Belem & Boa Vista

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Wed 10 Mar 2010 16:18

As you can see from David’s account of our trip to Belem, things are going wrong with our boat and not only our boat but everybody’s boats.  Most of the time we spent in Belem was for people fixing things which is rather depressing and expensive on time and money.


We moored outside the Berio Rio hotel and had use of the facilities which meant the rally had the use of a shower and the swimming pool, as the water in the Amazon was too polluted to use even for washing the boat.  We don’t have any access to any drinking water to fill our tanks so we have to catch our own drinking water for the boat with a rain catcher which we have made.  We have to shower and wash the dishes in Amazon rain water, so this is all done on the back deck of Suzie Too by me.  But all the boats have a problem with this,  as this year there has been very little rain and we are still having summer temperatures, in the mid day sun its over 40 degrees, so we are all wilting.


Both David and I have found the last month very hard, I feel that we should not be moaning, but we and the other boats have been very depressed, the anchorages have been very rolly, the passages long and tiring, sleeping is hard in the heat, I have had food poisoning for a few days, the boat if falling apart, Suzie Too has been crashed into and the hull has some lovely marks all the way down the Starboard side.  We have missed our family lots we have no internet access even the phone does not work.  We have even spoken about giving up sailing all together as it’s so hard on us, the boat and our relationship.


On a better note, after leaving Belem we had a lovely motor sail up the Amazon, we took a little girl called Priscille with us from Havanita, she is 13 and one of 4 children aboard.  She has been an absolute delight.  We are improving our French and she is improving her English.  The spirit on the boat is improving as we are now travelling to lots of lovely anchorages, the people come and greet you and the villages are small but welcoming.  They are mostly fishermen, shop keepers, palm factory workers all living in wooden houses on the river.










English homework, every morning for 3 hours






Our Bombero’s, our body guards, these guys are with us for the Amazon trip from Belem to Afua  a total of 867 miles to protect us and help us if we get caught in a floating Island.  As the floating islands are huge and every morning at anchor you have vegetation clinging to your anchor sometimes you are lucky and have a bird nesting as well.  Luckily we have had no sea snakes yet, we have been told to lift our swimming platform and ladders at night as they like to climb out of the water and dry on the warm decks.




We went for a dingy ride past the local houses, shops and bars in Boa Vista.  All the people were catching shrimps and then washing clothes and themselves in the river.




This is part of the fleet in convoy as we set off again for towards Breves 22 miles of motoring against 2 knots of current to arrive in daylight.


Things are getting better on Suzie Too now, everyone in the rally waited in Belem one extra day and asked for the rally to be delayed in Belem so our Alternator could get fixed so that was very emotional, they clapped us when we arrived back at the anchorage.  Everyone said they could not leave us behind which was lovely.


We have been told the best part of the rally is too come so I will keep you informed when I have a connection


Love to you all Suzanne, David xxx