It was kind of solemn, drifting down the big, still river, laying on our backs looking up at the stars… we had mighty good weather as a general thing, and nothing ever happened to us at all — that night, nor the next, nor the next.
The intensity of river transport today is a world away from Mark Twain’s description of the Mississippi in ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn’, written seven years before JP Knight’s founding in 1892.
In contrast, JP Knight’s navigation of the river systems in the Guianas, on the North East shoulder of South America in the last 25 years, totals 3.25 million miles, delivering over 60 million tonnes of bauxite. Such statistics make light of the complexity of the bends, their critical entry and exit points and the skill required of the masters to commit to each sequence of bends, with what is essentially a ten–thousand–tonne chisel.
What remains unchanged however is the solemnity that Mark Twain describes — even a majesty — as a convoy impudently descends the slight margin cut by the river through the lowland forest. Not leaving a trace of your passing whilst transporting vast tonnages is surely the environmentally intelligent proposition?