Monsters on the Mana

The Mana River in French Guiana

The Mana River in French Guiana

It’s the rainy season, it’s hot, and I’m whiling away the hours of my free time fishing, swimming and playing tourist on the Mana River.

People often ask me if it is OK to swim in French Guiana. Nobody likes the look of the sediment filled water and it’s assumed the water quality is poor.

Well, it isn’t, and I have the study (Water Quality) to prove it… But….

…what of the creatures hidden in the murky depths?

I have it on good authority that despite what Hollywood would have us believe, the monster I caught on my fishing expedition the other day, isn’t the kind that eats swimmers…

I caught this one evening on the river Mana...

I caught this piranha one evening on the river Mana…

Yes, I share your doubts…

Bathing in the Mana has been taken off my list of things to do, more-so after locals explained to me that I should be more concerned about anacondas than piranhas!

The scale is in cm

The scale is in cm

Given what passes for a harmless common house fly in these parts, I’m in full agreement…In future,  I’ll stick to my occasional dips in the Maroni River where I’m more likely to come across a manatee than a monster.

The perfect weather window

Matt's idea of diving

Matt's idea of diving

Sunday the 13th of September.

Checking the weather (my new found obsession) on my laptop from the boat (one hour passwords for Internet Wi-Fi access were available at the marina cafe at no charge), I was pleased to see that several calm days were forecast for the Cyclades. Good weather appears to have been a rarity this summer, so we made haste to depart and make the most of it.

Our destination? Ios via Thira (approximately 100NM distant).

With a few hours to kill (so as to arrive at Thira / Santorini by daybreak), we motored to the small island off Iraklion called Nissos Dhia. It has a splendid little anchorage ideal for swimming, or if you are so inclined, doing back-flips off the boat (BTW that’s Matt in the photo). At dusk we continued north at 4.5kts on a gentle sea.