Ariival at Cayenne, French Guyana…..
July 14th 2013 – Time: -3 on GMT
We motored yet again most of yesterday, teasing our record previous motor sail at 72 hours. Fortunately, with a few sailing attempts including yesterday afternoons few hour spinnaker run, we didn\’t break it! Late yesterday, we again tried to use the spinnaker and it was brilliant…for about an hour and twenty minutes! Then poof went the winds and back to the iron genoa\’s.
The water had notably turned \”Amazon Green\” yesterday and remained that way as we entered the shallow waters off the coast. Interestingly and most likely due to the centuries of the outflow of the Amazon and the Orinoco, this coast is very shallow a long way off shore. In some areas, a few hundred miles out, it\’s less than 250 feet deep.
Timing is always an issue on a sailboat with arrivals as to try and enter ports during the day and not on weekends. We flopped on both counts and arrived on Sunday morning at 0330 a.m.! The French are sticklers when it comes to proper navigational aids and lights and fortunately here they are no different. The lights were all where they were supposed to be and the narrow, shallow, long (8 mile!) channel was properly buoyed. The average depth of the outer channel was only 15 feet (3.8 meters); no worries for shallow draft \”Miss Piggy\”. I kept one daggerboard down at 2 meters as if we\’re going to go bump in the night, that\’s what I want to touch bottom with first. Alas, no \”wukken furries\” as the Aussie\’s say and we hooked up near a docking area with lots of small boats.
It IS hot and humid here and I cannot imagine being in this \”jungle\” without some modern conveniences like air conditioning to rely on in their homes and offices. Ah, those pioneers of yester-year. The Cayenne river is a dark muddy color and jungle mangroves come right down to the river banks edge. This is a sparsely populated and with a population about 90,000 in the entire country – Cayenne is it\’s largest \”city\”.
We\’ll do a shore recky later and find out about check in\’s/fuel/marketing/taxi\’s and most likely make our attempt tomorrow morning. It\’s Sunday and the offices are all likely to be closed. If they give us the \”you have to pay 500 USD for an agent\” story, we\’ll food/fuel up and do a day sail up to Korou (where the space center is) and try our luck there. Korou is directly adjacent to the famous \”Devil\’s Island\” in the three island, Ile de Salut group only about 8 miles off the coast. We\’d like to see if we can do a tour there as well.
I spoke with the \”boys\” this morning on \”TSU\”, \”OZ\” and \”Jongilanga\”. All is well, passed on the weather to them and we\’ll try and catch their evening schedule (when I\’m usually asleep).
The trip here was 5 days, 18 hours (misprint in the position report) – 895 miles.
So from HOT CAYENNE, KIT. Only 860 miles to Trinidad and Tobago.
Scott and Nikki