French Guiana from Cruising Information Community


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George.Curtis2 (Past OCC Member)
George.Curtis2
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Cayenne – 04°55.00'N, 52°18.00'W
Les Iles du Salut – 05°17.00'N, 52°35.00'W
Cayenne
1) INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY Jill Schinas - Maamari

2) DATE 1990

3) HARBOUR OR AREA COVERED Cayenne, French Guiana. Lat & Long 04º55?N 52º18?W

4) SUITABILITY AND ATTRACTION FOR YACHTS Cayenne itself is fairly unsuitable being very muddy at low tide. The French yachts just sink in to the full length of their keels. It can’t do the prop or rudder much good. The town is very French and very expensive, even more than the Caribbean. A real contrast after Brazil.

5) MARINAS, BERTHING OR ANCHORAGE Most yachts go to the commercial port, Dégrad des Cannes or to Kourou (near the Ariane launch site). Most people come to find work here, apparently there is lots.

6) ENTRY PORTS FORMAL REQUIREMENTS FOR YACHTS ENTERING/DEPARTING
a) from/to same country You could probably arrive here (1990) without even
b) from/to abroad attempting to clear.
c) visa requirements In spite of our efforts no one showed any interest in clearing us in.

8) LOCATION/EXISTENCE OF
a) harbour master We were told that EEC nationals did not need to
b) customs/immigration clear Customs. However, if you want to work
c) health authorities here you will need to sort out your paperwork.
d) police The relevant office is next to the PO.

12) SAILING DIRECTIONS OR CHARTS Our chart was inadequate. There is only 1m in the approach channel at low tide. In the anchorage, off the town, we just touched the bottom at low tide (we draw 1.8m). The bottom is very soft mud. (BA chart 534)


16) OTHER FACILITIES -
a) drinking water
b) fuel
c) gas (propane)/gaz French bottles in the town
d) chandlers No
e) bank Yes, and the PO has a 24hr cashpoint which takes Visa cards
f) shops/market
g) restaurants/hotels Unbelievably expensive
h) post office/telephones Posting items out of the country is reliable.
i) best mailing address
j) showers
k) laundry
l) transport/air services) Flights via France Medical facilities/hospital

17) RECOMMENDATIONS OR WARNINGS After visiting Cayenne go the Iles de Salut and anchor off Ile Royale or Ile St.Joseph. There is a hotel on Royale and you can get beer and vastly overpriced meals here. June, incidentally, is in the middle of the rainy season and, at this time of year, it is so cold that you may have to wear a T- shirt over your bikini! We rarely saw the sun and recommend that you come at some other time. When we visited Cayenne there were about 8 other yachts, all but one belonging to people (mostly French) who had come to work for a season (mostly house building). Wages are very good and workers, in short supply. Apparently at the same as we were in Cayenne there were 60 yachts in Kourou - almost all belonging to itinerant workers. Theft is said to be a problem in Kourou (dinghies, outboards and even anchors).

Les Iles du Salut
1) INFORMATION SUBMITTED BY Mark Scott & Liz Hammick - Lone Rival

2) DATE 1991

3) HARBOUR OR AREA COVERED Iles du Salut, French Guiana. 05°17’N 52°35’W

4) SUITABILITY AND ATTRACTION FOR YACHTS The reason for visiting Iles du Salut is to see the grounds and buildings of the notorious French penal institution known as Devil’s Island, and popularised by the book ‘Papillion’. Ile Royale is the main island, now with a modest hotel, and was the administrative centre for the prison.

5) MARINAS, BERTHING OR ANCHORAGE Open anchorage on south side of Ile Royale, in only moderate holding. The anchorage can be a bit rolly. Tie your dinghy up at the ferry landing..

6) ENTRY PORTS Not an official Port Of Entry

7) FORMAL REQUIREMENTS FOR YACHTS ENTERING/DEPARTING

a) from/to same country

b) from/to abroad

c) visa requirements French Guiana does not require visas for lengths of stay less than 3 months.

8) LOCATION/EXISTENCE OF

a) harbour master None

b) customs/immigration None

c) health authorities None

d) police Gendarmerie on Ile Royale

11) REPAIR/HAULING FACILITIES None

12) SAILING DIRECTIONS OR CHARTS BA 517 or 520 (v. small scale) & French charts - Nos not known and accompanying sketch chart.

13) PORT RADIO SERVICES None

14) WEATHER FORECASTS None

15) YACHT CLUB(S) None

16) OTHER FACILITIES -

a) drinking water Bottled water can be purchased at hotel

b) fuel No

c) gas/gaz/paraffin No

d) chandlers No

e) bank No

f) shops/market No g)

restaurants/hotels There is a hotel on the island which provides meals . h) post office/telephones Mail can be sent from the hotel gift shop i) best mailing address None j) showers None

k) laundry No

l) transport/air services) Daily ferry to Kourou on the mainland of French Guiana

m) hospital No

n) anything else 1

7) FIRST HAND RECOMMENDATIONS OR WARNINGS Read the book of ‘Papillion’ before you arrive. We found it extremely interesting to walk about the island and see the places Papillion had written about:- hi s experiences of his 8 year internment and his several darng attempts to escape. The grounds and prison ruins are attractively maintained and allow one’s imagination to fill in the activity of many years ago. There are 3 islands. Ile du Diable would be very difficult to make a dinghy landing on and has not been maintained. Ile Royale is the main island. Ile St. Joseph is accessible by your own dinghy, motor required, or can be reached by a small boat from Ile Royale. Ile St. Joseph is the site of the solitary confinement cells. A brief guide book can be purchased from the hotel gift shop in English and German.
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