I was bound for Ile a vache from Baracoa on a 32 ft sailboat. I tried my best to round off Southern Coast of Haiti
. I couldn't do it under sail. With strong winds blowing it kicked 15 ft waves near the banks. Anyways, we turned back and found a very good anchorage - Anse D'Hainault. Even though its an open roadstead but the anchorage is much calmer than an average sailor would expect when you are 5 miles off.
came out in their dugouts to greet us. We gave them some chocolates. We lowered our dinghy
and these kids
ushered us to the shore and not to the dock
. It was the magistrate's compound. He is a well read man and his writ runs over the town.
The local fishermen are very poor. They were requesting me if I can give them snorkels and fins. Their's were in absolutely pathetic shape - stitched many times over with fishing
lines and twines. Fishermen came with offers for fish
and lobsters. Being vegetarian, they left disappointed. They came back with coconuts and fruits and kept it on my deck
and then with some hesitation requested for a barter trade
A couple of young men
who spoke english
took us on a hike in the mountains and showed us around. they even gave the photocopy of their National ID cards.
Most of the locals we met were nice and docile. A couple of them were irritants. they just hung around the boat expecting something. When I threatened them that I will take the matter to the Magistrate, they rowed back.
However, One night, around 10 PM, I saw something. We generally keep no lights on inside the boat after dinner. A small oil
lantern burns which is good enough. From outside it conveys an impression that we are asleep. I stepped out to fetch a towel and I saw in the shimmering moonlight path - an outline of a local standing on his dugout holding the Cap Horn. I got my strong flash light and blinded him. I threatened him with magistrate's name and he swiftly rowed away.
I still do not know what his intentions were. Had he been seized by a desire at the spur of the moment to commit some crime, the response would have been equally medieval. Needless to say I come from a third world country.
This minor incident apart, the place is good and the people are good. If you chose to ever stop there, give them your old clothes, shoes, etc. they really appreciate that.