U.S. musician becomes first person to paddle board from Cuba to Florida
A musician from the U.S. has just become the first ever man to cross the waters that separate the U.S from Cuba on a paddle board. Last Friday, guitarist Ben Friberg successfully paddle-boarded from a port in Havana to Key West in Florida after a 28-hour journey.
Ben Friberg, a guitarist from the U.S. has become the first ever man to attempt and successfully accomplish the enormous feat of crossing the Cuba-Florida stretch on a paddle board.
The 35-year-old arrived at his destination in Florida last Friday after a long and exhausting 28-hour journey along the Caribbean Sea. For most of the trip he stood on his paddle board and had to manage his pain throughout the arduous 111-mile-long journey.
He was accompanied by a support boat with his father being one of the crew members giving him support and encouraging him. The rest of the crew provided navigational advice as well as nutrition.
It took Ben Friberg a whole year to secure permission for the trip (currently American citizens aren't allowed to take holidays to Cuba unless it is for cultural or educational purposes and they require a special license to visit the island under the "people to people" travel scheme).
After leaving Cuba's Marina Hemingway headed for Florida's Key West, the Tenessee musician embarked on a daunting adventure where he encountered rough seas and physical challenges but despite all the obstacles he soldiered on and arrived safely to shore, though dehydrated and visibly exhausted, but otherwise healthy.
For the trip he wore protective clothing to shield him from the Caribbean sun – long socks, a long-sleeved white T-shirt and peaked cap.
Just before leaving Havana, Friberg announced that he was attempting the crossover "to promote peace and understanding between Cuba and the US and to promote a healthy lifestyle."
In the past swimmers have attempted numerous times to cross the 111-mile distance that separates the two neighbouring countries but have had to abandon the effort after painful jellyfish stings and difficult swimming conditions due to choppy waters. Such was the case for Australian endurance swimmer Chloe McCardel who attempted the swim just last June and 61-year-old, Diana Nyad who attempted it for a fourth time in August 2012 and also failed.
Talk to a specialist
Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.
Opening hours 09:00 - 20:00 GMT
Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all
Escape to the simply stunning warm waters of Varadero beach
- Enjoy an all-inclusive deal offering Italian and Cuban cuisines, 7 bars and a disco.
- Unwind with a massage or in the Jacuzzi and relish the relaxed, adults-only ambience.
- Enjoy a wide range of activities, including watersports, tennis, dance lessons and entertainment.
Dive into the warm water of Varadero beach and relax under the caribbean sunshine
- Book now and benefit from huge savings with the launch of the new Virgin Atlantic to Varadero offer!
- Suites feature a separate living area and Tropical suites feature breathtaking views of the sea
- Golf lovers can play on the nearby Varadero 18 hole golf course
Combine exploring the iconic and pulsating city of Havana with a relaxing summer retreat to the stunning Varadero beach.
- Book early and benifit from huge early bird summer discounts!
- The plethora of activities and classes that will cater for every taste.
- A Complimentary shuttle to the iconic city of Havana
- A Luxurious and comfortable stay with 5* amenities
Fall in love with Havana and its captivating heritage before being dazzled by the pristine shores of Varadero
- You will be staying in luxurious hotels in both Havana and Varadero that combine perfectly and offer the best of both worlds whether you are looking to adventure or relax
- Enjoy a bottle of sparking wine and chocolates upon arrival guaranteed for couples at Melia Habana Hotel and a romantic dinner for two in Havana
- Experience the best of the world famous Varadero Beach where white sand is lapped by clear water when staying at Melia Varadero
Varadero is a showpiece of Cuba's natural beauty; stunning white beaches, turquoise waters and clusters of lofty palm...
Get the best of Havana and Varadero with this fabulous combination of city and beach in two of Cuba's finest hotels, the...
If you want to really feel Cuba's beating heart and pulsating rhythms, this is one of the best for an unforgettable...
Villa Romero is beautiful in its design, and its comfortable rooms are pleasantly decorated to a high standard, offering...
Fancy a charming and adventurous holiday? Why not try our twin centre package that allows you to explore the contagious...
Are you searching for an adventurous holiday filled with culture, authenticity and charm? Then why not enjoy a twin...