World Hitchhiker Gets a Ride to Cuba With Mysterious "Captain Mo"

Last month, Riptide told you about Jeremy Marie, the Frenchman whose hitchhiking journey around the world had stalled in Miami after he couldn't find a boater willing to give him a ride over the Caribbean Sea. 

New Times, as it happens, knew firsthand of the difficulty of Marie's task. In 2008, staff writer Calvin Godfrey tried to hitch a ride to Cuba. He got as far as Key West, where he watched a drunk guy take a piss out of one leg of his swim trunks. Then our reporter returned home.

Globetrotter Marie followed the same route. After a couple of weeks of trying to melt Miami yachtsmen's hearts -- a vain quest if ever there was one -- he stuck out his thumb along U.S. 1 and made it down to Key West.

But apparently Marie has better people skills than we do. Because he got somebody to take him to Cuba.

From an email Marie sent Riptide: "I finally found a message on a board of one marina in Key West. A certain 'Captain Mo' was looking for a crew to go to Cuba. I phoned him, and 20 minutes after, I was on his boat to help him to prepare it."

Wait, so our man found the one mysterious captain making illicit trips to Cuba from Key West? Incredible.

After a week of helping Captain Mo prepare the boat, they made the choppy overnight crossing to Havana, with Marie working as night watchman. He spent two weeks touring the city, feuded with a Swedish boat owner who tried to scam him, and finally hitched a five-day ride in a Canadian boat to Belize City, where he emailed us.

"My next plan is to keep going south," he writes, "on the way to South America!"

In the meantime, we've spent the past month... hanging around. We played basketball once and ate stone crab claws one night, so that was pretty cool, we guess. Sigh.
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Gus Garcia-Roberts