ILE A VACHE
Cow Island does not have the panache of its name in French(Ile a Vache). This small island off the southwest corner of Haiti, has been frequented by cruising yachtsmen for many years. It is safe and it is extraordinary.
The Baie de Feret is the location of the anchorage and the best approach is from the west side. The east side of the island is strewn with reef. The village of Caille Coq is a small and interesting village. There is no electric, no telephones and no cars. There is the famous Port Morgan Hotel (www.port-morgan.com) which is at your service. They have fine meals, beautiful views, internet and will also arrange for your clearance in and out for a small fee. They have water available and can arrange for fuel.
The island also is host to the Madame Bernard market, twice a week. This open market is reminiscent of articles in National Geographic Magazine in the 1950s. It is not a place to reprovision but rather a market that caters to the needs of the locals unless you are interested in purchasing a donkey or a goat’s head for dinner. The sounds and the smells are from a different time and you will be catapulted back a half century or more. The area behind the market is home to Sister Flora’s orphanage which shelters more than 60 children and provides educational and medical facility to over 400. A visit would not be complete without stopping by her facility. She is a small and very energetic woman who has been in service to the island for more than 40 years.
One can visit on ones computer the web site, www.friendsofileavache.com and get an overview of the work that is being done on the island and the groups that are supporting it. Regardless of whether you visit Ile a Vache to get a taste of Haiti or whether you go to make a gift of supplies, you will find your visit something out of the ordinary.
On your way into the anchorage you will see Haitian Fishermen coming and going in their BOIS FOUILLE. When the wind is down, they use oars.
Ile a Vache is a DO NOT MISS DESTINATION on your cruising itinerary through the Caribbean
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