SO...where to start? Some facts about the country, our adventures.....animals...Waterland marina..heat, humidity, mosquitos...tropic fruits...diversity of people and religions or chaotic Paramaribo town?
..lot to tell..
But first want to say we are really content of our decision to come here..We didn,t know nothing about this country and people at all, but now we know we made a good choice. Is a wonderful country with really...very very friendly people everywhere. We feel safe and our boat is in a good hands. We will leave it here for 4-5 months because we need to fly to Europe to work again...so we are relaxed because this is the right place to leave it.
Our marina( the only marina is SUriname) is a beautiful resort as well and its located in a remote place surrounded by jungles. Its owner Noel is really great man. He promised us security and even a service to check our bilges and ropes and so on... Is not expensive place comparing to Europe and Brazil as well. Also its deep in river (about 30 miles in) so there is no swell at all, fresh water and every day small breeze of wind which is coming along the river. And no hurricanes, what is very very important! our Grain will stay here when the Hurricanes season in Caribbean so is nice to know we dont need to worry about them ...Humidity is very high, but with mosquito nets on ( the ones we made during Atlantic crossing) we will leave small hatches open so air will be able to enter and ventilate our home meanwhile we will be out. The only problem is rain...because it rains at least every two days, so boat must be well inspected before leaving for to be sure nowhere is leaking . Luckily, at least now inside our Grain is dry so hope when we come back we will find the same.
This resort is just 15 minutes walking from main road where we can take a bus to the Capital Paramaribo...so communication is good. You can not come back too late because last bus leaves city around 4 o clock , but we are not night birds so for us thats not a problem. ALso its possible to hitchhike a car..so sometimes trip is even shorter.
Conclusion...if you like peace and relaxed place when you come back to your boat - this is a right place .
There is another possibility- stay on anchor or boy 5 miles away from here in Domburg village, but as we are going to leave the boat for long time here we decided to head directly to marina. Price here if you leave your boat for more than three months drops down a lot, so for us it was worth staying in marina and having non limit water and electricity access .In Domburg you have to pay some euros too... for dinghy landing and showers on shore. So if to pay we prefered to pay here. .I leave you a website of this place ,,,,,beautiful place!!!!.. See WATERLAND MARINA SURINAME
During weekdays we are here almost alone...people come on weekends basically. So all 5 days we enjoy peace and silence of the river and jungle around.. Just at nights all alive creatures wakes up and starts the show...One night we got scared a lot because some strange and loud noise woke up us. Seemed like some lions are .....near by. But later we were told that there were howling monkeys howling so loud. They say there are lots of them around, but we still didn't see any. Just heard them...and lots of nights after. Now we are used to this sound....but believe., first night was not very funny ..I woke up frightened and started closing all hatches. Me crazy, I know. But we are just three boats here and our is the only which have people on board. Two others have owners away....so we are totally totally alone. There is just a security man, Jonhy...great guy...who time to time pass near and tells us stories about the wildlife, like for example which night he saw a crocodile here in marina and so on. Not joking!!! He also promised to bring us crocodile meat....so we are waiting:)
But this peace finishe once you leave marina and enter Paramaribo....What a chaotic place!!!!......At a first glance it looks like a mix between Latin American and South Asian city with a touch of Europe because all streets and publicity are written in dutch...Suriname was a Dutch colony, but after the slavery there came lots of people from Indonesia, China, Lebano, Caribbean countries and Brazil to work.....So imagine how big cultural mix it can be! And religion also!,,,Muslims, Hindus, Catholics, Budists......No fights no racism ....Nice example to follow
But if you need to fix some papers or other stuff,,prepare with patience.!
After resting and cleaning the boat after arrival we went to city to make out official check in. You know...customs, immigration and so on. In internet we read that it is quite tricky here, so better take a taxi and do it with some local who know the places and all stuff. But we decided we will do it ourselves,,,as we were doing always. Had a paper with names of the streets where to go so thought that will not be difficult....We were wrong. It took us entire two days to do all!!! SO if you come to Suriname by boat...first go to Customs. Than directly to MAS (maritime authority Suriname) where is necessary to enter well dressed. We came like always....shorts and flip flops..and were not alowded in. Had to go back to boat and come next day again. As much elegant as we could:) After MAS next is embassy. There you get a Tourist Card for 30 euros each). And finally Imigration. And all done. Time to enjoy SURINAME!!!!!
