Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Off The Charts In Guyana - Our First Adventure - Camping

After checking in, there wasn’t time to dilly dally around in Bartica.   The group had arranged our first adventure, departing that morning!  We would be going up river via a hired river pirogue for an overnight camping trip.  The boat was arriving at 11am. 

We hurried back to sv Honey Ryder and rushed about gathering our gear (or kit at the Brits say).  Camping – we have not been camping in years and never since we moved aboard.  What all do we need to go camping?  But soon we had the basics packed and ready to go.  Sv Liahona knew we would not have time to provision so they included us in their provisioning.  Thanks guys! 
Which way would you go?
Paul arrived a little after 11am and soon eight of us were blasting up river.  Sv Larus decided not to go.  Like many Guyanese, Paul grew up on the river.  He knows it like the back of his hand.  Good think too.  I think I have mentioned before, the river is very silty and thus you cannot see anything!
Backed by two 75 horse outboards each independently controlled.  Think about that - each arm controlled a motor for throttle and direction - try that one at home!  We zoomed along at 25-30 knots - I know, I checked my handy Garmin Quantix Marine watch!
Which way would you go?
Captain Randy (sv Sinbad) and I sat in the front and a game soon developed.....the river ahead would have many boulders and shoals, with possible passages here and there.....which way would we go.  Randy and I would both pick and then wait to see which way Paul would go.  We would pick the obvious big passage on the starboard side and Paul would bank left through a narrow but deep passage.  As we flew past, we could then see the starboard passage was all wrong.  Repeatedly we guessed and repeatedly we were wrong.  It simply took years of experience to know this river.  AND.....Paul had to know it both ways!  With the changing tide, the river changes each time and thus anyony navigating the river would have to know it on an incoming tide and out going tide.  We witnessed this first hand with the many rapids we shot through as we were going up river.  Coming back down, it was a falling tide and we took the rapids much slower.

Along the way we passed a few small gold miners on the river.  The rig consists of a pontooned boat/barge with sluices and various other mining equipment as well as living quarters.  But the gold mining is a separate blog posting so more later.  

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