Sunday, 22 March 2015

They came out to greet us

Would you like coconuts? A guide for the market tomorrow? Perhaps a fresh cooked Haitian meal?  Or any of the basics like diesel, laundry or... peanut butter and jam?

We arrived in the north anchorage on Ile à Vache, on the south coast of Haiti, at 11 pm Saturday night, after a passage of 39 hours.  We were able to sail about 16 hours, which pleased the Captain. The weather was very pleasant, although dark storm clouds built up on the Haitian coast, but we were well off shore. All, in all, a pretty good trip. We had a celebratory beer at anchor down and then went to bed, enjoying an uninterrupted sleep.

Until about seven in the morning, when the first visitor arrived.  "Welcome to Haiti," he said.  "I am Bernarde. There will be others who come and want to take you to the market, but tell them that Bernarde was here first."

And there were others.  It is now almost noon and I think the Captain or I have talked to almost twenty young men (with the exception of one elderly couple) who want to help us. They are all very polite and most of them speak English, although I have practiced my French a couple of times, but we really don't need much right now.  Except internet, I always need internet, like a junkie needs their fix.  And fortunately, an enterprising Haitian named William is renting me an internet stick with cellular data for $7.  Our sat phone modem isn't playing, so it was good timing.

And the peanut butter and jam?  Yes, one man really did try to sell me some pbj.  Maybe some people arrive in the anchorage without any food at all?  Not so sure.

Looks like we might be camped out here for a little while, exploring the island and waiting for a good weather window to head further east.

If you'd like to follow along,we are at: N18 6.20 W73 41.73Copy the GPS location above (text in red), click through to http://netvicious.com/gps/ and paste the coordinates in the box in the upper left hand corner. Push the 'Convert and map' button and you will see where we are. On the upper right hand side is an option to toggle map vs satellite view.

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