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Haiti, Ile a Vache: Forced Entry and Burglary - January 2012

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 26, 2012 09:14 PM

Published: 2012-02-02 21:40:00
Topics: Piracy Reports 2012
Countries: Haiti

For a year now we, have been cruising the Caribbean. When in Curaçao we read the Free Cruising Guides of Frank Virgintino and we decided to stop at the wonderful Ile à Vache on our way to Jamaica and Cuba.

Entering the cove at the Port Morgan Hotel and the village Caye Coq was exactly as Frank described it. Water as still as a pond, lush scenery all around and the inevitable boat boys that were persistent but polite. They keep on coming back every day, you have to learn to handle this situation. Some of them (Kamah) became our guide for a day for our trip to Les Cayes. We went to eat at Jean Jean's twice. We bought lobsters and fruit.

On Friday 13 January 2012 (five days after we had arrived), returning from dinner at Jean Jean's, we found our boat had been broken into. All the hatches were closed as was the entrance. There was a light in the cockpit. They had forced the hatch to the saloon. We lost our two cell phones, an MP3 player, a watch, a small amount of money and a tiny Flip video camera (the size and the looks of a cell phone).

At 10.30pm Tony went to look around at the anchor spot to see if there had been any other victims. This was not the case. He discovered that the crews of all the boats had gone ashore that night to dine. There was no moon at that time and ours was the only lit boat.

Since there are no police on the island we went to ask monsieur Didier of the hotel what to do. He told us our stuff probably left the island with the first taxi boat early in the morning to be sold in Les Cayes. We asked Jean Jean and Kamah, they promised to look and hear around in the village but when we left 4 days later we got no reaction whatsoever.

So cruisers, be warned, close and lock every single hatch and if possible don't leave your yacht unattended at night - or have one of the cruisers keep a look out for all boats.

Everyone on the island tried to convince us this was the very first time a robbery had taken place. But then, there always has to be a first time. Everyone we spoke to thought it was a shame and not good for their reputation.

Nevertheless, we enjoyed our stay in Ile à Vache - the Caribbean as it must have been 50 years ago. We liked Ila à Vache a lot and would return there without a doubt.

Tony and Jaklien
SY Jakker (Belgium)

Editors Note: Everyone in the community of Ile a Vache is very upset following this incident. Indeed, this is the only reported incident that we know of on record of theft from a cruising boat at that anchorage.

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