Posted by: catamarantwooceans | March 21, 2014

Sailing in French Guyana – part 1

16.3.14 – Sunday – Le Pere island, which at night was just a dark silhouette, came alive with its lush jungle vegetation.

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We motored through the well marked channel into the Mahury river and the port of Degrad de Canne, tying alongside a workboat in the full local marina. Some locals, like Eduardo, in the following picture, came to offer advise.

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He lives on a yellow monohull  with his wife and two sons in the marina and has a workshop where he manufactures knives.This being a Sunday, there was nothing we could do about checking in; we’ll have to wait for the morrow.

17.3.14 – Monday – It’s a long walk, 2 km, to the area where the port captain and customs are located. It is green all around and no wonder; there is a lot of rainfall here. Port Captain sent us back to the marina, where they have an office in a caravan. The question of Immigrations was raised and dismissed as unnecessary.

We needed to do some shopping and the only alternative was to call a taxi from town, go to Carrefour Market, 5 km away, have him wait while we did our shopping and then go back to the marina. This set us back 34 euro but now we had some French goat cheeses, Beaujolais Villages red wine, Bourgogne Aligote white wine, which is a longtime favourite of mine and all the fruit and veg we wanted. Only when we came back to the boat, we realized that we forgot the all important BAGUETTES!

For lunch we went to Vini Goute, a working men restaurant, where there was decent food, reasonably priced and WiFi internet.

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The food was OK, they even had Magnum ice-cream, but I had a big disappointment with the internet; we all had good connection on our smart-phones and Dany’s computer but Miki’s computer was inexplicably not receiving “Belkin54g”, the local router and was unable to publish anything to the blog.

18.3.14 – Tuesday – From Degrad we sailed about 40 miles to Iles de Salut, a group of three small islands which used to be penal colonies, perhaps even to the middle of the previous century. One of them – Ile du Diable – was the background to the famous book and the hit movie “Papillon”.

We entered Baie de Cocotiers (coconut bay) in Ile Royal and saw two yacht at anchor. One seemed familiar and sure enough it was “Haven” with Kerry and Bruce, whom we met many times before, in the Indian Ocean as well as the South Atlantic islands. I went over to invite them to dinner but they were leaving in two hours so the meeting was postponed for St. Laurent du Maroni.

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                    Haven, Sylher and Two Oceans

We went ashore, walking in the densely forested island and immediately met the local fauna.

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Even the local cock was very colorful!

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A trail around the whole island took about two hours and the highlight for me was the view of Ile du Diable from the top of the hill. Really breathtaking with the sea breaking all around it; I could see no way of coming ashore there.

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The museum in which the special past of the place was displayed was  closed. We met the man in charge near the old church and he explained that his colleague was sick and he could not possibly be at two locations at the same time. “Perhaps tomorrow?” “Let’s hope” he said.

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