Location: Salvation Islands, French Guiana
For the third time since leaving Cape Town, this morning, we steered Argo into a harbor. The Isles de Salut is a group of three islands about twenty miles off of the mainland of French Guyana. I walked out of the main companionway and saw so much green. Not seeing green or trees or non-marine plants makes seeing palm trees and lush green bushes of pink flowers a much more vivid experience than it was before, it makes us all grateful for the air and smells around trees. From where we are anchored, we can not only see two of the three islands, but we can also see the mainland continent of South America. For us, thats the first time seeing a continent in about a month and a half. All of the little things that were so used to at home, like being on land, walking on land, walking really at all, become so much more exciting when we havent done them in a month. I think those small things are making us all so much more appreciative of when we have them. We all explored the island, walking on the cracked pavement paths that spider through the dense forest, covered in fallen leaves and halves of coconuts. Some of us wanted to try our hand at breaking open a coconut and trying it; the water sprayed all over us in the process but definitely worth that fresh coconut water. We wandered up and down stone steps blanketed in vines and overgrown grass leading up to the one operating building on the island, a small inn, and a restaurant. The outside of the inn is covered in pink and purple flowers, and there we saw the most wildlife on land since South Africa. As we walked up to the hotel, there were what were calling big guinea pigs, peacocks, monkeys, and parrots all wandering around the grounds of this building. The monkeys were scrounging for food left on tables, a sure result of long-term exposure to humankind, and climbing on the roofs and garden structures. We all were enthralled with the animals and wanted to spend as much time just staring at them as we could. Some of us managed to interpret the French menus and grabbed some eats at the restaurant before heading back to the boat for showers. The current surrounding the islands is much too strong to take a jump in the showers, but we all got squeaky clean without good ole hose showers. We closed out the day with a spectacular meal by Chef Danielle and her sous-chefs, Fiona and Jess. We celebrated Dans birthday with brownies and cheers and a squeeze full of laughs.