Heading Out - Afua

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Mon 19 Apr 2010 13:17
Going downstream was much easier and less stressful than motoring up and with up to 4kts of current we covered the ground quickly.There were still problems, Petunia III hit something and broke their rope cutter and had to remove it, MaheSadry, had a fishing line around their saildrive, which damaged the seal, lost the oil and let in water and damaged the gearbox, but as they are a catamaran - they had another engine.
Suzie Too picked up her anchor at Prainha - Suzanne said drive forward to break it out, but as I did something caught in the prop, when she pulled it up further we had the top of a tree around the chain and the roots were in the rudder and prop - so we had to wait for the Bombeiros to come and dive down in zero visibility, no mask or snorkel, with a machete to chop the tree and set us free. But this had all become routine, in the last anchorage at Afua, morning, noon and night the Bombeiros were out removing floating islands and trees so it's normal Amazon navigation for us.
Afua was another great place, each town has been so different, but the common theme is how happy and friendly everyone is - on the last Saturday we all gathered in the village hall and all the local dance troupes came out, some of them over 100 years old. Then each boat made a dish and we all ate, drank and danced with the locals - and actually it wasn't too blubby - lots of final pictures and swapping of emails and addresses.
Then at 0600 on Monday we weighed anchor an set off behind Sao Jao for the final time as far as the Equator, where she stopped and we all steamed past, as they stood on the roof and waved goodbye.
Now we head out to anchor off an island having completed the RIDS and already the boats have organised a dinghy drinks party - then we will all meet again in Kourou, Paramaribo and on the the Caribbean for more drinks.