Isle a Vache, Haiti

The passage from Bonaire to Haiti was a classic trade wind sail of around 460nm completed in 2 1/2 days.

With winds steady at 15 to 18 knots we beam reached NW at speeds ranging from 8 to 9 1/2 knots in light seas after a period of calm weather. Arriving at night we took no chances and kept the shallows well to stbd as we rounded the western end of the island and anchored in 10 metres in the bay outset Port Morgan.

Haiti is one of the poorest countries on the planet, a combination of poor government, natural disasters in the form of earthquakes and hurricanes mean that for many the only way to survive is by subsistence farming and fishing. Even so they are amongst the friendliest people I have met and many spoke their native Creole, Spanish and some English.

After just a few hours sleep we were awakened by the endless stream of boat boys, looking for work on board in order to earn some money, ask for handouts in the form of masks and flippers, rope, old sails and anything else that we could offer.

We also had a daily round of fisherman and divers bringing fresh fish, lobster and Conch but sadly with a growing population they are taking smaller and smaller specimens.

The local fisherman were grateful for the old sail and ropes we had brought and are adept at patching together any sails they get together with old bits of cloth.

We had also taken some supplies for the schools and medical centre and were well supported by our Coastal Clean-up efforts with 71 large bags collected in 1 hour and over 30 villagers helping.

There were a number of boats in the bay that were no strangers to the locals, coming every year since the 2010 earthquake to help rebuild the communities. Clean water projects, schools initiatives and one man from the American Midwest that was helping create artificial reefs to allow the marine life to develop in the face of the daily onslaught from the locals.