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Sailing Letter February 2016

March 8, 2016

Time flies. We are now in the Caribbean Islands, enjoying ourselves. The visit to Suriname lasted about 2week. Very wet weeks!! The boat started to squeak and be swollen. Doors not possible to close, everything damp. We had rain every day, small or large squalls. But…not all was depressing. The first morning in the marina of Domburg we woke up hearing a terrible howl. Howler monkeys across the river. We saw them in Costa Rica many years ago. They are black and rather small, but with a terrific voice. A specific type of swallow was circulating round the boat ( Blue-White swallow), and we heard bats at night.

The marina in Domburg is run by a Dutch guy, so we moved from French yachts in Jacaree to Dutch in Suriname. Very nice people everywhere! The marina is well managed, with moorings, pool and a restaurant where you can get a nice Parbo beer (100 cl) for a decent price. The marina comes with its own taxi driver – Harry. He takes you through Immigrations and Customs with “pre booked” time slots and best service. (Thanks Harry).

In Suriname we intended to do some jungle trips, but first week was spent trying to exchange our batteries. After being through 8 different shops (Harry again) we fixed it. We had to raise my bed to make room for the new batteries, but now they are in place. Apparently nothing last longer than 3 years with the humidity and heat on these latitudes.

The surroundings to the marina was very interesting with a lot of birds, local houses, canals from the plantation times, small eateries etc. We felt positively embraced by the fellow yachties, including a very nice couple from US who had being circumnavigating for the last 17 years. Always something to learn.

The last week we managed to do a “not planned” trip into the Suriname River. We rented a car and drove for 3 hours to the river “bus stop”, where all the taxi boats were aligned to take the next path. Here we also saw all school-taxi-boats, picking up the youngsters from school and bringing them to the villages upstream. Since we took an ordinary taxi we passed some native villages, where the women were doing the laundry and washing up, the children swimming after school and the normal life just went on before our eyes. Gave us an insight in what it might have looked like many centuries ago. We stopped at a small hostel for the night and enjoyed the surroundings including the King fisher diving from one of the trees at the riverside. It was the most “far away” experience we have had so far.

Mid February we felt like having too much humidity. Rust instead of sun tan so we set sail for Tobago. Knowing that waters outside Venezuela is not safe, we aimed for Tobago and reached Charlotteville after 3 days of pretty OK sailing with AIS and the lanterns dimmed.

Charlotteville is a small village but still a place where you can clear in to Tobago & Trinidad. Unfortunately the problems with ATM-s not accepting our foreign cards and getting correct currency still haunted us. Since we landed before 08.00 in the morning we had to pay overtime fee. NO ATM and no cash made us uncomfortable. Fortunately we got a ride with the Customs guys to Scarborough, where our money problems were solved.

Back in our bay, we settled in with our neighbors, having a beach party, doing some snorkeling, buying fresh tuna, mountain walking and learning how to NOT submerge the dinghy when landing. PHU.

End of February we set sail for the Caribbean Islands. Anchoring in Prickly Bay Grenada after a nights sailing. Good space but still murky water. Checking in via an internet service. Still the chase for money in an appropriate ATM remained. After a half day we were settled in and the yellow flag was taken down.

The stay in Prickly Bay was used for visiting  the chandler, dinner with Dutch friends and a visit to Swedish friends we have read about but not met before (SY Charlotta). To meet people that have been sailing for a long time and who have a world of experience, is always very precious. Thanks to Lasse and Inger.

Last day of February we moved to St George harbor and anchored in clear water (for the first time in months). After stocking up on food (not so much, it is very expensive), nutmeg, water and diesel we set of to the Grenadines. New country. New surroundings. New month.

New species:  

  • Humming bird
  • Southern Lapwing
  • Mot-Mot (the bird that have been the prototype for the Windex?) It has 2 long “feathers” with two flat squares as a tail.
  • Pelican
  • Big variety of fishes. Peter saw 2 Rays jumping out of the water. Getting rid of fleas?


Until next time,

BR, Eva & Peter

From → Sailing Letters

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