Monday, October 13, 2014

Off the Path

Our month in Suriname has passed so quickly but we’re feeling the itch to move on. It’s time to prepare for our next leg of this journey.

From this point, we will be moving northward and progressively closer to the US.  Suriname and French Guiana mark the southern-most point for us on this multi-year adventure so we made it to 4º.  Suriname should by all accounts be a destination for travelers but is not yet on the map of most journeymen.  Atalanta is berthed at the Waterland Marina, owned and operated by Noel, who has been the most amazing host.  In fact we nominated him for a TripAdvisor award! Not only is he building a lovely garden-like small eco-resort, he has been more helpful and kind than one could imagine.

Our berth at Waterland for the past month
 Upon our arrival, he chauffeured us in his van to acquaint us with area.  He suggested places to visit and events to attend and if we were unsure how to get there, he personally escorted us.

Kay on her way to provision
In the Butterfly Garden
When we had our 4-day rainforest excursion, he took Murray home and returned him 5 pounds heavier claiming that Murray now loves Surinamese food.  We can’t thank Noel enough for his support and friendship. He has even started calling those of us docked here his “floating family.”
Wednesday evening we attended a concert by Sabrina Stark in Paramaribo. A Surinamese-Dutch singer/songwriter, she presented a tribute to American soul legend Bill Withers. We attended with Tony, Anne, John & Deb and all enjoyed a “cultural” night out.

Just a short drive from Paramaribo in Lelydorp is the Neotropical Butterfly Park founded in 1996 by Amira and Ewout Eriks. In addition to a guided tour enabling us to view the wondrous process of butterfly metamorphosis in their nursery, we visited an insect museum, a beautifully painted 360º panorama room, turtle and red-tailed boa breeding areas, the Butterfly Garden, and finally lunched at Kaperka Cafe. Twenty different species of Surinamese butterflies are grown from egg to caterpillar to pupae at which point they are packed and exported to Europe and North America. My favorite area was the Butterfly Garden where we walked along narrow paths among fragrant, flowering plants surrounded by dozens of fluttering butterflies.

We will spend next week preparing for the next part of the trip . . . either to Trinidad or Tobago. It was a long, challenging 6-day trip to get here against the Guyana Current, but we anticipate that favorable winds and that same current will send us back in the opposite direction in only 4 days. 

To prepare we will:
1.     Re-provision
2.     Prepare meals in advance since cooking at sea can involve   chasing flying items around the galley 
3.     Assure mechanical systems are working
4.     Check bilge for leaks, clean salt water strainers
5.     Top off fuel tanks, fill jerry cans
6.     Fill water tanks
7.     Change filters in water-maker
8.     Check safety equipment (jack lines, life jackets, flares, etc.)
9.     Plot course on chart plotter and iPad, Share sail plan with fellow sailors
10. Review weather charts and GRIB files
11. Check sails and lines
12. Check engine and generator
13. Secure boat for rough conditions

Stay tuned for more as we return to Trinidad and Tobago.  Thanks for following. 

Richard and Kay

Misc. Pics form our time in Suriname

Our Guide
Maroon village house on Maroni River

Tony and Ann off for a ride up the Suriname River

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