Sailing off the chart, down the Maroni’s jungle creeks

The Maroni River has loads of little creeks, where hardly anyone ever goes, so after visiting St Jean, we went out to explore a bit more. As always, we had to time our departure from St Laurent with the current, which meant that we sailed fast along once we got going. At the entrance to the Coswine Creek, we left the charted area, but we had downloaded the map for the area in google maps, we had the Imray cruising guide, and screenshots from the Noforeignland site. So with a bit of care, navigating the creeks was not a problem at all – and as it turned out, the depths were very consistent, completely different from the Gambia river, where we really had to be careful. We soon passed a small Amerindian village, and after that, we were completely alone in the forest. The river bank was completely covered in dense vegetation, and it wasn’t at all possible to land anywhere, or to see much at all beyond the “wall”. But the place was very serene and beautiful.

After sailing for a couple of hours, without seeing a single boat, we settled for the night in a place where the river widened, and the depth thus decreased, making it easier for us to anchor there. After dinner, I suddenly remembered that we were in the middle of the rainforest, and that we should probably put the mosquito nets up. And it was very lucky that I did, because suddenly the place was swarmed by mosquitos, and even Esben retreated from the single layer of mosquito net in the cockpit.

The next morning, we made our way down one of the smaller side creeks. Here, it became very narrow, which, I guess, is part of the adventure. We had planned to spend a few days exploring the creeks, but after the night in sweltering heat, behind several layers of mosquito nets, we figured we liked it better in St Laurent, so this day we sailed a lot further than we had planned. After a few hours winding our way through the jungle, we suddenly saw a ship ahead! It turned out to be Cerise II, who we had also met in Kourou. We floated by slowly, chatting to them briefly. They had been anchored in the creeks for quite a while and enjoyed it there.

We anchored close to the Maroni River, in a place where Runa and Mattis suddenly saw a howler monkey, with a team of smaller monkeys behind him, jumping along the vegetation at the river bank. This was the only time we saw a howler monkey in the wild on the whole trip, so it was pretty cool.

We left early the next morning, to avoid sailing in the worst heat, and the place was even more beautiful in the early morning light. Runa and Mattis decided to spend some time being towed behind us in the dinghy and later Mattis took another bath in our “pool”. And then we were back in St Laurent.

It was a short trip, but we were happy that we went and had some quiet time in the forrest. It’s just sad that there a so few animals left in this area of French Guiana.

Creeks11

To see our most current position, click here and scroll down.

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