Before crossing, our captain, O.B. Pettit, filed a float plan with the U.S. Coast Guard. If you are traveling into "hostile waters," you must file a plan 72 hours prior to departure or the Coasties won't come get you in case of distress. Clearing Cuban customs is easy. The only inconvenience was being forced to seal all handheld cell phones, VHFs, and GPS units in a plastic bag until we left. When leaving Cuba, you can put in a request to the dockmaster to clear customs at any time, which is how we got to leave at 4 a.m. Just be prepared to offer the officials "souvenirs" when you leave.