Up the rivers into the forest

We’ve had rainy weather for a week now, not as you’d expect during a tropical rainy season (torrential rain followed by sunshine), but a constant drizzle interrupted by downpours and some occasional sunny spells. The constant rain and humidity around 99 % are quite annoying, because we accumulate wet clothes that never have the chance to really dry out. Furthermore mould becomes a problem in cupboards and even on outer surfaces of our wooden furniture.

Despite the rain we anchored in Paramaribo last week, which is quite a hassle, because yachts are only allowed in a small section between the maritime authority and the presidential palace, where it gets rather crowded. On the one hand one is supposed to put out lots of chain because of the strong tides, on the other hand the yachts start drifting towards each other when the tide turns. Tidal currents of up to 4 knots make dinghy rides an additional adventure. Nevertheless we managed to do the laundry in a nearby hotel (first time since November…), bought some spare parts and provisioning and then set out to explore some rivers.

First we sailed a few miles up the Commewijne River, which is a confluent of the Suriname River and looks quite similar: a broad stream with murky water the colour of milk coffee. Then we turned off into the Cottica, which is still rather wide, but the water is already darker. There we spent the first night in a narrow river branch, next to the “last village” in the rainforest. We anchored right in the middle of the branch, let out only 20 m of chain (the depth was 10 m), as we had been told that the current wasn’t strong that far upriver. At 6 o’clock a splintering noise awoke us: the current had swept Pitufa into the dense branches reaching over the river. We freed her, ripping off some leaves and branches, but without any damage to the boat and set out for another creek further upstream: the Perica River, a black water creek. Navigation isn’t difficult here, as the Perica River is 10 – 18 m deep and between 20 and 50 m wide, but it’s important to look up when sailing, beca use some branches of the huge trees reach out far over the river. The scenery looks like on discovery channel: mangroves on the shores, a stunning diversity of trees and bushes with lianas dangling from the branches, huge butterflies and colourful birds fluttering everywhere. We anchored 3 miles up the river (this time with a stern line to a half-submerged tree to prevent another involuntary contact with the shore) and even though we’re just a few miles away from civilisation it’s a real jungle experience here. 100 m downstream lives a family of otters, happily splashing around, colibris are humming in the bush next to us and 5 minutes after I had a swim in the river this afternoon, a giant anteater decided to do the same–just 10 m away from the boat… We paddled our dinghy up the small Solitude Creek nearby to complete the jungle experience. The only downside are the swarms of mosquitos that bear down on us at dusk, but fortunately we can seal off Pitufa hermetically with mosquito nets.


  1. hermine hackl says:

    In letzter zeit habt ihr es wirklich nicht leicht gehabt -
    aber das positive überwiegt – ich bin fest überzeugt !
    Ganz liebe grüsse an euch drei.

  2. lissy says:

    liebe birgit, lieber christian,

    bin – wie bei allem seit die zwillinge da sind – mit großer verspätung auf eure seite gestoßen. is echt super mit bzw. nachzuverfolgen, was ihr zwei alles erlebt (und nebenbei auch eine nette englischaufffrischung)

    alles gute

    1. Birgit says:

      Hi Lissy,
      freut mich, dass die Twins dir doch ein bissl Freizeit lassen :-) Unsere Seite gibt’s auch auf Deutsch – einfach oben auf die oesterreichische Fahne klicken…

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