18° 05 N 073° 42 W
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14 November 2000 - 17 November 2000
The Island of Hispaniola is divided into two, the Spanish speaking Dominican Republic and Its French neighbour
Haiti. Ille a Vache, is a small island off Haiti where we made our landfall. We hadn't even dropped the anchor, when
two men came in a dug out canoe made from the trunk of a mango tree, offering fruit. The most widely grown fruits are limes, mangoes and coconuts.
The island is mainly forest, but desperately poor. Some of the land is cleared for crops, but they do not practice contour ploughing and the topsoil washes into the sea There are some scattered huts. There are many deep caves around the island. One cave's entrance was just a little slit just above the sand. You crawl along on all fours for a meter, then you look to your left and see a side cave big enough for a dog to sleep comfortably. Then you go along for another 1/2 meter, you stand up and you are in a room about 3 meters high. There is a small cave going on about 20 meters deep, but we won't get into that. Getting back to the main cave, you carry on a little further. You look at your hand, it has a greenish tint. There is a wide cave opening with overhanging trees. You climb down a few rocks and there you have your own beach about 6 meters long and your own entrance to the sea.
Liz our ever present sunset catcher, is determined to photograph the green flash.
Our arrival at Ila A Vache, Haiti, these dugout canoes, are rigged with plastic sails in a latteen rig
We were greeted by these Haitians, we gave them pencils, paper, crayons, and a large pack of educational gear was given to the school. Of course chocolate and a few old clothes were also welcome. We received in return, melons, mangoes, limes and some corn. some of the stuff we did'nt need but it was expected of us to receive it. In general, while cruising, we advise anyone with a concience about nature, to show total disinterest in animal products. The tiny conch shells that we refused, saved the lives of other small molluscs, through lack of demand. Please help save our planet, do not seek or accept animal curios.
Liz dived out these Starfish, they are quite large and colourful, of course they were returned to the sea immediately after the assignment.
A larger Latteen rigged fishing boat, the dugouts are actually hollowed out Mango tree trunks.
Gilana and Walkaout at anchor in the bay. This is a calm safe anchorage with good holding. Our position was 18 05.71N 73 42.33W. We were approached here by machete armed men who we suspect were intent of theft. It was at about 0130hrs, I had set the Radar to the smallest range with the Guard Zone enabled. When the alarm Beeped, I contacted Norm on Walkabout, and we both turned on our searchlights, to see a dugout canoe coming directly towards us. They changed their minds and turned for the beach. We left early the next day.
Some scenes around the bay. We were astounded by the rock formations and erosion of the cliffs. We explored here and had a lot of fun in the caves, some of which allowed the only access to beaches otherwise only accessible from the sea. Jack also had fun here, peeping, (or peeing) everywhere.
Liz and Jack on papsak, um, Tassies, on our way back to
We left the following day.