The freighter, the
carried cargo, some of
which was destined for Hispaniola, the island home of the
twin countries Haiti and the
She also needed to load outbound freight there. We moored in the
Port‑au‑Prince docks on the west side of
Hispaniola in Haiti at what was a primitive yet adequate dock,
unloaded some containers and loaded some new ones.
The ship's captain, "Logbook" Wilson, had received word of ongoing
civil unrest (for which Haiti is
in the Port‑au‑Prince downtown area, and so we went
about our business quietly, not venturing too far from the docks
until it was time to leave.
around to the east side of Hispaniola to Santo Domingo, the capital
city of the
we put into what could hardly even be called a dock and which made
the primitive facilities in Port-au-Prince seem state of the
and modern in comparison. The huge
up a river until the crew spotted some stout trees on the bank.
They literally tied the ship to a tree and set up a means to
offload cargo using block and tackle to make a slide
between the ship's deck and another tree on the river bank.
It's the stuff of legends that when sailors reach port and they
party, they party hard. The night we spent in Santo Domingo
was, in character, partied hard. I had
two of the crew who worked in the
room. Being experienced sailors, they knew where the action was in
these parts. We took a taxi to a beachside nightclub comprising a
half dozen or so grass huts, one of which was a saloon dispensing
grog, the sailors' mainstay. There was live music by a local
band and tiki lights, and there were women
everywhere. They were beautiful - in a nubian,
muscular, horsey kind of way.