Last night I was on the watch from midnight to 4 am. I find this watch the hardest. The sweltering heat during the day heats the metal deck (Seadragon is made of 50 t of steel) and then at night the metal cools down releasing the heat down into our cabins.

I have supposedly been lucky as my bunk is at the bow of the boat and thus gets more air. It definitely didn’t feel like it last night – when I was desperately trying to catch up on sleep before my watch. Even the cold showers made no difference – I just lay there dripping in sweat waiting for my watch to start.

When I was at the helm all tiredness disappeared. Watching the shooting stars and feeling the cool breeze was simply magical. At different points during the watch we could actually smell the land – after 12 days on the open sea it was amazing to learn that land had a distinct smell and that you could smell it before you could see it.    

I decided not to start taking malarone (the anti-malerian tablets) until this morning for the fear of the nightmares which it is said it induces. With less than two days before we hit the jungle of Guayana it is wise to start taking the tablets.

I am so excited that we will spend over 2 days travelling down the Essequibo river. After 12 days on the high seas with no land anywhere in sight it will be amazing to see trees, birds, flowers and smell the jungle. There are meant to be aligators in Essequibo river and big cats may be watching us from the jungle. I am so excited! Albeit I fear the mosquitos and other insects.

The Accession crew, which travelled from Dakar to Recife, were visited by a 1000 strong swarm of black crickets on their departure from Dakar. I hope we will be spared a similar infestation as we travel down the river.

We expect to get to the mouth of the river by tomorrow – depending on when we arrive (we are sailing so the ETA cannot be exact) we may be able to start our journey down the river already tomorrow. It all depends on the tide! We will only be able to travel during the day as the many logs and fishing nets in the river will make our travel down the river an obstacle course.    

by Ana Stanic, Environmental Lawyer in Residence