Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cultural Experience

What a surprise to see this unusual sight in Hope Town Harbour a couple of days ago.

The Haitian boat 'Message' docked at the freight dock and proceeded to load up many items in both the forward hold and on deck. Everything is loaded by hand, as there are no cranes or mechanical means of lifting.

We've seen these motor freight boats up the Miami River, overloaded with old mattresses, 5 gallon white buckets, rusty bicycles, and all sorts of items needed in Haiti. They are also capable of carrying many passengers in cabins above deck.

Even though there is a large group of Haitian immigrants here in the Bahamas, Hope Town seemed like a strange place to load up with supplies, both new and used. I wouldn't think there would be that much to choose from on this small island.

It was interesting to see this wooden boat up close, with its unique lines and dhow shaped bow. I've been told that these types of boats are actually built right on the beaches of Haiti.

Plus it looked like every Haitian on the island was there to greet it and watch what was being loaded up. Many of the women were in their Sunday finest clothes with pretty head scarves on.

The boat spent the night at the dock, since it was aground at low tide, but come morning it had disappeared. It is approximately 700 miles from Abaco back to Port-au-Prince.

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