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Published: April 20th 2007
Jérémie, Haiti. Waypoint 18º 38’.480N 074º 06’.574W
“Some historical Snippets on Haiti” Taino Indians named the whole Island Haiti, meaning ‘Mountainous’. (The highest and lowest points in the Greater Antilles are found just miles apart near 71 degrees longitude - Pico Duarte at 10,417 feet and Lago Enriquillo at 130 feet below sea level). Columbus claimed Haiti for Spain during his first voyage of 1492 and named it Hispaniola. He lost his small flag ship the ’Santa Maria’ on the reefs at Caracol Bay soon after. In January 1492 he started construction of the medieval style city of La Isabela at 71º 05’.00W on the north shore. La Isabela was abandoned four years later for a more favorable location and the city of Santo Domingo was established. This city became the principal business and cultural center of the western hemisphere for the next three centuries. This importance caused the whole Island to be known as Santa Domingo, until 1697 when Spain ceded the eastern portion to France, and the remaining portion to France in 1795 under the terms of ‘The Treaty of Bale’. A slave rebellion that started in 1791 and was later lead by D.Toussaint L’Ouverture, paved the
way for his successor ‘Dassalines’ to declare the western portion a republic in 1804, and himself Emperor. Dessalines chose to revert to the original Taino name of Haiti for his new republic. Following Dassalines death in 1806, rule of the Republic was divided between ‘Petion’ in the south and ‘Christophe’ in the north. Henry Christophe endeavored to sophisticate his supporters and improve the country by contracting teachers, doctors, and engineers from Europe but the military brute force that he used during the construction of his Citadel fortress has eclipsed his positive contributions. The Eastern part of Hispaniola then known as ‘Spanish Haiti’ came under Haitian rule in 1822 until 1844 when the Haitians were pressed back and the Republic Dominicana was established. A treaty was signed in 1936 and this has maintained a strained but peaceful co-existence.
Don’t you feel more intelligent now!! Hey who said this was going to be a lesson in history!! This is not something I knew we just copied this off our Wavey Line charts!! Thought you might find this interesting!!!
We dropped our anchor in the harbor of Jérémie around 3pm on Friday, after the sail from Grande Anse.
Since no dingy
docks exist at the moment, we sought alternatives for going on land. We were kindly offered to raft our skiff to a cargo ship that was at the main port dock. As a matter of fact, even while we were dropping our anchor, we receive a call on the VHF by captain Scooby! Yes, you read it right; his name was Scooby, like the cartoon dog. The foreign captain was native from Dominica and was a little concerned with our positioning, since the surrounding waters of the port are not very deep. He offered to have us raft the vessel to his port side, but we assured him that our draft allowed us to moor in shallow waters, but we did take him up on the dingy rafting offer. We tossed the line up and they tied the painter securely. One by one we hoisted ourselves aboard his vessel and , as we boarded, we saw that the action was full force on his ship. Everything was being unloaded by hand. After a brief tour of the ships bridge, we set foot to visit the city.
As for Jérémie, this is one of the major cities along the southern
north coast (Southern part of the Gulf de la Gonave). As you walk along it’s streets, you can feel it’s history. The streets are lined with French colonial buildings built way back when. There is an active port, where cargo ships dock for delivery of everything from rice to building supplies. This city is run down but, there is active life here.
A vehicle was kindly loaned to us and we drove around until the sun began to set. We spent a calm evening onboard and rested for our next days sail back towards the north. Annie & Eric
Please keep posting your positive comments, they are so encouraging.
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