Environmental Coalition, with which the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba has entered into a partnership. The group received permission from the US Treasury Department to travel to Cuba and be present at the event.
This is first time the US government has granted a permit to US anglers to travel to Cuba, by air, for this event. The next step is to allow fishermen to sail aboard their yachts and participate in the 2015 tournament.
Four anglers from the Lighthouse Point Saltwater Sportsman Association carried a banner of partnership to Commodore Escrich. Accepting the banner, Commodore Escrich said he will work to bring more teams to the next tournament, from fishing clubs and associations worldwide.
This year’s event celebrated the life and work of the American writer Ernest Hemingway who, 60-years ago, received the Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel The Old Man and the Sea. The tournament also marked the 80th anniversary of Hemingway’s first crossing from Key West, Florida to Havana on his yacht Pilar.
Let’s not judge him too harshly. Moises was probably making a last visit to his dying Abuelita, when at the last second he decided–oh what the heck!–I’m going fishing!