French Guiana & Suriname, South America
14th Nov - 26th Nov, 2021
We had a wonderful fast passage from Brava, Cape Verde, to French Guiana. Flied the Spinnaker 24/7 for almost the whole passage. Saw lots of dolphins, sorry no pictures. Now we are on a buoy in Saint Laurent du Maroni. Time to explore this country and this for us new continent
Crew Jan is filling out the log
Time to get our wind vane, Pettson, working
We sailed with the genoa poled out for the first day
Sailing into the sunset, the first of many going west
The night catch of fly fish makes a good snack
Lots of kelp in the water
After several days we got some chafe on the Spinnaker halyard that needed to be fixed. Running the Spinnaker 24/ 7 in 15-25 knots and big sea takes it's toll.
We hoisted the spinnaker on the other side while we fixed the halyard on the port side
Time to get the fixed halyard back up again
Spinnaker up again on the port side, right in time for the sunset
I caught this fish in time for lunch. It was very tasty. I don't really know what it is though
Happy crew got fresh fish on a Swedish hard bread
Then I caught this beautiful yellow fin tuna at sunset
The swim platform is very handy for cleaning fish
Delish tuna filets
Happy swimmers at 5000 m deep blue
We have a deep freezer
Time for Anette's " Boot camp". Got to get those guys moving their bodies
Crew Jan is practicing taking a sighting with the sextant
Time for the daily Deck walk-around. Today we also checked all the screws
Spectacular sunrises in big clouds
We got some free passenger on horizon. T
It was actually three birds. They got to rest on a free ride to French Guiana. Stayed until the next morning
At the inlet of Maroni River, French Guiana. Right in time for the sunset
Very well marked channel in the river. Our Navionic charts were spot on here
Our anchorage in the first side creek in the river Maroni. Very quiet here, specially after 12 days on passage
Beautiful double rainbow over the river
view from Horizon and our anchorage the next morning
This is where we came from. That's the mouth of the river Maroni
We sailed up the river with only the genoa out. Current with us
One of all the markers in the river
A typical house along the river, with boathouse and of course a boat
You think this is an island, Ha ha. It's an old British sunken ship from late 1800. Nature sort of took over
This is the bow of the ship
Saint Laurent du Maroni, our anchorage. Or actually we picked up a buoy
Another sunken ship outside Saint Laurent du Maroni
We met Davide, the OCC Port Officer here in French Guiana. He is running the marina and help out with the clear in and out process. You just hand over the paperwork and he do the rest. The easiest clear in process ever. He also runs this bar/ restaurant with good food and drinks. We can highly recommend French Guiana and Davide
Lots of activities on the city square right outside the marina office and David's bar
Hi Anders :-)
Anders is up the mast to check fairleads for the spinnaker halyard, since we had a lot of chafe during our passage. Nothing wrong really. Probably because of lot of movement for many many days in a row
View from the top of the mast
Horizon on a mooring in Saint Laurent du Maroni. Love the stranded old boat with lots of trees taking over. The statue on the beach is in the water during high tide
It's amazing how this big ship can go this far up the shallow Maroni river
We visited the Transportation camp next to the marina. It is now a museum
The Transportation Camp was opened in 1858 to receive convicts from France who were shipped to the colonies to do forced labour. The most dangerous ones would go to Devil's island offshore Guyana and the other ones to work.
Why not build a church in the middle of the road :-) Traffic is diverted to each side
On a road trip. Interesting rocks on the side of the roads
And then we spotted this Sloth on the road. It took him a veeery looong time to cross the road. Luckily no cars came and we stayed with him. He was so cute. We know they are slow, but wow it was amazing how slow he walked, we thought he fell asleep many times ;-)
And then he tried and tried to get up this wall. We didn't stay long enough to see if he managed
We decided to visit Suriname without Horizon. So we left her in Saint Laurent du Maroni and took the fast Pirogue boat over to Suriname. We were there for a weekend. Well worth the trip
Happy on the pirogue. These boats are very purposeful for a fast transportation on the river
Welcome to Suriname. Immigration office is behind me. They looked a little surprised when we walked in. i guess they don't have many visitors coming this way. All went very smooth though
After a long three hour drive cross the country we finally approached the bridge over to Paramaribo, the capitol of Suriname.
