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About Us

My name is Omar Cruz. I was born in Havana, Cuba. My family and I arrived in the United States in 1971 when I was seven years old.
I have always had good memories of being in my back yard in Cuba fishing and playing with my friend near the water. My parents had a house, restaurant, dance hall, and even a petting zoo for kids to play, in Santa Fe Beach, Havana. I had a great childhood! One time I even jumped on a garbage truck and they had to come looking for me.
When we got settled in Tampa, Florida, my mom and dad opened a little restaurant and called it Barbarán. We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had food and a house within walking distance of the restaurant, where I worked whenever they needed me.
When I was seventeen I joined the Army Reserves as a watercraft operator. In time, I became a DOD Civilian as a marine machinery mechanic, supporting the maintenance of all Army watercraft. Yes! The Army has boats.
I have experienced and seen things from driving vessels, here and overseas, where the outcome could have been a lot better if people were more informed or aware of safety and operations on the waterways.
I have designed this game to be kept and played on people’s boats. If you can play cards on your boat you can play this game as well. It is designed to help reduce the amount of fatalities and the amount of accidents on the waterways-and simply to keep people’s minds fresh about the rules; especially if they don’t spend a lot of time on the water.
For me, being on the water is always special and different. I personally love the fresh air, the different sceneries and the sea life. The challenges are the weather changes, vessel traffic, and the people you encounter on the waterways who may be careless or uninformed. I have great respect for the water and believe that the sea is as deadly as it is beautiful.
I hope you enjoy this game and benefit from it by staying fresh on your knowledge of the USCG rules, staying safe on your vessel, and applying common sense when on the waterways-as well as having fun, of course!
Thank you, and safe sailing!
Suggestions or comments, please e-mail us at info@challengethesea.com