After 10 years in Suriname Witte Raaf still never navigated into the
And next year she'll return to the Caribbean… So this was our last
chance to experience Suriname with our sailing boat. We went with two
boats. For reasons of safety and it is also fun with Carolin and Oomke
from the Anna-Sophia. A wooden motor boat, built in Guyanese style.
At the Commewijne entrance we have to be careful as there is a bar.
Perfectly marked with a cardinal buoy and we are fine if we follow the
green IALA buoys C2-C4 to the red C1. Although the tide is not at it's
lowest, we are glad to see the guys from the MAS and from the “Pasisi”
they show us the safe route, as the water is shallower than the chart
We alternately motor or sail or a combination of the two. The first day
we anchor in the Alliance creek.
Traffic in and out is busy and the fishermen take lots of pictures of
Witte Raaf. Tourism the other way round, or do they want to catch
P in bikini in their cell phones?
asked optimistic: “Are you alone?” and slinked off disappointed when JW
appeared in the cockpit entrance.
We do not use our primary anchor, the Delta with chain on the anchor
lass, because we don't want to risk it being stuck forever behind a sunk
tree trunk. Instead we use the Fortress with 8 m chain and 25 m of rope,
handled manually. The holding is excellent in the Surinamese clay and
our many tide stops keep P fit.
It is truly a pity for Suriname that the bauxite industry has come to an
end, but for us it is great to have the Cottica to ourselves.
The Cottica is 15 m deep in the fairway and winds with a speed of 2
knots as a snake into the jungle. Whenever the tides starts running
against us we search for an anchor spot in an inside bend and enjoy the
with the birds and monkeys and the screaming macaws flying over, waking
JW from his afternoon nap.
On the incoming tide
we greet the enthousiastic locals of Wanhatti and sail a couple of miles
further to Paradise, but people there don't seem very inviting. And the
barricade against evil spirits is wider than the beach, so we decide to not
try our luck.
We anchor at Wanhatti
and report to the captain of the village. His home is easy to find:
horrendous Roman pillars with fluorescent green accents rise in front of a
fuchsia purple façade; flawlessly combined with a matching bougainvillea on
the terrace and in the interior we noticed drapes in the same hideous colour
combination. And all floors covered with huge high gloss tiles.
Nevertheless, on our way back
to our surprise we met a freighter, announced by a tug ordering us to keep
to starboard. Half an hour later it appeared while hooting the horn loudly.
Bouterse declared part of Moengo to military ground and the ship may have
been hired to remove the remains of Alcoa. We only hope the proceeds will be
used to a good cause for Suriname, and not for some individual persons.