• close family • small boat • big world •

Boats of the Essequibo

January 15, 2016

by Greg
Deshaies, Guadeloupe

I've liked boats as long as I can remember - traditional boats more than anything, sailboats more than powerboats, but there's almost no boat I don't want to step aboard, poke around in, spot the trade-offs the designer made, find the hacks that the owner previous to the previous owner made because he was in a hurry.

The populous part of Guyana near the coast is cut in half by the Essequibo River. It's the third biggest river in South America, and there are no bridges. This makes the river vital for transportation. Farther from the coast in the jungles there is a lot of gold and some aluminum mining. These operations are served in whole or at least partially by boats. (See the earlier post on the little mining town of Bartica.)

These are some of the boats we saw on the Essequibo River.

Traditional Guyanan wooden boats
Pushing a barge with a small boat.

One of the many small water taxis that carry people up and down the river. As you can tell, it's based on the traditional
wooden Guyanan boats but modified to for a large outboard and modified to keep the passengers dry (or drier anyway).

One of the many tugs on the river.
There are ferries for cars and people, but they only stop at the few biggest settlements.

Barge with deckhouse and digger aboard.

Have digger, will travel. And dump truck. And school bus.
This is This is not  one of the wider parts, but this river is very wide near the coast.

I'm not really sure what this little guy does in life.

Lots of lumber is carried out of the jungle down this river.

Tug towing barge.

Homemade barge.

Cargo boat at docks in Bartica

Cargo boat in Bartica.

Dinghy and water taxi.

Loaded barge.

Mud from anchor chain on spinning windlass.

Muddy waters of Essequibo. Much of the sediment is
said to be due to dredge-mining upstream for gold.