After over month at sea, Year of Zayed, Supertramp and their crews arrived safely in Paramaribo. Row4Ocean finally came to an end on January 15th after 32 days in the Atlantic Ocean.
Final report from Nick Leggatt, crewman on Supertramp, which shadowed Year of Zayed for all those days and long nights.
Year of Zayed crossed the Continental Shelf more than 24 hours before arriving in Suriname, with the depth of the sea rising suddenly from 3 000m to 200m. As the water shallowed the heavy ocean swell decreased and the deep blue of the water turned to green / brown from the numerous rivers that flow into the sea in this region.
Interestingly the variety of sea life increased in the murky waters, with the team seeing giant Manta Rays jumping clear of the sea, and even sharks swimming around the rowing boat! The shallow waters also meant a decrease in the power of the Guyana Current and it was after midnight by the time we reached the sea buoy 8 miles off the entrance of the river. The river is wide, but shallow and a buoyed passage marks the 8 mile dredged route from the sea.
Paramaribo Port Control picked us up on the AIS as we approached the buoy and gave us a welcoming call on the VHF before contacting the coast guard to provide us with an escort vessel up the river. The coastguard vessel met us off Braamspunt, the eastern entrance to the river, at morning twilight, and we made our way slowly up the river for another 12 miles.
With the sunrise we had flocks of pelicans and herons flying around the boat, while curious frigate birds stared at us from their perches on the channel markers. Suriname has a typical wet tropical climate, and true to form it began to rain as we proceeded up the river.
We passed in front of the city centre, with it colonial era wooden buildings, and passed the wreck of the “Goslar”, a German merchant ship scuttled in the river in 1940 to prevent it from being captured by the Dutch. Beyond the wreck we passed the DP World terminal and passed under the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge to our mooring.
We were greeted by the team from DP World, who provided refreshments as well as arranging two ambulance crews to check over the rowers after their month long passage. Despite blisters, scars, sunburn and boils they were pronounced healthy!
Customs and immigration formalities were attended to before the crew finally made it ashore to the welcoming relaxation of the Hotel Torarica in downtown Paramaribo.
Year of Zayed is now being dismantled and stowed in a container for shipment back home while the team discuss plans for a future attempt at the record!