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French Guiana Cruising Report

By Sue Richards last modified Sep 01, 2012 04:24 PM

Published: 2012-09-01 16:24:39
Countries: French Guiana

We arrived in Degrade des Cannes after our Atlantic crossing and spent June and July 2012 in French Guiana.

Degrade des Cannes

You can anchor close to the marina Degrade de Canne. There you can get fresh water and sometimes there is free space for visitors. You will also find Customs, Harbourmaster but no Immigration. As EU citizens we did´t bother with Immigration, but went to Customs and the Harbourmaster.

Arrival Clearance

When you go to the Harbourmaster you pay an anchoring fee, however when you don´t visit them nobody seems to care.

Customs (Duane) were friendly and we were informed that we were allowed to stay two months, after that Customs wanted 18% Tax of the boat value. There was no fee to pay there.

The immigration is situated at the airport, we didn´t need to visit them.

A lot of people just visited for a week and left without getting into the clearing process at all.

What's Ashore

Degrade des Cannes is far away from everything and there is not even a bar or a supermarket close to the marina. The next town is 5km away. Hitchhiking works sometimes. There are no buses and nearly no taxis.

Up River

It´s nicer to head up the river for maybe two miles and you will find in the middle of the jungle a small wooden house with a pontoon. It´s a nice bar where you can get drinks and food and anchor in the middle of the forest.

Off-lying Islands

Just outside the river are the two islands Isle de Mere and Isle de Pere which are a nice spot to anchor and explore the jungle. On Isle de Mere there are a lot of monkeys which are happy to have visitors (especially when they don't keep an eye on their picnic box!).

We anchored south of Isle de Mere. It was shallow there but we anchored in soft mud with a depth of just 1.5m under the keel some 50m away from the concret jetty. At low tide we were sitting in the soft mud.

The anchorage in Kourou is closer to the town and you have supermarkets and bars close by. You also get water from the marina pontoons, which always seems to be full. Internet is available in a bar opposite the post office.

The Isle the Salut are wonderful islands full of palm trees and you can still see a lot of the old prisons, collect coconuts or pick the green ones for drinking or just enjoy the slightly cleaner water compared to the rest of the river.

Additional Notes

Always secure your outboard engine in French Guiana. The prices are mostly higher than in Europe, a lot of the products are imported. You can only get French wine here, at very reasonable prices.

David and Bella Sturm
SV Admetus