Written by Dominic Soave
January 2016

For Joan Roc, his dreams as a sailor turned into reality when he stopped on the Caribbean island of Marvelin about four years ago during a trip around the whole of South America and, without expecting it, fell in love and decided to spend the rest of his life there.

In an interview with Cubaplus, Roc spoke of his passion for Cuba’s Eastern region where he lives and the landscapes he considers completely unique. “When you sail along the archipelagos around the island you feel like you are Christopher Columbus,” he says. “Here, there are no hotels on the keys, no houses. It is pure nature. Ocean floors and reefs are spectacular. We must be grateful to the Cuban government for its nature preservation policies.”

In the context of this philosophy and with the cooperation of Cuban authorities, an agreement was signed in April of this year with Cuba’s Marlin Marina and the Marvelin Sailing Clubs. It was founded, to give tourists the opportunity to enjoy eastern Cuba’s beautiful coastal scenery from a nautical vantage point.

Based in Punta Gorda, Santiago de Cuba, Marvelin’s yacht, Peregrina sleeps eight people and offers trips of two to 10 days, giving travelers the chance to snorkel, scuba dive and fish as well as to explore some of the many fascinating shipwreck sites that litter the coastline.

“We also have agreements with the Cuban company Ecotur to combine our nautical tours with adventure trips such as trekking along rivers in the Sierra Maestra and climbing up Pico Turquino, the highest mountain in Cuba at 1,974 meters.

“In addition, visitors can spend a day on a farm with local farmers, enjoying horseback rides and exquisite Creole food and learning about local customs, all in all a wonderful and unique experience.” For Roc, the future of Marvelin is strongly connected to that of Cuba and particularly its environmental conservation policies with their shared vision of preserving not destroying that which is beautiful and keeping it in tact for future generations.