Queen of Queen (Carabel, Fl)

Boat Information

  • Vessel name: Queen of Queen (Carabel, Fl)
  • Arrival: UNKN
  • Captain: n/a
  • Size: 100'
  • Use: Ferry
  • Onboard when departed US: n/a
  • Crew: n/a
  • Refugees: 150
  • Total people onboard: n/a
  • Coast guard remarks: n/a

Memories from the Passengers

Millie's memory of Queen Of Queen (carabel, Fl)

My parents and I came to the US via Spain when I was five years old. I was 17 years old when the Mariel Boat lift. My dad went to Cuba and was able to bring back eleven members of our family after waiting 22 days at Mariel until they were able to (read the rest of this memory)load the boat. My mom and I spent two days in Key West by the pier waiting for them. I remember seeing the Queen of Queens come in and my dad on board. It was an overwealming experience knowing that those eleven people my dad brought over were my family and I did not know them but some how loved them and had a connection with them. God Bless the USA!

Salvador Vazquez Martinez's memory of Queen Of Queen (carabel, Fl)

I was around 10 months when I arrived to the US via this vessel. From word of mouth the date was 06/03/1980. Leaving Santiago was certainly no easy task, for we had to leave without notice. There were events that those which supported the regimen wou (read the rest of this memory)ld carry out. "Actos de Repudio" acts of repudiation. A bus came to pick us up and was noticed thus such act was carried out upon us. Bottles hurled, eggs thrown, words; "Guzanos, Escoria" were yelled out. Per my mothers recollection there were some that were injured. We were taken to "El Mosquito" for 2 weeks. My Mother (Mireya Vazquez Martinez) states there was a delay due to bad weather, while there she did state conditions were horribly bad.(To this day wont get into details) Ordinary citizens were lumped with newly released mental patients, prisoners. "Eso era bien triste, porque los tenian rodeados de unas sogas y con perros que mordian. Que llegaron a morder a muchisimos hombres". They had the prisoners and some mental patients behind ropes and in chains like in manner you would handle a wild animal. There was no food provided what little available was in bad condition. The family had managed to bring some russian canned milk for my self and 5 month old cousin. My mother states at one point she took grief upon one of the prison men, and when a shift took place was able to provide him with some "Salchichas" so he could eat. When the boat left, she says the Captain was reluctant due to the VERY bad weather. But, was forced to leave. They did not care that there were infants such as my self a cousin, and other children.18 Hours were spent at sea, during that time my mother mentions a young woman slim figure in her 20's with a daughter whom had fallen sick. The little girl was similar in age months old, so my mother and aunt took turns taking care of her while her mother was sick. She states the ocean was severely rough. When looking out the oceans was littered with remains of boats that went down and never made it. Waves were very high, and towards the end of the 18 hours with every wave the ship would crack and was beginning to take on water. When finally the coast guard spotted us, everyone rejoiced and tears everywhere for our new life began. Not until this day on the eve of my birthday and 30 years later I now have names of those whom shared one of the most important moments marking my life thus far. My fathers uncle Pedro Vazquez Milla was the one who facilitated this for my self and 6 others (Mother,Father,Aunt, Cousin, Grandfather, Grandmother). I unfortunately never met him for like many of that older cuban generation he has passed on before I could really appreciate the value of his effort. Pero Gracias Don Pedro. I have grown up in Southern California away from the Cuban Mainstream culture of Miami. So what I know are stories, from Older cubans the golden era and its music el Danzon, Beny More, Trio Matamoros things my abuelo would listen to. I don't know nor can I imagine what my life would have been had we not come. I have never gone back to Cuba."La vida americana tiene su modo de cambiar a la persona" said my abuelo once(Salvador Vazquez Milla). Now I understand. I wish my family would have remained traditional and united, maybe now I would still have one. A small price for freedom? THANK YOU again to all.