Rainy Day on the Essequibo River

The rainy season is upon us in Guyana. This is the “short” rainy season … mid-November through mid-January versus the long and more intense rainy season May-August. Though we've had torrential downpours in the last weeks, we haven't had an entire day of rain until today. We were still anchored off the Grass Islands when the wind came up and the rain began, accompanied by several loud claps of thunder and a few seconds later, lightning flashes...too close for comfort. We grabbed a GPS and an iPad and stuck them in the microwave for safekeeping (our Faraday cage), then sat and listened to the rain. The thunder and lightning passed quickly and just the rain remained … lots of it. pouring rain on the essequibo river

If it rained everyday, we'd surely be sick of it in a hurry, but once in awhile it's actually a novelty and we enjoy it. It's been so humid, we feel we could wring out the air some days. The rain was welcome, cool and refreshing. David scrubbed the deck and showered in the morning rain, while I collected about five gallons of water for the tanks off the recently scrubbed bimini. We haven't seen rains like these since we were last in Panama. We'll have to get our water catchment system up and running again. In the meantime, a big funnel and a few bowls worked just fine, but needed some monitoring. I positioned and angled the bowls and collection pail to catch the maximum amount of water, but it required constant surveillance as the wind picked up or diminished and the boat swung around.

collecting water

The rain stopped momentarily. It spitted and sputtered big drops for awhile and then the dark clouds opened up and the rains began in earnest once again. This time I collected another 10 gallons of rainwater for the water tanks. There's a certain satisfaction in collecting rain for our drinking water. It reminds me of planting seeds, nurturing a plant and then picking the fruits of the harvest. There's nothing like picking that first tomato off the vine from your own garden. Collecting water and pouring it into the water tanks provides a similar feel, but the rewards occur almost immediately. No planting, no weeding, no waiting … just precious, sweet water straight from the heavens. Good for impatient souls like myself.. By the end of the day, I had dumped 20 gallons of fresh water into our tanks.

David bailed the dinghy two or three times during the day. I had hoped to use the dinghy water for laundry, but with daily rains now, I'm afraid if I hang out the laundry, it'll never dry. A few pair of underwear hung down below is all I can manage, and with this humidity, they take two days to dry.

bailing the dink

David wasn't the only one aboard who enjoyed a rain shower.

birds in the rain

The rest of our rainy day was spent reading and writing and perhaps the crew took a short nap at some point, the patter of rain on the deck providing the perfect lullaby. While watching a movie in the evening, David felt something on his leg. No...not a flying fish … not an egret...not a bat. A frog … in the saloon! He hopped around awhile and started climbing the wall with his suction-cup feet. David finally caught him and sent him for a swim. David is now officially … the animal whisperer!

frog aboard