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Tropical heat

The more southward we sailed, the more temperatures rose and with the Tropic of Cancer behind us we did not need many clothes anymore. Sailing jackets and trousers almost only came out of the cupboard for airing, or when it was humid at night.

On the Cape Verdians (15N) temperatures were still comfortable but halfway the passage to Suriname, at about 10N the heat became overwhelming. Once in Suriname the heat is difficult to cope with. In daytime temperatures are about 33C and in the long dry season (August until November) they rise to 37-40C. At night the temperatures almost don't drop. Good isolation of hull and deck now works against you and inside the boat it is sometimes too hot to be able to get some sleep. 

Of course we already had our bimini, but this one only protects the cockpit, which is not enough in the tropics. So we covered the boat with "shadow cloth". This blocks 80% of the sun but wind and rain still come through. The result is that the decks underneath are not becoming so hot anymore. But a piece of tarpaulin is also good or probably even better, as the  100% windproof cloth creates a wind funnelling effect.
Ventilation is also very important, to prevent from mildew as well. We can place a windscoop in the forehatch opening, but this does not work very good on a fast streaming tidal river. Talking about the forehatch, we re-mounted it the other way round, opening to the front to catch more wind.
In a computer shop we bought two small computer ventilators. We mounted one next to our bed, and one in the navigation area. They use only 0,015 A and they work fine.

Updated 10/2006
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