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From the Publisher
Strange New Worlds Issue 8 - Apr/May 1993

Star Trek Cruise Encounters Real Aliens

It sounds like a bad Deep Space 9 plot: a pleasurecraft filled with cavorting, well-heeled vacationeers who for a week spurn reality in favor of a fantasy existence, encounters and eventually rescues a craft of refugees fleeing an all-too-real life of privation and oppression. But this was no television show. Somehow I and nearly 900 other "Star Trek" devotees found ourselves quite unwittingly in the midst of real-life drama.

On May 20, the cruiseship Britanis, chartered by SeaTrek '93 and filled to brimming with partying Trekkers, encountered a ramshackle raft bearing four Cubans attempting to reach freedom in the United States. Far from land, the refugees had been adrift four days. The Britanis was en route to Miami after a special charter to Ocho Rios, Jamaica and Grand Cayman. If the ship had been on its normal route, the Britanis would have been nowhere near the raft on this day.

When the raft was sighted, the Britanis changed course and intercepted the refugees. Once the four were removed to safety, their hand-assembled craft was sunk. They came aboard barefoot and with no possessions, but overjoyed to finally have reached safe haven and freedom.

There were many jokes onboard about the headline possibilities: "Star Trek Ship Rescues Aliens," "Trekkers Have Close Encounter With Aliens," and some that should not be printed in a family publication. While cognizant of the humor in the situation, we also opened our hearts to these four adventurers who risked their lives in an attempt to boldly go into a new world and a new existence. Joe Motes, one of the SeaTrek organizers, started a collection for the refugees. He was especially moved by the plight of these young men; Joe still has family in Cuba who cannot leave. Once the refugees have been cleared to enter the country, the men will be given these funds to help them begin their new lives in the United States. Also, several dealers from the huckster room donated clothing. I'm told that when these men first touched upon American soil, they were clad in Trek T-shirts.

SeaTrek '93 was a pure delight. I had been looking forward to this getaway for over a year. Amazingly, the experience lived up to the anticipation. Meeting and cruising around the Caribbean with Majel Barret, Jimmy Doohan, George Takei, John DeLancie, and all the wondeful guests was a fantasy that I will not soon forget. But it is the memory of that unexpected jolt of reality that I will most cherish as the essence of my Trek vacation. Gene Roddenberry always presented a positive view of mankind's future and a belief in the vital, stubborn ability of man to transcend his own frailties. The plight of these refugees is a reminder that we still have much work to accomplish before the vision of a world unhampered by internecine conflicts, petty bigotries, and senseless oppression is achieved. But the remarkable courage of these four sojourners is a testament to the indomitable spirit of humanity. Despite overwhelming odds, these men reached their goal. Despite everything, mankind can as well. Let us reach for the stars!

Jo Davidsmeyer, Publisher

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 Browse these Star Trek items
that you can purchase online:

bulletStar Trek Toys (action figures and vehicles)
bullet Star Trek video games
and Strategy Guides
bulletComplete Star Trek Theme music -
music for piano, solo instruments,
bands, and orchestras
bulletEpisode DVDs at
bulletStar Trek : The Original Series on DVD
bulletStar Trek : The Next Generation on DVD
bulletStar Trek : Deep Space Nine on DVD
bulletStar Trek : Voyager on DVD
bulletStar Trek : Enterprise on DVD
bullet Star Trek Comics from
bullet from Star Trek posters from



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