River Hazards - Posted Late

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Mon 26 Apr 2010 21:08
This is a trip you would never and could never do on your own - Yes, you can easily make Soure and Belem, but after that you are really going to be tempting fate.
The current is often up to 4kts, we feel ourselves lucky when it is around 2kts and we are 50m from the river bank in 20m of water - any closer and you will definitely hit a dead tree or a submerged log, so progress up river is so slow and very hard concentrating for up to 12 hours a day. As it is the trees being Brazilian hardwood don't show much above the water and it is a constant job to watch for them and steer around them calling them out to other boats in the convoy behind. Fortunately no serious damage, we have all heard clunks on the hull and Petunia III broke her rope cutter on something, Minnie B popped her rudder safety valve on the Ovni, but cross fingers, we are mostly OK
Then there are floating islands of reeds and hyacinths with their own mini bio culture of frogs, cicadas, fish and snakes, so you need to be careful when wielding the machete. When the Bombeiros cleared this one away we sounded like a cuckoo factory each dusk with all the cicadas that had hopped on board.
But you see monkeys and hear them - even a sloth swimming as well as snakes in the water and dozens of pink river dolphin
Then to fill the water catcher you have to tie the tarpaulin down to withstand the 40kt squalls and be aware that the cargo tugs have turned with the tug into the wind to try and hold station while it rains so hard you can't see.
But we wouldn't have missed any of it - we and Suzie Too have done so well - I am really proud of our achievement