Book Review: “Reef Libre” by Robert Wintner

October 28, 2015 at 11:34 am | Posted in Books | 2 Comments
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Robert Wintner in his new book, “Reef Libre book coverReef Libre” published by Taylor Trade Publishing gives us Cuba the Last, Best Reefs in the World.

From the back cover:  Cuba reefs host apex predators and coral cover at optimal levels. While Cuban reef vitality may be linked to economic default and no shoreline development, no agricultural pesticides or fertilizers and limited human population growth, the Castro regime is aggressively developing its reef potential.

Seas to the south are now 100% shark protected.

Most Cuba travelogues advise “getting off the beaten path,” but Reef Libre examines that path, to see where it might lead as things change. Will Cuba reefs remain protected? Or is this perilous age of natural decline a last chance to see a healthy reef system?

Robert Wintner and the Snorkel Bob Jardines de la Reina Expedition herein provide narrative insight with photos and video. First stop is the baseline: Havana urban density. Down south at Cayo Largo, reef collapse seems imminent with 600 guests changing daily, and the phosphate-laden laundry water flowing directly to the deep blue sea. Will Cuba’s Ministry of Tourism step up with the Jardines de la Reina paradigm? Rising from the Golfo de Ana María, Jardines is a thousand square miles of mangrove estuary, for ages compromised by constant extraction of its biggest predators, taken as food. Protected, it now rises on the world reef stage.

A DVD comes with the book in a paper sleeve glued to the inside cover. Reef Libre, the movie, runs about an hour.

I have never had the opportunity to visit Cuba. After experiencing “Reef Libre” I feel as if I have been there. This is a well-done, beautiful showcase of a precious island. Mr. Wintner has given us more than a travelogue or documentary of Cuba I feel that he has given us the ability to experience it. Mr. Wintner starts us off with stories and pictures of the land of Cuba. Then he takes us underwater. These are the most beautiful pictures, I think, that have ever been placed into any book. I think they even rival going to an Aquarium. If you have any interest in Cuba then this is the book that you need to read. I also think that this book would make a great gift to give to friends and family if they have any interest in Cuba as well.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IRead Book Tours.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

#ReefLibre #robertwintner



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  1. Thanks, Vic, for a compelling review, and thanks especially for getting down to feel the magic. Reefs around the world will fade away, or we can do our part to protect them and see them recover.

  2. Dear Vic,

    I enjoyed your review of Reef LIbre, especially the part about about the pictures in the book rivaling an aquarium…that’s what we need to do, take pictures, look at pictures, and leave the fish on the reef where they belong. Thank you!

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