Saturday, July 26, 2014

Ile a Vache, Haiti. Feb 2014


Dear Friends,

A great anchorage, Port Morgan and a growing number of sailboats. Young kids, but also adults on floating devices, wooden dug out canoes and what have you, come to the boat, either offering services (garbage), fruits etc, or asking for cookies, pens, paper whatever.

As we needed to get an internet connection we went over to Hotel Port Morgan, and they alow for their internet access but you have to get either lunch or dinner (we opted for the latter, and in the end it turned out to be a rather expensive internet).

In the village, we met Michelet and his friend Gerlin. Michelet is the proud owner of a 3G mobile phone modem, and he allowed us to use that. That was great and actually worked very well. We suggested Michelet to make this his business, renting out the modem per hour to internet hungry sailboats.

For the next days, Michelet and Gerlin hung out on the Onda Boa, and we enjoyed internet. And as we needed a new power inverter, discussed that with Michelet and he offered to go with us to Les Cayes, on Haitis mainland. By a small, over crowded pirogue fishing boat and after 1 and a half hour we arrived… to get to land was an actually sad, but at the same time hilarious situation. The little boat did not get to shore, but a whole bunch of guys were knee deep in the dirty water ( as the landing site was also next to the garbage dump) literally carrying the passengers on their backs to land. Lucky guy that got hold of Dora, Poor guy that dragged me to dry grounds…

Michelet got us to the right shop, and he negotiated a 400 W inverter for us for Usd 80.

Les Cayes gave us a kind of desolate feeling, people just trying to get by.

The next day, we went with Marc (and his family) and Patrick on a walking tour to Madame Bernard. The largest dwelling on the island Ile a Vache. It was market and should not be missed. After a nice walk, arrived in Madame Bernard. Only then we realized how so many people live in sheer poverty. The market, where basically any thing is sold, was loud, messy, dirty…the kind you see sometimes on tv, but never experienced how it looks up close and personal.

We were supposed to have lunch in a restaurant where we met more cruisers from the anchorage ( Michou and Anton from SV Groyabada and others). However after Dora discovered where and how the dishes were supposed to be cleaned, we gave that a miss and gave our food to a bunch of small kids (little boys naked) who were all looking at this group of foreigners.

After all this excitement and culture shock we took a taxi boat back to the anchorage.

Ile a Vache is a lovely island and friendly people. Soon it will be taken over and explored by powerful resort groups , but hopefully the local population will be part of those projects. To that extend Reinhilde and Frits from SV Bella Ciao have set up an organization that is going to help the locals to train and educate for different skills so they can actually work in the resorts. Check their website for more info

It was time for us to leave. We said goodbye to our new friends Michelet and Gerlin, and just around the corner from Ile a Vache, had to dodge again several fishing pods… But, these where just a minor problem compared to what we were going to experience in the next 36 hrs…


The anchorage..(in the back mainland Haiti)              Childs Play


                    Survivor                                          On route to Mdme Bernard




                 A church/school                                               No words



      Scene near the village                                       Splendid view near the village



  Live animal transport                                        … The market…


… we are welcome…                                             … the gringoes back in town..


… the market 2                                                    Haiti’s Future


…hop on hop off transport in LesCayes            The internet supplier Michelet and Gerlin

Best Regards



  1. Nice report Dora & Pieter. Indeed we from Bella Ciao are setting up a project to help the very kind people of Ile a Vache to take the next steps to the future. The information about this project is to be found at

    1. Thanks Reinhilde....having seen it, your project makes much sense...The people of Ile a Vache deserve to be part of the future of the island..


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