Essequibo River: A new rock discovered the hard way

November 2012: Some information for any cruisers thinking of coming up the Essequibo River in Guyana.

Published 11 years ago, updated 6 years ago

We are currently in Guyana, cruising down the Essequibo River using the standard Doyle guide. We followed the waypoints as far as Bartica without incident, however, we discovered a significant “new” rock to report on the route between Bartica and Baganara Island.

We have named it “Do It Rock” and it is at 6° 22.280′ North   58° 36.641′ West on the WGS84 chart datum.

This rock is extremely close to the direct track between waypoints GUYS 22 and GUYS 23. I believe the rock is covered at LW.

The Doyle guide correctly advised navigating with caution in the river. The water is opaque, and very few rocks are marked with beacons.  Be very careful – this river is not a series of soft mud/sandbanks. There are probably other big hard rocks lurking unseen, unmarked, and uncharted.

Many cruisers have used these waypoints without incident – I guess we were unlucky (and grateful for the solid construction of our steel yacht). Local advice is to favour the west bank along this stretch or river, and this is what the barges do.

Hope that helps someone avoid some damage.

Angus Ross-Thomson

SY Do It

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