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

And now time for the nerdy stuff:

Passage from Cape Verde to French Guiana. It took us 12.6 days. And we averaged 6.3 Knots. The shortest great circle distance is 1804 Nautical Miles. We sailed 1910 Nautical Miles to get here. We ran the engine for propulsion 18 Hours (6%) during the passage, and 1 hour a day for charging after we decommissioned the hydro generator due to a failed bearing. We got 145.7 Ah/day from Solar, 7.5 Ah/day from Wind, and still 35 Ah/day from the Hydro, a total of 188.2 Ah/day during the passage.

Hope you enjoy our summary

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

Spot on....

We walked right into a big parade. This was a practice parade for the upcoming Independence day on the 25th November

Fort Zeelandia is a fortress in Paramaribo, Suriname. In 1640 the French built a wooden fort on the spot, which during the British colonial days was reinforced and became Fort Willoughby. It was taken by the Dutch in 1667 and renamed Fort Zeelandia

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.

It's been great to have him with us.

Since Salvation Islands have open up we decided to sail there before we sail to Guyana. To sail to Salvation is a sail back in the wrong direction, against wind and current for 100nm one way. Hope it's worth it. We already cleared out from French Guiana in Saint Laurent du Maroni.

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 toilets

The lighthouse

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!