The Legend of Habana Joe
Many people outside of the sport fishing, sea-angling, and boating community are not aware of the legendary Habana Joe. Habana Joe however was a notorious legend to these communities, responsibile for rum-running during the Prohibition days, among many others. It wasn't unusual to see him navigating the Atlantic seas and landing on the New Jersey shores on his Jersey-skiff, delivering the rum and escaping the coast guard. He was notably at sea with other legends such as Captain McCoy ("the Real McCoy") and Ernest Hemingway.
History of Habana Joe
Habana Joe was a legendary sea captain, rum-runner and angler who ploughed the waters off the coast of Cuba for many years before the revolution. He fished with other legendary individuals such as Ernest Hemingway and Captain William S. McCoy on some of those trips. The original Habana Joe could be found as far north as Prince Edward Island in the summers and later in life he would call Florida and such Bahamian Islands as Bimini and Nassau his winter homes. When he wasnít fishing, he and his wife were manufacturing specialty textiles and clothing. His wife, a seamstress by trade, also designed and created all of the clothing Joe and his friends wore during their numerous fishing expeditions.
His son, Joe Jr., who was also involved in the textile industry, accompanied his father on some of those memorable trips to Cuba. By the time Joe Jr. was old enough to land the Granders (1,000+ lb. billfish), the revolution had taken place and those fertile fishing grounds were closed. Following in his fatherís footsteps, Joe Jr. worked the ledges, drop offs and canyons all up and down the Eastern Seaboard. He had seen the schools of Giant Tuna off Bimini, the birth of Big Game fishing in the Carolinas and Big Eye Tuna so thick in the Canyons of the Northeast you could walk across them.
Todayís "Habana Joe" Gere grew up with stories of Cubaís unparalleled bill fishing and celebrating Cubaís lavish lifestyle. Although these things are no longer accessible to him, he longs for the magnificent days of his father & grandfather before him and the lifestyle they were fortunate enough to enjoy. As a tribute to them and to his grandmother, the first designer of Habana clothing, he founded The Habana Company. Many of his designs are timeless classics that look as good today as they did when the original Habana Joe strolled through the streets of Havana and the waters of the Atlantic.
Habana Joe lives on
In the current Habana Joe family blood line, they have created a relaxed, casual Men's clothing line, Habana Co., featuring the Dock to Dine apparel line. The spirit and adventures of the original Habana Joe live on for many years to come.
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Perez, Jose. Sea Legends of Habana Cuba. Fourth Edition. United Press. Pgs. 155-206. 2003.
Sanchez, Maria. Ernest Hemingway. Second Edition. Westinghouse Limited. Pgs. 30-32. 2001.
Santo, Javier. The Legend of Habana Joe. United Artists Press. Pgs. 22-25, 66-71.