Sunday, January 29, 2012

Destination Haiti

After taking fuel in Staniel Cay and anchoring for the night in Little Farmer Cay, we sailed on, with another night at anchor 30 miles before exiting the bank, to finally drop the hook in Haiti in front of a small village in "La petite Gonave".

This was a first encounter for Country Boy and Karen with kindness, dignity, great poverty, all those things that make Haiti what it is. We spent the night there before sailing on to Grand Goave where Max was waiting for us.

That day, we were supposed to have lunch at "Chez Christian" with the crews of the three french sailboats that had made it to Grand Goave. In fact, lunch started around 5 p.m. and we came back to the boat well into the night.

Next day, it was a kind of tourist trip to Port au Prince, in a bus supplied by my friend Lionel Pressoir, that took us through Port au Prince and Petionville. We had a wonderful lunch and a good taste of haitian cuisine before returning to the boats. Later that day, the three Haitian brothers present in the country at the time, plus the four of us, american brothers, we conducted a ceremony to invite Max into our community of sailors under the name "Moun ak grand ke" (the man with a big heart). This was followed by a wonderful dinner buffet and good entertainment in wich Piper and Country Boy participated.

This was to me of great significance as I had tried to achieve this for the last 10 years, and I am convinced that the brothers of Haiti will greatly benefit from this injection of new blood.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Under Way

Under Way

At first, I thought that we were going to have a less comfortable
crossing of the Gulf Stream than I anticipated. The seas were as choppy
as usual but at around 6 feet and the wind was from the NNE at 20 knots.
This anyway only lasted for 4 hours, after which we had to hoist the
Yanmar sail and motor all the way up to North Rock which we reached at
6:00 a.m.
We then motored, or motor sailed to NW channel that we passed at 16:00,
then on to Clifton Pier to enter the bank at around midnight.
My plan was to continue up to Samson Cay and top up the fuel tank. But
there was no fuel there and we went to Staniel cay and refuelled at
14:00. Having still 3 hours of daylight, we continued to Little Farmer
Cay and anchored there in front of the south west beach. This was the
first time that I tried the new anchor riding sail but there was not
enough wind for this test to be conclusive. Anyway, as it was, it worked
beautifully and Papy Jovial never made a move towards the anchor.
Once anchored, we had a nice dinner of Mahi Mahi and penne pasta, cooked
by Karen. After dinner, I played on the TV the documentary made by
Jacques Yves Cousteau in 1985, titled "Waters of sorrow", knowing that
there will be even more causes for sorrow in the Haiti that we will find
in less than a week.