Running Dark 06.30.000N 53.40.000W

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Sun 2 May 2010 10:51
We are all still sailing in company and have our own sailing community even though the Rallye is over. Most of the 22 boats went into Kourou, just a few went on to Paramaribo or the Caribbean directly. From Kourou Havanita left on Tuesday, Harmonie on Wednesday, Pilhoue V, Dame Oui, Tengivag and Ti Ouane (after a 2 day visit to Paris) on Friday and the rest of us Suzie Too, Minnie B, X-Trem, Cigale, Jomay, Agapanthe 2, Malika and Mahesadry on Saturday.
We still have problems to solve and now we have no Bombeiros, Agapanthe dragged their anchor and couldn't use their engine as the chain was around the propeller and they drifted down the river. They managed to lasso one of the channel buoys and then Jose of Jomay dived to clear the chain. Then this morning X-Trem picked up something on one of their props and again Jose dived to clear the problem as Cigale stood by to oversee the rescue. Jose has been such a hero on the Rallye - well him and Hubert are top divers - so I will do my PADI in the Caribbean.
Tonight we are off the border between Surinam and French Guiana about 50 miles offshore and are running dark, no radar, no radar reflector, no AIS, no VHF traffic and no navigation lights. So we are keeping extra vigilance on the watches as we are convinced many fishing boats only turn their nav lights on when they see an approaching vessel, but Havanita had a scare - see below and use if your French is not good.
Avons rencontré un bateau qui nous a semblé hostile, changeant son cap plusieurs fois pour nous rejoindre au milieu de la nuit. Nous lui avons échappé en éteignant feux, radar, activeecho. La mer forte nous a aidés.
Quelques frayeurs de ce coté là pendant 1 H 30 environ. Nous avons également. Il n'avait pas de radar ( pas d'eccho à l'active eccho), et ne répondait pas à la VHF. Il ressemblait à un chalutier. Nous avons forcé la vitesse à 10 noeuds en mettant le moteur en plus, et en changeant plusieurs fois de cap. Nous étions à 30 milles au large Paramaribow / Surinam
We know mainland Venezuela is dangerous and just recently a German yacht was attacked in broad daylight between Trinidad and Tobago - see - so we will try and play safe.