More sailing?

Would you rather be at work?

What is the perfect remedy for board meeting induced blues?
A short sail to a deserted island where you get to do nothing much all day  every day, of course….

Eileen of Avoca has passengers!

What’s new?

Well, this time I decided to do it in company. I’m beginning to think that too many solo passages can’t be very healthy, besides, the view is considerably more interesting this way…
Those of you with a keen eye will note that I’ve been here before (ahem… the first photo… not the second..).
Where is here?
The Salvation islands, or Îles du Salut (for the French speakers), off Kourou!
In my boat it’s a 35 hour motor sail from Saint Laurent and while there is a bit of a current to contend with, by sticking to the 8m contour it can be reduced to less than half a knot. At the 20 to 30m mark it’s a whopping 2kts!! Great for the return journey, which I managed in just 24hrs.

I hate to disappoint those of you wondering if I’d finally landed myself the catch of the day (you really should be moving on to the next photo), but the truth is… no…. I didn’t…

My man “Friday” gets the girl….

While trying to play a rustic Robinson Crusoe, I confess to having fallen out of  character… The latent Captain Bligh personality keeps resurfacing, no matter how hard I try to suppress it… Drat!
As you can see, Friday paddled off with the girl…

Club Med gold medalist “yours truly” couldn’t catch up…

and no matter how hard I swam, I just couldn’t catch them… 😉

A silhouette was the best I could catch… on camera…

I was left to content myself with watching silhouettes of the natives from afar…

Do you really want to see yet another sunset photo?

Or taking yet more photos of sunsets at sea…

Mind you, there are worse ways to wile away a week or so…

How to get to Saint Laurent du Maroni

Heading North from Fortaleza, Brazil

Already on your way to Saint Laurent du Maroni?

From Brazil it’s a leisurely sail with favorable winds. It took me 10 days to reach the Salvation Islands (Iles du Salut) following the rhumb line and while it would have been nice to visit São Luís (Saint Louis) and Belem on route, my tourist visa had already expired. They will have to wait for Eileen of Avoca’s…. Brazil take two adventure…

Reaching Saint Laurent du Maroni from Trinidad and Tobago

Heading South from Trinidad and Tobago isn’t as hard as it’s been made out to be. Yes, you may have days where the wind is on the nose and yes, there are places where you will battle a ferocious half knot of current, but if my boat can get there, so can yours…

The best departure point is Store Bay in Tobago. Head past Toco Trinidad, and take a direct bearing from there. The only obstacles you will encounter are Trinidad’s oil platforms to the southeast of the island.

Friends who have experimented with a more coastal route, following the 20m depth contour along Guyana and Suriname, have found that the winds and current are more favorable. Go for it by all means if you have crew. It takes about the same amount of time but you will avoid some motoring.

Here is the official list of buoys marking the entrance and route to Saint Laurent on the Maroni River.

Position of buoys on the Maroni River

NOTE: M14 may have been moved… I’ll check the position shortly.

Last but not least, tide data can be found here and here.

I expect to have a number of supervised moorings available for sailors wishing to leave their boat during the hurricane season. For inquiries contact

For flights in and out of French Guiana, you have the choice of Paramaribo and Cayenne as departure points. They are about the same distance in terms of travel time from Saint Laurent.



Iles du Salut (Salvation Islands)

Salvation Islands, French Guiana

The anchorage at Ile Royale isn’t as protected as one might expect. After two days of bouncing about and two episodes of “oops! Sorry, my anchor dragged”, one in which I lost my new fishing net (to everyone’s distress it ended up wrapped around my neighbours propeller as he was trying to avoid a lee shore), I decided to shorten my island getaway holiday and make for Kourou.

It's all in ruins...

You see, one can only walk around the Iles du Salut so many times gathering coconuts or mangoes for supper before some of the novelty wears off… and wandering about prison ruins doesn’t quite do it for me.

I’m told my lack of interest and enthusiasm is probably due to a slight case of Post Brazilian Bikini Syndrome (or PBBS), a common ailment among single males leaving Brazil.

For most, solace can be found through quiet meditation and inner contemplation. I’ve decided to try another route.

Ti'nga and the coconut tree

My South African friends on Ocean Spice and Quest are set on reaching Tobago before I cause them any more grief through innocuous but strategic placement of additional fishing nets, but fortunately, the solitary crew of Ti’nga (who I’d first met in Fortaleza and again at sea while sailing to Cayenne), has decided I’m not such dangerous company and is game to tag along.

Equipped with a wing-man, I’m now ready to take on the mainland. What delights await?