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 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
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.
Leixoes turned out to be my last port of call in Portugal. I had originally intended to stop in Viana do Castelo but changed my mind on route as the weather was so enjoyable.
Not so pleasant was the amount of pollution in the water. Large patches of sea along the coast here, can only be described as truly repulsive. I was beginning to wonder whether my cooling system might clog motoring through this soup of effluent discharge!
What is this odd vessel?
I passed the time trimming sails that didn’t need trimming, rigging a boom keeper just for the practice and watching odd ships pass by. The one pictured here wins the prize for “oddest vessel of the day”. Goodness knows what sort of ship it is. If anyone knows, feel free to enlighten me. Fortunately there was little in the way of swell, because it certainly didn’t look very seaworthy.
Arriving in Bayona at dusk, I thought to anchor for the night. Unfortunately the anchorages marked on my charts turned out to be occupied by private moorings. I only discovered the next day that picking up a buoy for the night would have been fine. As it was, I took the advice (shouted by an English crew) that “this marina is cheap”, and took an outer berth at the Monterreal Club de Yates (at the foot of Bayona’s castle) for the night.
View from marina, Bayona Spain
The following morning, as I sat at the marina cafe admiring the view from the fortifications which included the replica of Columbus’ ship the Pinta berthed nearby, I satisfied myself that English dry humour and the 16 Euro a night fee were not so acerbic. 😉