10 nm away from Kourou you can visit the Îles du Salut. It consists of three small islands named Île Royale, Île Saint-Joseph and Île du Diable. These islands have a historic background. They were used during the middle of the 19th century until the 1950s as jail for French prisoners under inhuman conditions. They had to hold out in their cells without a roof and had to cope with rain and the sun. Some of the old buildings and cells are well preserved and could be visited.
On the island Royale you can find a small museum which shows and explains the history of the three islands.
We anchored before the Île Royale for one week. The anchorage area could sometimes be roly because of the swell from the Atlantic. After experiencing a very inquiet second night we decided to tie our Whitebird to one of the moorings to have a reliefed night. During the day the mooring tons are used by the touristic catamarans that go from Kourou to the islands. On the weekend we experienced more tourists. When the catamarans leave at 4pm you feel like you are the only person who the island belongs to ;o) – except the animals that live on the island.
We saw f.e. monkeys, agoutis (they look like big guiney pigs), les sauriens, le paon and a hen and a coq. It is a strange diversity of animals but it is always interesting to get in touch with them.
But we experienced not only animals on land but in the water as well. There are turtels that swim around the anchorage place as well as fish. The last four days of our week that we spent on Île Royale we went fishing. The first two days we met Jill, a very nice guy from French Guyana, who tought us a lot about fishing.
With his help we caught our first cat fish! On the next day we had luck to catch two more of these fish.
We also enjoyed to swim. It was the first time we jumped from Whitebird into the water ;o)
On the last day we visited Île Saint- Joseph.
Today on Saint- Joseph’s island you can still find a base of the 3rd French legionary. We visited a cemetery which was build for the prisoners.
Île du Diable couldn’t be visited because it is too dangerous to go there because of the strong currents before the island.