AN West Africa to Northern Brazil and Guyanas

Best time: Tropical storms: Charts:


Wayfoints: Departure :

November to May None BA:4012 US: 106, 107 BA: 1, 7A US: 124, 143

Intermediate Landfall

Destination Distance (M)

AN651 Vert


Degrad des Cannes


14'45'N, 17°35'W

10'00'N, 40'00'W

4'51'N, 52'16'W


2284 .

5'50'N, 55'10'W



6'49'Ni 58'11'W

AN652 Banjul


Degrad des Cannes


13'35'N. 16'55'W





This passage is best undertaken during winter when the NE trade winds reach further south. If leaving from a port south of the river Gambia, a NW course should be sailed first to avoid an area of light and variable winds close to the equator. If leaving from Senegal, the recommended route passes south of the Cape Verde Islands. In both cases, a course should be set for WP AN653. This intermediate waypoint is suggested to avoid the effects of a contrary current which has been observed south of 10°N. If the port of destination lies south of this latitude, the course can be set for it once the recommended waypoint has been passed. The North Equatorial Current will give a boost along most of this route. A strong current sets northwards along the coast of South America and this must be taken into account when making landfall. Dangerous shallow areas extend off the coast, especially near river mouths. If entering any of these rivers, attention must be paid to the strong tides.

This route is often sailed by boats heading for Belem and the Amazon River. Although such a destination would make this into a transequatorial route, in order to ensure better conditions during the crossing the latter should be done north of the equator. Knowing the position of the ITCZ, shown on satellite pictures obtained by weather-fax, is essential in such a case so as to minimise the time spent under its influence. Very slow passages with violent squalls and a contrary current have been recorded during summer. The main reason for crossing at such a time is to arrive in Amazonia at the start of the dry season (July).

The three former Guyanas, French (Cayenne), Dutch (Suriname), and British Guyana attract a small number of cruising boats. Entry formalities in French Guyana are completed at Degrad des Cannes. The port of entry for Suriname is Paramaribo, approximately 13 miles up the

Suriname River, where boats now clear in at the three is Guyana itself, where the only official port new harbour, Nieu Haffen. The least visited of the of entry is its capital Georgetown.

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