Kourou, French Guyana
We leave Cayenne on 20th June about 1000 on the turn of the tide. There is very little wind and what there is is on the nose so we motor. Once we're out of the channel and have turned north-west the breeze is in our favor and so we reach. It's still very light so we are motor-sailing.
Kourou is a major space center because it is near the equator. The James Webb telescope was launcged from here, and it is used by many European countries, Russia and China. I want to see the launch of an Ariane V rocket carrying Galileo satellites into geostationary orbit. Apparently there are several a good places here from which to watch the launch, although it can be seen and heard as far away as Cayenne.
At 1700 we arrive at the head of the channel into Kourou and start towards the port. It is very shallow, less than 3m, and it's obvious that we are at the bottom of the tide. The chart shows minimum depths of 1.1m. Two catamarans overtake us. They will be ok but there is no way we will make it with our 2m draft so we anchor and wait for the tide to turn. The sea is calm, the breeze is just enough to cool us and we wait for the tide to rise 1m.
At 2000 the tide is now 3.1m -- that's 0.9m higher than when we arrived and should be enough so we're off.
At 2100 we anchored in the Kourou River just off the marina in 6m.
Next day we look around and decide to anchor on the other side of the river so we cross over and re-anchor further upstream. I tell Merel we are in the channel, but she ignores me. In the row boat on the way to shore Red Boat tells us we are in the channel and should move before the locals complain. Merel listens. So we move the boat and anchor behind Yellow Boat. On testing the anchor we drag. We get told by White Boat that we need 50m chain, and I think we are too close to him anyway. Merel doesn't want to anchor in the only safe place, which is a long way from the jetty, upstream from all the other boats. So we re-anchor once again behind Yellow Boat, this time further towards the bank. I am uncomfortable. We are too close to the bank and don't have enough chain out. So I decide to stay on the boat to see how it behaves thru a tide cycle. Maybe I will have more confidence then.