Advice for Cruising Haiti

The Windward Passage is undoubtedly the easiest, quickest and safest way into the Caribbean Sea. If you are headed to the Caribbean and use the Windward Passage, a cruise through parts of Haiti makes good sense.

Following two attacks against cruising boats in Haiti in 2015, Frank Virgintino, author of the free Cruising Guide to Haiti, has good advice for boats planning on making a stop or two in Haiti.

Published 9 years ago, updated 5 years ago

Recently there have been two attacks against cruising boats in Haiti.

North Peninsula – south side

The most recent occurred on the south side of the north peninsula, in an area called Petit Port a Piment. Thieves boarded the vessel at night and robbed the vessel and assaulted the occupants.

Read the harrowing report by Hans Rijsdijk, the skipper at Haiti: Violent Attack on Cruising Couple – April 2015

The location is to the east of the anchorage indicated in my cruising guide for this part of Haiti, Bombardopolis, which is at the extreme west end of the northern peninsula on the south side.  That anchorage is a small fishing village where we have been well received by the entire community.

Cruisers are urged not to proceed east of this anchorage in the direction of the city of Gonaives, as the closer one comes to a major population center in Haiti, the greater the risk of crime.

South Peninsula – north side

An earlier attack occurred off the mainland on the north side of the south peninsula, close to the town of Corail.

Read the incident report at Haiti, between Corail and Pestel: Armed Boarding and Robbery – January 2015

At 2 am in the morning, a boarding party forced the boat to move to Corail where the boat was robbed of cash and equipment.  The thieves included a policeman dressed in uniform and allegedly the mayor of the town and the town judge.  The reports as to who was involved in the crime have been obtained the first party through individuals sent to Corail to gather information about the crime.

Corail is not mentioned as a suitable stop in my Cruising Guide to Haiti but is just 5 miles southwest of Grand Cayemite Island, Point Sable; another small fishing community where we have been well received in the past.

For the time being, until such time as the incident in Corail is further reviewed and pursued through the office of the President of Haiti and the Minister of Tourism of Haiti, cruisers are advised to proceed with caution if visiting the areas noted in the Guide; Pestel and Point Sable.

There has been some reference made in different reports referring to the incidents as Piracy.  Neither incident was piracy as the boats were not underway in transit.  Both cases were a robbery of anchored boats by thieves.

Best Advice

Those using the Windward Passage to enter into the Caribbean or to head north out of the Caribbean are advised to use Ile a Vache at the southwest end of Haiti, and Bombardpolis at the northwest end of Haiti, as anchorages to transit the Windward Passage.

Frank Virgintino


Cruising Guide to Haiti

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