Is not a big country,,,,but it has a very big area where you cant go by car- A JUNGLE!.) So you can either rent a car and see what is possible to see,,,or take one of a tours which are crazy expensive and fly to jungles. Of course we wanted the second option, but ...its not to our pockets..So we rented a ca ,and tried to see what is possible by road and do a tour by ourselves. We went to see old cacao and coffee plantation- Paperpot where in 2 hours walk we saw capuchino monkeys and big lizards. After drove on the only road to south till Brokpondo and tried to find some waterfalls (result negative because the road was so bad that our car could not go there, finally), than we went to west till the City Albina near Maroni river which makes border with French Guyana and took river canoe to go to Galibi- indigenous living village on the estuary of the river - and with local guide went to see turtles at night. We saw just 1, but it was huge! A Green turtle!!...Next day we took a little canoe back to Albina and in 2 hours trip had more scary moments than is all Atlantic crossing:) Canoe was too small for us three and a driver and his son....so every 10 minutes we were taking water in .ALso there were waves in the river and the wind blowing from the back so many time we thought we will over keel and who knows...maybe finish our trip in a stomach of some crocodile or anaconda...After all you laugh and have good memories, but not those 2 hours:)
Last day of car we went to see some river villages near ....and of course made fruits and vegetable shoping .
Car rental is very cheap but you have to drive on a left side of the road ( after 5 days driving we are still alive, so as u can see its not very difficult:)THe same is with green and red lights on boys...Here as in all Caribbean sea and America the entrance lights are opposite. WheN entering you have to leave green light on port side and red on a starboard. VERY IMPORTANT!!:)
SO again...even if i repeat..but really..we love this place. Ok its really hot,,,around 35 degrees every day...And we don,t know what to do with all our warm clothes...thick sleeping bags and blancets...Hard to believe that from now we will not need them on board anymore...Just bicini, short trousers and T shirts..VIVA LOS TROPICOS!!!!
It rains almost everyday a little bit, so its incredibly green around...plenty of flowers and strange plants and trees. Mangos trees grows everywhere. But mostly in cemeteries,,,trees there are full of fruits. And taste well. Checked:)...Almost everyone speaks English and no one is bothering you trying to sell something and so on. Locals are polite,,,and helpful. Little bit...ok,,,more than little bit...SLOW....but we were prepared for that. Tourism is just starting here so even in a capital there are very few tourists around. There are no beaches on the coast...just on the rivers...so big masses of tourists are not interested to that. Maybe this is the reason why people are so friendly with us:)
After the summer, back on boat we plan to sail up to Tobago, but first we would like to stop in Guyana- another river country of South America. After entering in Suriname and experiencing life on boat in a jungle river before entering blue Carribean waters we want to enjoy this way of life a little bit more:)
We are in Suriname!!!!.....Deep inside the Suriname river in smallest marina ever we ever been:)...Quiet, remote and very very beautiful place...We are in Waterland marina of Suriname. After 18 days at Sea that's just perfect:) Still is hard to believe there is no noise of wind outside...and no need to tie all things because water is so still that sometimes its looks that we stay on a hard . Atlantic was so wavy last 10 days that we forgot what is means to put a glass of wine on table:)
But all is done. Our fourth Atlantic crossing is finished! In few sentences it was different ...like all they were,,, but this time it was with OUR boat so it was special:) We are glad to say that our Grain was performing great. Now we trust it more than before and like it more ...much more!!! We saw its weak points( like automatic and and wind vane steering system), but they all are fixable ,,,need just time and money. We will manage.
There were many days with so little wind and days with lots of it and in all time Grain sailed nicely. its very stable and rigid boat,so we glad about it. Maybe its not the fastest sailing boat, but when you are in middle of Atlantic with huge waves that is not important. You need to feel safe in a ship you are,,,and so thats how we felt . ALl way till Suriname, which we reached in a deep deep night.
After 18 days of no land in windy night we arrived to Suriname river entrance. It was 38 miles which we had to sail till marina. Unfortunately tides that day were not favorable during the day, so we needed to enter at night. What was quite stressful in beginning till we reached first boy . After we saw that the lights works perfectly, Boys location are the same as in Open Cpn and Garmin charts ...and there were no trafic at all , so we relaxed and after 7 hours of sailing and motoring we safely reached Waterland marina. It was very windy in the entrance with short steep waves so we used motor and reefed jib in front to get more speed, so care in needed. But apart of all that finally we saw that it was even better to enter river at night. it was more easy to distinguish all light than in day , when green can easily disappear between color of water. ALso we had bright moon which was helping all way so much. Only to stay awake and attent all night was little bit tiring .. But when you see the contours of land after almost three weeks of sailing you forget a sleep totally.
We always say no more time of entering unknown place at night, but after again it happens to get close to shore before down and we go forward. Its not easy..not at all....but after all its all experience..and its never enough.
Now its time to make some tourism, move our legs on land on and see what this wild and so unknown for us country can offer.
And here are some photos of crossing..this time is not too much, because once at sea we forget a camera totally. Need to force my self to use it and so that's not the same as in land. Probably because is the place which i think any photo can express........how the sea is ..how we feel. ,,the colors...the movement...all.... Is a place where one has to enjoy the moment by its own and see how fast all around is changing. Photos would show the same...but in reality there is never nothing the same at Sea ....
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way. Our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.