In a matter of days a convoy of yachts will grace Guyana’s shores, as they make their way from Trinidad and Tobago to French Guiana, as part of the Nereid’s Rally.
The first of seven vessels is expected to arrive as early as, September 7, while the remaining yachts in the fleet will sail up the Essequibo River by Wednesday, September 11th and will be welcomed in grand style at the Hurakabra River Resort, owned and operated by Mr. Christopher Nascimento and his wife Gem Nascimento .
This welcome activity, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism is being facilitated through an inter agency collaboration with the Coast Guard, Customs and Immigration, the Guyana Police Force, MARAD and other Private Sector stakeholders.
The joint approach being employed is in keeping with Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali’s commitment to ensure that all systems are in place to make the inaugural event a success, with safety, security and ease of access of principal importance.
He said too that the Ministry’s aim is to use this event to catapult the Yacht Industry in Guyana and to harness the influx of yachts to develop the necessary infrastructure to further support the industry.
As testimony to the stir this event is creating and the interest of participants, a second convoy is expected in October of 2013; this will be lead by former international sailor, Simon Wall.
When the vessels arrive, they will make their way to the mining town of Bartica, 30 miles from the mouth of the Essequibo and at the center of the confluence of three great rivers, the Mazaruni, Cuyuni and Essequibo; this is an official port of entry and welcomes the arrival of cruisers.
Meanwhile planning for this highly anticipated event began months ago and a team travelled to Trinidad and Tobago, in early August, to promote the event and to encourage maximum participation from yacht enthusiasts there.
Guyana a safe Heaven
During the meetings with the yachtees in Trinidad, GTA Marketing Manager, Mrs. Carla Chandra and now Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana President (THAG) Mr. Christopher Nascimento made presentations on Guyana’s Tourism Product including visitor tips and travel information such as visa’s and customs clearance- which are to date, the most efficient and straightforward in the Caribbean.
Cruisers may now sail up the Essequibo River, about a 4hour motor sail from the estuary, to clear customs, immigration and health authorities within an hour of checking in by completing the simplest of customs clearance forms to be found at any cruising destination in the Caribbean and South America.
Close to 50 persons attended the session and most all the participants there expressed excitement at the possibility of sailing into the mighty Essequibo River, which is featured prominently in the third Edition of the Chris Doyle Cruising Guide for Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Guyana.
Doyle, regarded as the guru of pleasure cruising in the Caribbean and North Eastern South American, decided to feature Guyana in his guide.
The Doyle Guide (www.doyleguides.com) provides full chart and waypoint navigational advice on approaching the Essequibo River and sailing upriver to Bartica and the attractive anchorages in the vicinity off Baganara Island Resort, Hurakabra River Resort and the Shanklands Resort.
Addressing this aspect of the journey, Mr. Nascimento provided details about technical sailing information for the Essequibo including tide, draft, waypoints etc.
The Baganara and Hurakabra Resorts, in particular, now cater to receive cruisers anchored close off-shore. These Resorts are exceptionally beautiful nature destinations which offer exceedingly comfortable and well appointed accommodation, jungle walks, birding, beach front dining, well stocked bars, recreation facilities, water sports and dingy docking.