We stayed in a nice resort in Paramaribo. Nice with a swim in a pool for a change
We walked through this beautiful Palm tree Garden
We walked right into a big parade. This was a practice parade for the upcoming Independence day on the 25th November
The historic part of Paramaribo. Zeelandia, where the first settlers came
This is the museum in Zeelandia. Which unfortunately was closed.
We walked through the old part of Paramaribo where there are lots of these beautiful old Dutch colonial houses. And yes, Dutch is the official language in Suriname.
We found many beautiful churches on our city walk
Saint Peter and Paul Basilica of Paramaribo.
It is a wooden Roman Catholic cathedral.
Nature quickly take over abended buildings in the tropics
All the trees here had a lot of parasit greens living up in their branches
We can highly recommend this amazing Thai restaurant in Paramaribo, The garden of Eden. The food was delicious. The whole setting was like from a movie, a little pricy, but definitely worth it. Don't mind the urn at the entrance ;-)
Time to leave Suriname and go Back to French Guiana. But when we came to customs and immigrations they where closed, since it was a Sunday. What to do? Our driver took us to the beach where all the illegal transportations where. We paid 20 Euro and got out of Suriname illegal. The next day we had to go back again and sneak in to customs and clear out the legal way.
Our ride back to French Guiana. We were not alone on this one
Many Pirogues waiting for business
Race over the river.
Parked in Suriname again right outside the dock to the Immigration and Customs office, so we could sneak in the other way
The sneaky way from the river to Customs office. A little muddy here
Clearing out from Suriname. We are now legal again
Our ride back and forth. He was nicely waiting for us when we cleared out
Anders is not happy with the pouring rain
But the rainy day made it for a beautiful Sunset
Since we are in France, French Guiana, we thought it was a good idea to send our damaged Watt&Sea back to the company in France for repairs
Cruisers gathering at the pub in the marina office
Last night with the Cruiser gang here in Saint Laurent du Maroni, at La Goelette
Another good restaurant recommendation, La Goelette. Built on a stranded boat. Nice setting and good food.
We took two days to explore the side creeks of Maroni River, which is actually part of the greater Amazonian river system, here in French Guiana. It was a very special feeling to cruise here with our own boat. And we were amazed by how deep it was, often around 10m.
Scenery along the river
Can you spot our shadow?
Sunset on the creek
Our anchorage in the jungle. Stern and bow anchor. Magic and so quiet.
Morning swim in the creek
Then we explored an even smaller side creek from our side creek until we couldn't get any further
Palm tree full of dates. A little hard to get to unfortunately
After five weeks on Horizon our crew, Jan, will now sign off here in French Guiana.
Lots of squalls on the way to Salvation islands
A cute hitchhiker
Approaching Salvation Islands, Îles du Salut.
This cute little monkey greeted us
Our anchorage in the Salvation Islands. We are the only boat here, except for all the daily tour boats coming from Kourou
The view from ashore on Ile du Salut. Horizon is framed with palm trees
We walked around the island. Nice walking paths
From the top of Ile du Salut overlooking Devils Island. If you seen the movie Papillon you will probably notice that the island doesn't at all look like the one in the movie. And that is correct. The movie is filmed in Croatia and Malta, not here
Devil's island seen from Ile du Salut.
Inside the death row prisoner. Can you spot Anders
This is where they put up the guillotine when executing. Around are cells for the convicts with a death sentence
The Hospital building, with the lighthouse sticking up behind
Beautiful church on Ile du Salut
There where a lot of these funny looking small animals on the islands. Not sure what it is though
Peacock, as beautiful as always
The convicts swimming pool
The old colon where the cable car started over to Devils Island
A nature walk around the island. This is the very rocky west side. We saw a turtle here.
Next day we visited the neighboring island, Ile Saint Joseph
This is a termite house. You can find them all over. We stayed away so we wouldn't bring any termites with us on Horizon
An old prison building on the neighboring island, Ile Saint Joseph. The buildings on this island is not restored yet
There are a graveyard on each island. Due to the high mortality rate at that point the graveyards we're dedicated for the kids The convicts were buried in the ocean
View from Ile Saint Joseph over Ile du Salut and Devils Island. The tour boats are going through the rough strait between the islands to get a good view of the famous Devils Island. No one is aloud ashore Devils Island.
After a two day visit to "Papillon" and historical Salvation islands, French Guiana, we left Salvation islands at the first light. Next stop Guyana. We feel very blessed that we could visit these famous islands. They have been closed due to Covid, but just reopened. Yay!