With the lights off and the crew silently cruised the yacht Granma the Tuxpan River, in Veracruz, towards the Gulf of Mexico. The fine rain and the express prohibition of navigation due to bad weather predicted a turbulent trip that November 25th, 1956.
On board the ship 82 men commanded by Fidel Castro Ruz overcame the fears of being caught by Mexican coastguards and the risk of sinking that cold morning. Weapons, ammunition and food were part of the valuable cargo of the vessel whose final destination was the armed struggle in the mountains of Cuba.
Vomiting and dizziness were common ailments among the crew, it was a test for young people, according to Commander Arsenio García Dávila declared to Juventud Rebelde in 2015.
«During the voyage of the Granma yacht, the young Ernesto Guevara was sitting on the floor, close to a door, huddled close to the cabin where the rudder and compass were. At his side he had the nebulizer to mitigate his asthma. I always saw him in that place, coughing a lot, making a lot of effort to breathe and, because of the overcrowding; someone with his foot broke it. From then on I do not know how he could overcome these hard crises «.
For seven days and four hours the Granma yacht sailed through the waters of the Caribbean. The arrival to the Island was expected on November 30, but the fall of a man to the water delayed the date until December 2nd .
The yacht Granma, built in 1943, had the wooden hull, the length measured 13.25 meters and a prop of 2.40 meters. It was purchased by Antonio del Conde from Schuylkill Products Company Inc for 50 thousand Mexican pesos.