Alone Like a Rolling Stone

The voice of the jungle

The anchor drops to 7.5 meters and we turn off the engine. We are in the Crique Canard, at the mouth of the Crique 1900, in the middle of the rainforest of French Guyana.

In the middle of the jungle

The area is part of the Parc Amazonien de Guyana and practically forms the northern end of the Amazon rainforest. In the afternoon, the jungle is dead silent. There is no traffic noise, no wind noise, no water splashing, just purely nothing. Only the whistling of the tinnitus makes itself felt in the silence. It becomes a bit eerie for us and we are surprised of the situation we encounter here. Have we nevertheless loud animal roar expected. Also the mosquito plague holds itself in borders and is by far not so disturbing, as can be assumed. It becomes even more eerie when evening falls and the sun sets. In the meantime you can hear loud chirping and the cracking of branches in the undergrowth. We see almost nothing, but we sense that we are being watched. The rustling of the foliage stops immediately when a branch breaks, and it returns for quite a while, again this dead silence of this afternoon. The criques are densely forested up to the shore, or there are sections of shore that are overgrown with mangroves. The flora is rich in species, there are plants that we have never seen before in our lives. The undergrowth is so dense in some places that you can't see a meter into the forest. Our dinghy is tied up two meters behind our Katinka, and it is another two meters to the river bank. I ask Gaby how far a leopard can actually jump and despite the darkness I recognize deadly glances, that they don't hit me is only due to the fact that she doesn't want to be left alone in this wilderness. Another branch cracks and Gaby slides a little closer. We discuss tomorrow to get other thoughts.

Night falls and the silence, this insane, absolute silence, spreads over us. The next morning, the jungle awakens. Besides the chirping, a loud screaming can be heard again and again. In a treetop I discover two green parrots with a bright yellow beak, whose color continues in the head plumage and changes to reddish at the back. Somehow they don't seem to agree on which direction to go, and now they are discussing it loudly. A few herons crow past our boat and aim for the next free branch hanging over the water. At breakfast I casually mention that I want to go swimming. Horrified, Gaby looks at me and says in no uncertain terms, "there are piranhas in there!" Well, we don't really know, to be honest, apart from the parrots, the herons and now and then a jumping fish, we don't see any other animals, if you ignore the mosquitoes and horseflies. Surely we would have wished a few more animals, nevertheless, the driving of the tributaries has been another "highlight" on our trip. Again and again the pictures before eyes, of Papillon, from the film of the same name, which fled from its captivity over these Criques. So we continue up the Canard River, which flows into the Crique Coswine and reach the Maroni in the early afternoon. 

Maroni River

We anchor again off Les Hatters to prepare for the 600 nautical miles to the Caribbean. Looking back, we are glad to have visited French Guiana. It was a nice time with many new impressions. The word rain was, in a positive sense, redefined for us. With David, our base manager of Trans-Ocean, we got to know a person whose helpfulness can hardly be surpassed, and for whom the thought of the best possible profit optimization of his services, is not in the first place. Let's hope that he will get enough support in this crazy time to realize his projects and that he will stay with us in French Guyana for a long time. The country is definitely worth a visit.


We are now looking forward to the Caribbean and will report back from there. How we get to the Caribbean and whether we meet the right island, you can read in the next blog. Until then, as always, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.