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 Port Morgan (Ile a Vache) - Profile

Location

The Island of Ile à Vache, at the SW corner of Haiti, is beautiful and a safe place to visit by cruising yachts. The anchorage is at Port Morgan at the NW corner of the island (see photo, left, of the anchorage at Port Morgan in front of the town of Cai Coq courtesy of Free Cruising Guides).

The island is changing and while there used to be no electric or cars on the island, there are now a few generator and inverter installations plus some motorbikes, mostly in the capital Madame Bernard. Today Ile a Vache is somewhat prosperous and the government is planning a major tourist center on the island with an airport and hotels. Ile a Vache is not inhabited by rich people, but the fishermen do get by and the people are gentle and welcoming.

Ile à Vache is best approached from the West. Keep a sharp lookout for lobster and fish pots. The waters are full of fishing floats, mostly plastic bottles, which are very difficult to see. There is a shoal as you come into the Baie de Feret on the west side, which should be kept well clear of.

Dugouts may rush to you as soon as you come in sight, they are friendly people from Caye Coq and will offer you assistance with entering and anchoring.

As in the rest of Haiti, the local fisherman need currency for their fish so that they can buy clothes, cooking oil and rice etc. Locals appreciate the following items: Lines, old sails, fishing nets, floats, hooks, school supplies, backpacks for school children, children's shoes.

Last updated June 2015.

Clearance

Although not yet designated an official port of entry, boats that use Port Morgan can complete clearance formalities here if they wish. In reality however most boats that stop here do not clear through Customs and local authorities seem to be accepting of this.

To clear into Haiti while at Ile a Vache, one must go to the mainland at Les Cayes (the 2nd largest city in Haiti). Don't take your own boat here, take the local ferry and a local guide as well. It costs $10 US per person to clear in; a one time fee that includes clearing out.  There is a round-trip taxi boat that runs daily (1 hour each way). If cruisers do not want to cross the bay to go to the mainland, they can arrange to pay somone to take the passports for them.

Although Cholera is not reported to be a problem on Ile a Vache, cruisers warn that if you are heading to Cuba after Haiti and declare you have been to Haiti the Cubans will have you on Cholera watch (all crew temperatures to be taken every four hours and logged until the Sanitary Department say you are clear).

Last updated April 2015.

Docking

There is excellent holding throughout the Baie, however there is limited room in the inner basin (see photo right courtesy of Free Cruising Guides) and so some boats tend to put out less scope; hence the danger of dragging especially after a wind change. Anchoring in the main bay out beyond the basin affords a bit less shelter, but lots of swinging room. On the West side of the bay you can find internet. See comment at bottom of page.

Visiting yachts at anchore are charged a one-time fee of $5US for anchoring by the local council and are given an official receipt.

Port Morgan itself is situated in the inner basin, a small inlet with good holding and hurricane proof protection and a depth of 3m. There are moorings here belonging to the Port Morgan Hotel which are available to rent.

In January 2012 a yacht was burgled here while the owners were ashore for dinner (see report adjacent). All the locals felt very bad after this incident and have now asked the beachfront homes to watch the boats in the bay at anchor; they are very serious about keeping Ile a Vache a safe and charming place.

Be aware of various fees that were instigated in 2013 and then withdrawn (see report).

Water is not available on the island, but can be found at the mainland town of Les Cayes or brought over by one of the locals.  ATM machines, welders and fabricators, supermarkets and other supplies and repairs are also available there.  In as much as Les Cayes does not have a protected anchorage, many choose to go to Les Cayes in the many daily ferries that make the trip.

A local resident, Sam Altema, has acted over the years as a host for visiting cruising boats; helping with repairs and local tours and information. He is multilingual and is now the official SSCA host. See his details below.

There are other very helpful locals offering assistance to cruising boats, whether it be to fetch fuel or water, provisions or with internet. See recommendations from cruisers below under comments.

Last updated April 2015.

Port Morgan Marina/Hotel
Village Touristique Morgan , BP 118 , Les Cayes
Tel:(509) 3921 0000 / +509 3922 0000 ,VHF Channel 09, 16
See photo above from marina website. Moorings for rent for boats up to 30ft (US$10 per night), dinghy dock, fuel (see comments below), fresh water in 5 gallon bottles, bread and salad to purchase, laundry service. International phone, fax, internet available for those eating in the Restaurant. The Port Morgan Hotel, on the same complex, has a swimming pool, restaurant and dive centre. Facebook page hotelportmorgan@yahoo.com and twitter @hotelportmorgan.
Sam Altema
Sam is a local resident and the SSCA host for Ile a Vache. He runs a small store in Caye a Coq and can help cruisers with most requirements; sail and engine repair, general maintenance, diesel, propane, tours, airport transfer, market guide etc.

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