Port Morgan, Ile-a-Vache

otch-colors18° 06’63” N Latitude and 73° 41’78” W Longitude.  This unique Resort features ample acreage for walking, hiking, swimming and relaxing.   It is an ecologically beautiful place with many varieties of plants, flowers, birds and terrain.  The Resort staff and local population are the friendliest people you are likely to interact with throughout the entire Caribbean.  When sailing into Port Morgan (Baie a Feret, Ile-a-Vache), make your approach from the Southwest.  Nearing the East side of the Bay keep a lookout as the water depth recedes, especially in the area with shoals.  The Port Morgan cove and outer anchorage area will accommodate vessels that do not exceed 9 feet of draft.  The marina does maintain a few moorings as well as a small dock, or landing area.  As for fuel supplies, there is both gasoline and diesel fuel on sale.  Water is probably also available, but make your inquiries on the VHF.  The Resort generates electricity locally and the voltage supply is 110V or 220V at 60 Hz.

Port Morgan is the creation of Didier Boulard.  It would be vastly limiting to describe him as a Frenchman.  He has been living on Ile-a-Vache for many years and in the process has developed a sterling hospitality experience that can be enjoyed irrespective of your mode of arrival.  Didier is respected and liked by his Haitian community.   Port Morgan is a sprawling development that blends well with its tropical surroundings.  The architecture and grounds reflect a “hand made”, or artisan character.  This location is all the more fascinating considering there are no established roads, vehicles, supply stores or public electricity.  Ile-a-Vache is a slower pace of life which is often compared to the “old Haiti”, but since few people know what that really means, it is safe to say that it is a no hassle, not overly populated island community that has managed to coexist with Mainland (Haiti) life and a steady trickle of visitors.  There is talk on the island now of emerging plans for an international airport, high end gated homes, condos, a marina and God only knows what else.  None of this strikes me as good news.  Creating a controlled paradise for the very wealthy will not pay larger dividends for the indigenous population, nor does it address the larger problems that Haiti must solve immediately.

   
   

If you are planning on sailing to the Caribbean via the Bahamas consider bearing off to the West.  Sail off the wind towards the Windward Passage.  Once through the Windward Passage you have the option of heading to Jamaica, or maintain a heading that will keep Haiti off your port beam.  Pouring over your charts and building your waypoints should be fun.  You will need a good boat, reliable weather routing and a sense of adventure.  For years Ile-a-Vache has been a welcome and safe en route destination for cruising yachts.  This is one of the reasons the island remains a safe and welcoming place.  The attached Port Morgan photos include views to the North with Les Cayes, (mainland Haiti) in the distance.  There are also photos of the fuel dock and the inner anchorage.

Comments

  1. Corbie Stein says:

    I wonder how many sea miles I will add to my passage if I sail for the Winward Passage? Ile a vache looks like a spot my Lady and I could spend a month enjoying. We are not Credit Card Cruisers and being able to make new friends along the way is what we enjoy. Hanna, my Mate, also enjoys learning new ways of preparing fish and chicken. I bet the Haitians know a thing or two about both. I enjoyed this story very much.

    • Joel Revier says:

      I wonder if the fishing action in Baie a Feret is as good as in the Bahamas? Are there many species of reef fish, or decent night fishing off the deck? I suppose it is also convenient to be able to buy fresh fish and lobster from the local fishermen in Kay Kok who will deliver directly to your aft deck. This destination appears to be a good stopover point on the way to or from other Caribbean ports. Good information, merci.

  2. Raul Layton says:

    I can see it now. The mega-million crowd can land at their own jet port financed by public funds. Large crowds of locals will be elbowing to grab luggage in hopes of earning a tip large enough to buy groceries. Meanwhile, will the whole entourage trundle down the muddy foot paths to arrive at the gilded gates? Or do the same public funds subsidize the construction of roads so the high rollers can drive their SUV’s to their palaces? And who will own the infrastructure..the gas stations, grocery stores and managed real estate development? This is not sustainable development. This is more entitlement of the few at the expense of the many. Let them eat cake!

  3. Port Morgan is a very unique port of call for the passage weary crew that finally manages to sail in. I share the sentiment of Raul. The wealthy Haitians do not give a rat’s #ss about the poor people. They have is a Master- Slave relationship and I think the poor share similar regards for their wealthy brethren.

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