Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Further South, this time to Haiti

Finally on January 31st, the weather calmed down a little bit and we were able to leave Clarence Town at 8:00. The joy ride did not last very long. As soon as we reached the  southern tip of Long Island, the  wind dropped and we found ourselves motoring against 3 knots of current. I usually sail on the west side of Long Island and I had not idea where this was coming from. After a couple of hours, the current eased up and we could motor to Matthew Town, Great Inagua and get some wind once we turned the south west corner of the  island. At that point, I tried to make as much east as I could, knowing that the wind was going to freshen up but remain from the ENE, so that I would have a good angle towards Mole St Nicolas and the windward passage. We finally got into the bay in the early morning, not without getting a fishing line either in the  prop or the rudder. We will never know, the line was very small and the fishermen were able to recover their line. They also asked for compensation, which we promise to give them once ashore.
We then proceeded to my usual anchorage where I could find the same small spot of sand in the middle of an area of grassy sand. Two local fishermen were there to  dive and make sure that the anchor was properly set.
We then went ashore to the "Boukan Guinguette", very nice unit owned and managed by a group of young french people. It has a bar-restaurant, showers and toilets, space to set your tent, tents to rent if you wanted, and they are building a few bungalows for the less adventurous tourists. Mole St Nicolas is a paradise for kite surfing, with flat water but 15 to 25 knots of wind from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At the  "Boukan Guinguette", we had breakfast, then we met with the policeman who was going to inspect the boat and give us some kind of official paper to acknowledge our entry into Haiti. We took the  policeman to our boat in the dinghy. This was a musician of a policeman, and he carried with him a small portable music player on which he played for us this music. Unforgettable moment.
We then had lunch and went for a tour in their jeep, with a guide speaking creole and french (no english) and visiting few of the forts that had been set to protect the french colons against the english.
For entertainment during dinner, we had a concert. Joe who had preceded us on his catamaran and Scott played the  same guitar, Joe with blues, and Scott with Country music. After that, the policeman and his bank sang of their songs.
We left Mole St Nicolas around 9 p.m., en route to cross my 50,000 nautical miles on Papy Jovial and towards Grand Goave to meet Max, Lee, Michel  and Richard.

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