Hemingway's former boat captain honored in Cuba.

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Friday November 16 1:55 PM ET.

Hemingway's former boat captain honored in Cuba.

HAVANA (Reuters) - Gregorio Fuentes, the 104-year-old former captain of U.S. novelist Ernest Hemingway's boat in Cuba and his inspiration for ``The Old Man And The Sea,'' received an award Thursday from an international fishing group.

The writer's niece, Hilary Hemingway, presented the International Game Fish Association's (IGFA) ``Captain'' award to the cigar-smoking but now wheelchair-bound Fuentes at a Havana yacht marina named after her uncle.

``I'm delighted. It's a very important prize for my people,'' said Cuba's most famous mariner after joining the IGFA's exclusive club of 197 ``Captains.''

``I would like to honor a great fisherman,'' Hilary Hemingway said in a speech at the presentation of the prize to the man who captained her father's fishing boat ``Pilar'' during the years he lived on the Caribbean island.

Fuentes, who was born on July 11, 1897, has in recent times been something of a tourist magnet in Cuba, receiving a stream of visits at the fishing village of Cojimar just east of Havana where he lives and used to set out from with Hemingway.
 

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