part I “Surinam – Tobago”
While Sail Amsterdam is going on back home it reminds me of my days before I became a flying hummingbird bird. I was a bird of the sea, or you can better call me a pirate.
To tell you the story in a nutshell; I was working for Holland’s largest three-masted schooner, an A-class ship, one of the largest sea sailing ships in the world. It looks kind of like the Black Pearl, you know the one from Jack Sparrow. Okay, I was actually working in the office of the ship, but being a pirate just sounds so much cooler!
My pirate adventure started in the Caribbean Sea, like the movie. Together with one of my best friends I took off to Paramaribo. This flight was my first intercontinental flight ever! Who would have thought that one and a half year later I’ve seen almost all continents?
About 10 hours later we reached a place that sounded like home, (as Surinam used to be a Dutch colony they speak the same language) but definitely didn’t look like it. Beside the beautiful nature and the heat, the mentality was the biggest difference.
‘No spang’, take it easy, we are not in a rush, no worries. After waiting about 2 hours at customs I’m pretty sure we’re not in Amsterdam anymore!
For a lot of my Dutch people Surinam is either home or very well known. I found out recently that doesn’t count for the rest of the world. Even most of their neighbours from Brazil have never heard of the country, shame on you!
First of all, for all those people who don’t know Surinam, you are missing out on all the good food! For everyone who does known the Surinam kitchen I don’t need to get into details, they will make a stop at the closest ‘warung’ after reading this.
If you get the chance to discover the Surinam kitchen in Surinam, take a look at ‘De Waterkant’. You will enjoy your saoto or roti while watching the nice view on the river.
My other advice, (for whichever destination you travel) check out the local events. There is nothing better than visit a local event. We joined the Bigi Broki Waka Run, Surinam’s famous new years run event. We run 5 km over the famous Jules Wijdenboschburg. For everyone who knows me and my friend, we are quite the opposite when it comes to sports. Who doesn’t know us, just imagine me having the biggest struggle of my life. But sure, I had fun.
So back to my adventure as a pirate. Since we left Paramaribo I’m fascinated by the water. It’s amazing how much power and different feelings the waves excite. Well, actually personally for me it’s just one feeling, a feeling that comes from my stomach straight out of my mouth… I can tell you, the sea looks very interesting from upside down.
Finally after two days of desperation we change course and the sea sickness settles down. I finally start to see how beautiful this mass of waves around me actually is. It’s beautiful, endless and scary at the same time. I realised we are not used to see only water around us, it makes you feel small and free at the same time.
With this free spirit feeling in my mind, I meet the most beautiful and friendly creature of mother nature, Flipper and his buddies. Together with them we sail to our first island in the Caribbean Sea.
I guess I’m the happiest person on board when I see our destination coming closer. Tobago, you’re beautiful green thing!
I guess as pirates it was pretty obvious we had to stay in Pirates Bay. This little paradise, goes beyond all my expectations (or maybe I’ve just never been so happy before to have solid ground under my feet). We stay in a little fishing village called Charlotteville. A small place with just a few cottages and shops owned by the locals. No big supermarkets, no hug restaurants, and no hotels. This place feels like an undiscovered paradise. My friend Jack Sparrow, you were right, “not all treasure is silver and gold, mate”.
Interested in making a sailingtrip yourself? There are amazing possibilities, especially during wintertime in the Caribbean Sea. It’s available for all nationalities. Check it out: www.eendracht.nl