Ile a Vache

Mark & Sue Owen
Tue 30 Apr 2013 19:08

We have had a wonderful few days at Ile à Vache.  It is indeed a very special place.  The people here are exceptionally friendly and lead a very simple life without cars or electricity.  However life here is difficult, with few employment opportunities and no free schooling or health care.  Inevitably there is a certain reliance on visiting cruising boats providing the opportunity to earn a few dollars.  New arrivals are greeted with great enthusiasm and we’ve been pleased to have been able to do our bit.


We’ve been able to buy wonderful food from the young lads in their canoes – mangoes, bananas, still-warm roasted cashew nuts and bread.  A real treat!


It has been easier to communicate with the local children who speak French, whereas some of the adults only speak the impenetrable Creole.  This was particularly so at the market at Madame Bernard, a village some miles to the east of the island, and we were very glad to have Thierry as our guide and translator for the hour’s walk there and to help us negotiate and buy fresh fruit and vegetables.  The market was an incredible experience and a real step back in time, with pack mules the main mode of transport.


The return trip to our Port Morgan anchorage was by sailing taxi.  A truly memorable experience.  The first time we’ve ever had to wade out thigh deep to a taxi and share foot space with a goat!


It will be something of a wrench to leave this lovely island and anchorage and we’ll miss all the friends we’ve made here, but we’ve started to say our good-byes as fair winds beckon and we need to continue East.




Skipper’s local helpers:




At the market at Madame Bernard and the taxi rank:




On the way home:








Taxi offloading and School’s out Playtime