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Last update Januari 01 2012.

We are busy with the crossing from the Cape Verdes to Suriname. The beginning is peppered with bad luck, day 1, the line for the spinnacker breaks and the spinnacker ended up in the water under the boat. We managed to pull it in after John's dive in the Atlantic Ocean. After a short inspection everything seams to be ok. So we set the gennaker, a huge blue/pink lap thin sail. Day 2, we hear a strange noise. We look only to see the sail a total loss. Now we have only the Genoa, which is made of thick material and really only suitable for a good breeze. The waves are there but the wind is still minimal in general, except for the gusts that wrecked our genaker. But after a couple of hours the wind increases and we move with good speed.
The first week on the Atlantic is a difficult week, waves against swell and each other, making life on board unpleasant. In week two, we are bored to death. Occasionally we find a flying fish on the deck and looking out for other boats are the main activities. We're counting off the days to arrival... long crossings are not our thing.

On december 10th, we sail up the Surinam River. The whole day I am restless, checking our position on the map every hour and hope that we make it before dark. In the afternoon we get a visit of a large group of birds, they like our boat. Such a break is always welcome, it breaks the day. In twilight, in the distance, we see the first lighted buoy, we are almost there.
Then we sail in the dark on the Suriname River, we got the current against so we make the decision to stop near a little town called Visserspalen at the mouth of the river to anchor. Our first night in Suriname is a fact.

The morning starts even nicer than our evening had ended. Overwhelming views over the River and we hear jungle sounds in the distance. When the tide reverses direction we can sail to the capital of Suriname called Paramaribo. It's time for a party and have a beer.


Paramaribo, Surinam

The days that follow, we set on a voyage to discover Paramaribo. The city is located on the West bank of the Surinam River, approximately 23 kilometres from the sea. The name is probably a corruption of Parmirbo, the name of the Indian village. Established in 1631 by the Dutch. Between 1631 and 1667 it wasl regularly in the hands of the French and the English. But in 1667 Paramaribo is conquered by a Dutch (Zeeland) expedition and renamed to New Middelburg. They also founded fort Zeelandia the Centre of the colony.
The Centre of town is almost entirely of wood, the houses and the St. Peter and Paul Church, which is also the largest wooden church of South America. This particular Centre is on the Unesco World Heritage site since 2002 and reminds me of the cities in the southern States of the USA. What language is concerned, almost everybody speaks Dutch, for us Dutch travellers it is a luxury. We found good supermarkets pretty quickly and felt like kids in a candy store, there are so many Dutch products.


Palmentuin in Paramaribo, Surinam

Our second week in Suriname is a rainy one, with lots of rain. So much that we gain nearly two hundred litres of water in two hours, we filled our watertanks and with the remainder the laundry could be done. Drying laundry is a problem, we try to dry it between the showers but it stays damp.

Christmas is approaching and everything is in a Christmas mood. JoHo also has a small Christmas tree. Christmas day we go with an another boat, SY Tahira to MV van Straelen for a Christmas BBQ. Second Christmas day there is a mini BBQ on the JoHo with the SY Bo and SY LoLa. Nice and cosy.
In the meantime I have a new hobby, making short movies. We are going to customize the website but at this moment there is only a link to my first short movie: JoHo at Sea

And before we realize it we are in the last week of 2011. We are now with many boats in Paramaribo: MV van Straelen, SY Bo, SY LoLa, SY Friends, SY Schorpioen, SY Tahira and SY JoHo, last day two more came in, SY Kostat and SY Dikke Druif. All Dutch boats.
In daytime on 31 december there is the annual feast with millions of firecrackers at the Domineestraat in Paramaribo. A hour long al kind of firerackers are lit. On every corner you can find food and drinks, it is one big party. We enjoyed the day, partying before we go with all boats to MV van Straelen where we have a great view at the fireworks on the panoramadeck.


HAPPY NEW YEAR
JOHN AND JOLANDA

If you're interested in sailing the BAHAMAS, BERMUDA, MALDIVES or BONAIRE have a look at our books at SAILADVENTURES where the books are available online.
You can always mail us for more info on these cruising grounds or cruising in general, we'll gladly help you out.

Jolanda

Current position

JoHo is on anchor at Paramaribo, Surinam at 05°49,4' N - 55 °08,7' W.
You can reach us by e-mail and Sat phone number 00870776456078, or send a free sms/tekstmessage via Inmarsat.
At this moment we also have a local phone number +5977151109 (Surinam).

Plans

To go off again and sail to less explored areas and generally nice cruising grounds, maybe begin the start of a circumnavigation (although to circumnavigate is not the goal).
JoHo will be our main address, floating office and home for this year.
S
till we'll have to work some in between where and when possible, we may compile a few cruising guides on our way.

John and Jolanda