Paramaribo – because the Artemis is not a small yacht
…as it turns out, there really aren’t a whole lot of places you can anchor a large yacht along the coast of Suriname. Up a river is about the only bet, which is why you find the Artemis, highly recognisable and all, limping up-river to Domberg after running afoul of some dirty weather off the northern coast of South America.
That, and Paramaribo is one of the spots that an ex-vampire sea-faring businessman might legitimately be expected to be familiar with. It started life as a Dutch trading post in the early 17th century, briefly became British territory, and got taken back by the Dutch in 1667. It’s also home to one of the oldest synagogues in the New World, the Neveh Shalom.
It’s one of the few places mentioned in Death is for the Living that I haven’t actually been to, which meant that I spent a lot of time staring hungrily at sun-drenched photographs and harbour guides while the snow fell outside my window. The only spot along the South American coast I’ve been to is Isla Margerita, which is a considerable distance to the Northwest of Paramaribo – no real help when you’re trying to figure out logical landing points for a 70-foot yacht with storm damage.
If you take a look at the map insert, you’ll see that if you’re sailing South from Guadeloupe, aiming to stay well clear of stray landmasses, but happen to run into the trailing edge of some bad weather sweeping in from the Atlantic, Paramaribo is a logical spot to wind up – especially as your other options for a considerable distance up and down coast are shallow scrapes in the coastline which may or may not offer anchorage for something as large and as heavy as Artemis – or any kind of convenient access to the supplies required to mend sails, fix roller-reefing gear, or any of the other minor dents and scrapes.
It’s also a logical place to expect that the local vampire clan might have a substantial footing, along with a number of unaffiliated others keeping an eye on the doings of that substantial footing, leading to a pivotal point (sorry, couldn’t resist) in Artemis‘s voyage.