we are an in italian family (me , alessandro, my wife lucetta and our daugher Blu ,5yrs old) , 2 yrs ago we arrived from Italy in US with our GRAND CRU (Amel Supermaramu 2000) . In November we decided to leave Miami to return in sunny caribe islands and ,of course, the first issue has been to follow the easiest way to go south! I read several times PASSAGE SOUTH by Bruce Van Sant The thornless path to windward and I decided to follow that route BUT one day surfing on web I found the Frank Virgintino free Guides and a new light switched on in my mind: THE WINDWARD PASSAGE!!!! I cannot understand why sailors prefer to fight in the Mona passage when there is a easy passage west of it between Cuba and Haiti . We decided to follow the WINDWARD PASSAGE and it has been a really THORNLESS PATH TO WINDWARD. Haiti has been a great experience (following Virgintino’s suggestions) , people friendly and we never felt in danger . We visited Ille a Vache and suor Flora’s orphanage and we brought them some supplies and we organized a fund raiser for her: unforgettable experience for me, my wife and my daughter.
After Haiti we visited the south coast of Dominican Republic: here again I cannot understand why so few sailors follow this route! In DR people are very friendly and the places nice. Of course going eastbound the wind is on the nose (as in the north) but here you don’t have a lee shore and if you sail during the night the lee breeze weakens the E trade winds. We wish to particularly mention two Marinas:
-marina ZarPar (few miles est of santo domingo) where we spent a great Xmas; here we found a great staff ,very friendly and helpful, nice beach and we got the opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Santo Domingo
-marina casa de campo : very nice, elegant and with a very professional staff.
In conclusion I strongly suggest the windward passage to go south: following frank virgintino’s guides , don’t be afraid of Haiti and enjoy the Dominican Republic.
Alessandro Lucetta Blu
GRAND CRU Supermaramu 2k