Cayenne to Ille de Salut (Devil\’s Island)…..
July 19th, 2013 – Time: -3 on GMT
We were able to rent a car in Cayenne and a very nice young guy who spoke fluent English (originally from Guiana ex: Brit Colony) gave us a bit of tour of the town.
Andre brought us to the Tourist Office and we quickly discovered that despite this being very low tourist season, the Korou Space Center tour was booked for two weeks!
We are wait listed for Friday, but it doesn\’t look good. They have a Space Museum there which can be visited for a small fee anytime. The tour, when available takes a maximum of 15 people, twice a day and is free.
We got fuel, went to Carrefours (a well known French Food Market chain). We also met a nice Scottish Couple, Ian and Meg who were anchored next to us at the marina. Marina is an odd word to use for Cayenne, it\’s more like an old rest home for very old boats. Most of these boats don\’t seem that they ever may leave the dock again. All the locals said that they were so badly maintained that they all stopped paying slip rental as a group. No one said anything and it will be interesting to see how the local politics play out. Fortunately, we\’ll be long gone by then!…:-)
The town itself is a bit old French Colonial and things don\’t look like they change very often – lots of cafe\’s and bistros. We went to \”Palmistes\” Pizza and Cafe where we had good internet briefly and an okay pizza.
We left yesterday morning for the 40 mile jaunt up to where we are at Ille de Salut. These three islands made up the infamous French Penal Colony known as \”Devil\’s Island\”. All three are quite small and within 100-200 meters of each other (250 yds). We are anchored at Ille Royal which is the main area and Ille St. Joseph is within a shout. Ille Diable (Devil\’s Island) is on the other side of Ille Royal. We\’re experiencing heavy rain at the moment and as I write we\’re waiting it out to go ashore in the dinghy. Not sure if we\’ll go to Korou to try the Space Center Tour or not. They are open tomorrow, but closed Sat/Sun/Wed and Thursday mornings. Welcome to France!…:-)
We think we can see the Space Center facilities from where we are anchored and we understand that when they launch, these islands must be cleared of all people!
We\’re due East of the facility and it\’s the direction they sling shot their Ariene spacecraft toward to maximize fuel efficiency during a launch.
I\’m not sure, but we may be able to see from here, either a real Ariene Rocket or perhaps a model at the museum which is full scale?
That\’s it for now. We\’re getting near the end of the ITCZ. The NE Trade Winds should be as close as 50-150 miles north of us.
Scott and Nikki