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. Continue reading

Up the Maroni River; days in St Laurent

The Maroni River makes up the border between French Guiana and Suriname, and some miles up the river you find the town of St. Laurent, the capital of the former penal colony in French Guiana. We had a beautiful sail from the Salvation Islands – until I realized that we were going much faster than expected, meaning that we would arrive at the entrance to the river at low tide. The charts say that the depth is 0.3 meters in parts of the channel leading into the Maroni River, meaning that we wanted to arrive close to high tide. So when Esben came up to take over for his night shift, we took the main down, and he continued on with only the genoa out. The decrease in speed was also good for the dinghy, which we were towing behind the boat. The high speed had thrown it around more than we liked. Continue reading