A sailing blog about a skipper and his yacht

Ile a’Vache

by | Mar 22, 2016 | Voyage Logs

During my second night at sea I estimated that I would arrive at Il a’ Vache whilst it was still dark so I reduced sail to slow down but at 4am after I had spotted the light on Il a’ Vache still some 8 miles away I hove to for a while so I would not arrive before the dawn.
Later turning north to run up between the island and the mainland I caught sight of the first of many of the traditional sailing fishing boats of the area and a bit later the first of the dugout canoes that they still use.
Turning in to Baie Feret I had a welcoming committee of boat boys in dugout canoes all offering their services for this and that, a bit distracting when all you want is to find a spot to anchor. Safely anchored and the boat snugged down, sail covers on I pursued then to leave me alone for a bit because I need to sleep a bit.
Here already at anchor where the young Norwegians in their boat and Rene (French) and Rod (SA) who had left Boca Chica a few days before me. Hearing their tales made me glad that I had waited for the strong winds to pass. The Norwegians had suffered a knock down with their mast in the water in big rough seas, smashing their autopilot and solar panel, and bending the pushpit and some stanchions whilst the French boat had suffered damage to a sail, their gooseneck fitting and had lost a dinghy.
Il a’ Vache is a beautiful place, around the shores of the bay is a simple village Cai Coch, no electricity (although now they do have a few solar powered lights), no running water. There are no roads, no cars, some little motorbikes only. The people walk mostly sometimes ride horses to get about and live by plot farming and fishing from wooden sailing boats or dugout canoes.
I walked over to the market at the village of Madame Bertram, pigs, goats, chickens, fish, vegetables, soap, rice all for sale spread out in chaotic fashion on rickety stalls amongst the mud and the garbage with sailing boats that have bought in the goods in the bay and women arriving with a basket of sweet potatoes or coconuts or breadfruit balanced on their heads to sell. No pictures I am afraid as they get a little touchy about having pictures taken but it’s a scene that could have been hundreds of years ago.

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