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By No owner — last modified Dec 20, 2012 04:27 PM

 Haiti - Profile

Facts

  • Haiti, which makes up the western third of the island of Hispaniola, is a passage through the “old Caribbean”.  Its innocence is still present, but may be lost in the next decade due to the Internet which is pervasive along with cell phones.
  • Violence and abject poverty is in the past here, except for the biggest cities such as Port-au-Prince.  In addition the northside of the north peninsula is dry and desert like and poverty is much more prevalent there.
  • Haiti now has two SSCA hosts, one on Ile a Vache and one on Ile a Gonave, an island about 30 miles west of Port-au-Prince.
  • Haiti offers the easiest entry into the Caribbean for North American Sailors through the Windward Passage and parts of Haiti are very tenable.
  • Those that use the Windward Passage can safely stop at CapMole St.Nicolas on the west side of the north peninsula or Bombardopolis on the southwest corner of the north peninsula.
  • Going south through the Windward Passage at the west end of the south peninsula is Anse d’Hainault and then just around the corner Ile a Vache.
  • Self-sufficiency is the key to visiting Haiti as there are no marinas or repair centers.  It  is good to have the ability to make Fresh Water as the water in Haiti is hard to come by and of poor quality.
  • The language of Haiti is Kreyol, however many speak French and some even speak English.
  • The capital Port-au-Prince lies on the southern end of the island. This town is best avoided. However just 35 miles to the west of the capital is the Bay of Bandareres, which is beautiful and not a dangerous area.
  • The Island of Ile a Vache is safe and charming. They are well acquainted with cruising boats and it is as good a cruising destination as any in the Caribbean. Today Ile a Vache is somewhat prosperous and the government is planning a major tourist center on the island with an airport and hotels.
  • Cruising is best done from east to west as particularly during winter the strong trade winds make eastbound passages difficult.

A map of recommended anchorages in Haiti (yellow spot) by Frank Virgintino, author of the free Haiti Cruising Guide.

Security

Most warnings issued about Haiti refer to violence and crime in certain neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince. Avoid the large cities and you will find that many ports and anchorages are safe and welcome visiting cruisers.

The ports for Haiti listed on noonsite have been visited by cruising sailors and are reported to be safe. The locals in these ports are very serious about keeping them safe and charming for visitors.

Free Cruising Guides have completed the Caribbean Security Index (CSI) review of 2013 and updated the country ratings. The latest update of the CSI contains new information that may be important to you to “route around crime.”
See this report at http://www.noonsite.com/General/Piracy/caribbean-crime-caribbean-security-index-csi-review-of-2013

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) gather information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors on the net. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported.

Last updated April 2014.

Weather

The climate is tropical. It is cooler and drier from December to March, and on the coast, which is cooled by sea breezes. The hurricane season lasts from June to November.

Haiti Weather Forecast.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page

Main Ports

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roark.hennessy@gmail.com
roark.hennessy@gmail.com says:
Mar 21, 2014 01:01 PM

We recently visited Haiti on our journey through the windward passage. We are thankful for the guidance that Frank V. gave us on where to stop. If you happen to be traveling the same route, you should stop at the small fishing village just under the northern peninsula. It breaks up the long sail, and is a good place to rest. The people in the village are extremely nice, and very helpful. Nobody asked us for money or bothered us in anyway. There was a gentlemen name College who spoke pretty good english. He asked me to convey the real needs of the village where supplies. Especially things like paint (for the school), pens, pencils, and paper (for the kids), used or old sails for the fishermen, etc. After our initial anchoring, we were greeted by the fishermen, and taken ashore by College and his brother. We were given a tour of the village, and then played limbo, and jump rope with the children. It was an awesome visit. The anchorage is good for any easterlies, but it can be a bit rolly. Email Frank for the coordinates.

Roark&Sheri
s/v Island Pearl

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Mar 21, 2014 02:46 PM

For Frank's contact details, see Haiti Cruising Guide (free) under Publications - http://www.noonsite.com/Countries/Haiti?rc=GeneralInfo#Publications

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Haiti
Cap Mole St. Nicolas
Port Morgan (Ile a Vache)
Port-au-Prince
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