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Submitted by on March 25, 2013 – 6:59 pmOne Comment

March 16, 2013.  Frank Virgintino of Free Cruising Guides, author of A Cruising Guide to Haiti, has announced that a committee has been formed to establish a series of 5 cruising stops in Haiti by developing “mooring marinas” that will be owned by the respective communities and by developing necessary and related infrastructure.


The initial appointments to the committee are SSCA members Joan Conover and Bernard LeFevre.  Joan Conover is a long time SSCA member who heads up the very successful and cruiser-helpful Host program for that organization.  Bernard LeFevre has cruised Haiti extensively for many decades and has many contacts within government and in the business community.


Other members include Rafael Baez, director and owner of Marina ZarPar of Boca Chica, DR. Mr. Baez has been a major sponsor of Free Cruising Guides without whose financial support the guides could not have been written.  Marina ZarPar is currently the staging location for the work in progress on Ile a Vache and will assist with the acquisition and shipping of the moorings to be installed at the CaiCoq anchorage at Ile a Vache.


Dr. Catherine Hebson, director of Free Cruising Guides, also has been appointed and will be responsible for coordinating the committee’s initiatives. Other members of this committee will be added as time and needs dictate.


The committee has identified 5 locations to be developed based on local characteristics favorable for cruising sailboats and location relative to cruising routes. These include: (1) Ile a Vache at the southwest corner of Haiti; (2) Anse d’Hainault at the extreme west end of the southern Haiti peninsula; (3) Pestel, located just south of Grand Cayemite island on the north side of the southern peninsula; (4) Grand Baie on southeast corner of Ile de La Gonave, which island is located just west of Port of Prince; and (5) Mole St. Nicolas located at the extreme west end of the north peninsula of Haiti.


Mole St. Nicolas and Anse d’Hainault are strategically important as more and more cruisers are using the Windward Passage to enter into the Caribbean from North America.  The Windward Passage is the quickest and safest way into the Caribbean from North America.  The value of the passage is covered extensively in the book, A Thinking Man’s Guide to Voyages South, by Frank Virgintino.  Mole St. Nicolas is a well protected anchorage at the west end of the northern Peninsula and Anse d’Hainault is located at the extreme west end of the southern Peninsula; together they offer convenient stops across the 150nm passage.


The work to develop the 5 cruising locations has commenced and is expected to take 24 to 36 months to complete and bring to fruition.

Anyone who has an interest in working on this project may make inquiry to Frank Virgintino at fvirgintino@gmail.com


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