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Suriname – wildlife, people, weather

February 13, 2016

Suriname Flag

We have now been close to two weeks in Suriname and are planning for departure in a couple of days towards Tobago. These two weeks passed very fast. We have enjoyed a place that is a good example of multi culture blending together, creating a fascinating mix of ethnic origins. After the first night at anchor in the Paramaribo city center, we used the flood stream to get to our anchorage destination at Domburg. Together with a marina a further 8 nm upstream these are the only places to safely anchor / moor in this country. The marina manager of Domburg Marina Resort, Gabi, has been extremely helpful and sorted out any of our questions.

Day one, we took help from Harry our local, retired taxi driver and general “Mr fix-it”,  who  took us by car to the different officials to get us formally cleared in to Surinam. For around 2.5 hours he charged 100 Srd, equivalent to 200 SEK. Compared to others experience this exercise could take up to three days so we thought Harry’s service including phoning the offices in advance was worth the extra cost. Three of our other days were spent on changing service batteries. We have settled with ordinary acid/led batteries which can be sensitive to heat so we had to change them after only two years. The major problem we had was to find a battery size that fitted the space we had. One day spent measuring 8 different brands at 8 locations in the city. 2 days spent to get cash from ATMs as credit/debit cards seems less honored and ATMs has a rather low limit per day. At last we found a brand that worked, with a bit of tweaking.


New Batteries installed

As I (Peter) still am a bit weak in my left arm we had some heavy duty work to get them installed but finally managed. We rented a vintage 1990 Toyota Starlet cheaply for a couple of days to get supplies of food and drinks and also see a bit of the countryside.

Driving in Surinam is not very difficult and generally felt safe. Left hand side driving was no problem, but the danger came from the roads being severely damaged in places by very heavy truck traffic.  Potholes here could be 1 meter deep, meaning we didn’t drive after dark. Last couple of days we spent driving south, ca 250 km (on the only Road going south) to where the road ended. With only light packing we managed to get two beds at the Menimi resort. To get there we used the “milk boat”, visiting every small village. All along the route, taking 1,5 hour we saw ameri-indian settlements, kids swimming in the river, women washing clothes etc.

The river trip became a bit adventurous as we passed 4 or five rapids, with the boulders passed in 15 knots with no more than a meter distance. At the very basic resort we enjoyed the closeness to rain-forest, saw a number of exotic birds and ate different varieties of kip (chicken dishes). As we were in a bit of rush we had to skip the Indian village trip in the morning, otherwise we would have had to extend our stay one more night and our car rental ended the day after.  All in all the rain-forest trip was a very great experience, we saw Tucan birds, King fishers, a number of Eagles and Vultures. With some better planning we would have enjoyed a guided rain-forest tour.

We are now getting ready for the 500 nm, 3.5 – 4 day sail to Tobago. We save Trinidad for later, probably end of June when we are going to lift TinaP for cleaning and regular hull maintenance. We are looking forward to some clear waters and hopefully some less rain and more blue skies. Last 10 weeks we have not had a single day without rain-showers and almost no swim in the sea/rivers. BUT – we don’t regret these weeks, it has been a very interesting time close to the equator.

From → Sailing Notes

  1. Jaan anderson permalink

    Hejsan. Det se ut som om ni har det bra. Alt väl här. Har ni en mailadress som ni kan nås på? Mvh Jaan


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