PHOTO NARRATIVE VII - 20 Nov 2003
20 Nov 2003
Before I go any further I think I need to correct a misconception that
I have heard from a few friends lately.
Big Leaf, was taken as I hiked over the pass in the center of the island. There were all kinds of leaves and huge flowers off the trail but this one fell in the path right in front of me so I reached down with my hand and took a photo.
Green, was taken on the other side of the pass. As we raced down that side of the mountainous island, old cement steps appeared out of the lush green. The steps would suddenly appear and then disappear and then appear again. The guy I was with was using them as a training coarse so I followed him. I think this photo gives an idea of just how thick the jungle was, and this was where there were steps. When it was just a dirt path the forest squeezed in on all sides.
Pulau Aur, was one of the small beaches facing that perfect little channel I was anchored in. That place was a moment in time that I will not soon forget. I wish I could show it to you through my own eyes. Graph a piece of my memory onto the computer. The photos just don’t do it justice. I think we have all experienced that sort of thing. When we realize that the photos can’t compare so we put down the camera and try to burn it into our memories. Pulau Aur will be burned in there for a long time to come.
Aur Maties, was a self portrait
taken when I had finally arrived on Pulau Aur. I was so impressed with
the island. It was the perfect pirate hideout and I imagined I was back
in time with my own vessel cruising guarded waters. I had found a safe
haven and was challenging any of my crew to deny my nautical skills “Aur
Maties, if any a’ yous think ya can do better, you’ll soon
be walkin’ the plank!”
National Day, was taken on Tioman Island. It was a large enough island to have a moderate population. Malaysia is surprisingly Nationalistic. I guess many countries are that way. I shouldn’t be surprised. America has become even more so in the last decade. But on Tioman it was expressed in a funny way. They had a contest to see who had the most elaborate and creative flag configuration on their bicycles or motorbikes. The picture I took captured only about a quarter of the participants. At the end of the judging, viewed here, they all mounted and rode in a huge hooting and hollering procession through the village, half way around the island and back. It looked like a lot of fun and I did my share of cheering (even thought I am not a Malaysian National)
JB Anchorage, depicts the place
I had the boat anchored while looking for work in Singapore. The city
on the Malaysian side was called Johor Bahru but everyone called it JB.
In the background you can see a few of the other vessels in the anchorage.
Behind them is the Causeway connecting Singapore to the Malaysian Peninsula.
This was as far as we could travel up the Johor Straits. It was known
in cruising circles for being a free anchorage, which allowed fairly easy
access to both Malaysia and Singapore
Francois-Style, in this photo I was trying to capture
Francois in his silly ass little dingy. The dinghy was puny. The small
motor he used had lost its handle so he jury-rigged a wooden one. But
the funniest thing about the whole thing was the way he drove his dinghy.
He would always stand up and drive backwards facing the rear of the boat.
I made fun of him a few times about it and then threatened to capture
it on film. If you look closely he is smiling because he was trying to
escape as I ran for my camera but I caught him and in the background you
can even see his boat.
Galopin, is Francois’ boat.
It is as much of a machine as it looks. The word Galopin is French for
urchin, as in street urchin, or little homeless child. It was appropriate.
I asked a whole lot of questions about his boat because it was such a
bloody contrast to mine. It has a flat chinned bottom and without any
gear inside it is able to plane on the water in a decent wind. It has
a max speed of around 12 knots loaded with cruising gear where as my boat
has a max speed of 6 knots. It is a beautiful boat and it made me think
of Mad Max’s car in the second movie. I was totally jealous for
a long time, until he told me that he had paid 70,000 US$ for it. Then
I thought about how I had put in about 1/7 of what he had spent and I
could understand and not feel too bad.
This is the last of these letters for a while. If you want to chat please
drop me an email and I will let you know how things are going now. If
you can wait, then, near the end of next year, I believe, I will be taking
off for another long voyage. I will continue these stories then. In the
mean time I am going to put together a web page. I will put most of the
stories and photos up on the page when it is done.