October 7th, 2002 — Paramaribo, Suriname
It took us a little over a week to sail from St. Maarten, passed Barbados, East of Trinidad, Venezuela and Guyana, until we reached the great Paramaribo River; the front door of the country of Suriname. It was amazing to me the morning we arrived how the crystal clear green water so quickly turned deep brown as we approached the outflow of the muddy river into the warm South American Atlantic. We sailed up river until we found a mooring just outside the tropical jungle city of Paramaribo. We were here to load a very special and selectively cut wood from a mill that custom cut planks for wooden boat builders in New England.
After a long day of loading tons of wood, my good friend and crew mate Jayme and I found ourselves on a rickety old cargo truck that was filled with women and children who would sell their produce in the city. It was the end of the day so they were all getting rides back up to the mountains where their villages sat. Jayme and I had no idea where we were headed, but 4 hours later we were dropped off at the end of the mud road line. We were told that there would be no other way back out of the jungle until the morning. We hiked up a mountain, then at nightfall found an old bus that we found shelter in for the night before we found a way to get back to Paramaribo where Captain Paul would no doubt be wondering where we disappeared to. The sounds of jungle animals and critters make it difficult to have a peaceful sleep. The screeches of monkeys and the buzz of bats were soon drowned out by the sound of a small generator coming from a shack in the distance with a single light bulb and a group of musicians jamming reggae tunes in the distance. It brought peace to me, knowing that wherever I am, there’s a probable chance that there are good people close by.