We are a good week at sea when we cross the equator and sail into the doldrums. The wind drops, and the sails bang in the wind as Hope bobs around helplessly on the swell. The thermometer explodes and without any wind it is unbearable under the burning sun. Thinking clearly has become quit impossible and I down one bottle of water after another as the sweat runs down my face. Before I know it I am naked on the front deck and splash a bucket of water over my overheated body. Aaah…. delightful!
Becalmed, confused swell and tropical showers; that are the doldrums in short. This time the showers are not so bad and the nights are amazing. We run the engine through the night. The sea stretches out before us like a huge pond while the moon and clouds reflect in the sea surface. After a night on the engine I disengage the motor. I find it a waste to burn 40 euro’s a day when we will get there with the wind and current. We are not in a hurry after all. I bake a bread, we catch a Tuna and I also gather the flying fish from the deck with which Katia prepares us a fine lunch.
I once saw on Discovery Channel that you can attract a shark by dropping blood in the water. I am somewhat bored and decide to use the organs of the fresh Tuna. Every five minutes or so I drop some blood and organs in the water. One hour later a shark strikes. A big bang as the fishing road snaps froms it’s holder. Shit – a real shark! I hurry to the transom and Katia and me see the creature jump out of the water head to tail. The grey, Mako type shark spins three times around and splashes back into the sea breaking the line. WOW! We are deeply impressed by this violence and postpone our plans to go for a swim.
We are becalmed for three days and only on the morning of the twelfth day we approach Suriname. I hail the Maritime Authority Suriname and smile because of the Dutch on the radio – that’s a long time ago. We motor up the Suriname river past tropical vegetation towards Paramaribo. It is stunningly beautiful. We anchor off a town called Domburg. “Hi Joshua! Good that you arrived – we were expecting you!” A Dutch local welcomes us. He reads the Telegraaf and knew we would come. We are in Suriname! And what a friendly welcome in this happy country!