I'm On A Boat

Mar 27, 2014 in

So, on the Ayeyarwady, Myanmar’s most important river, there are a number of ferry services going down and up to various cities. I went to Bagan with one.

The wooden boat looked like in a really good shape, though it wouldn’t be Myanmar if everything ran smooth: After an hour or so of chugging down the river, a loud “clang” noise was heard, so I have been told. We anchored at a sandbank and the crew inspected something at the hull. After that, we only ran at half speed with 5 knots, until we arrived 5 hours late.

Portable fisherman’s house? Don’t ask me about that. I have no idea either.

In fact, we were so late that it already got dark, which made it very hard for the ship’s crew to navigate us through the river. The Ayeyarwady is a very broad but during dry season a quite shallow river. And on the river, there is no buoyage to mark the shipping channel, at least none that one can see at night. So whenever the depth gauge gave alarm, two crewmen came to the front with long poles and measured the depth each left and right of the bow to feel our way back to the shipping channel, which was often enough not simply the center of the stretch of water but made us go in a slalom.

I have no idea what was wrong with the ship, but I guess it must have been something with the engine because I could see that they put a… fan in front of the engine (to cool it?? What?? :-D). Later, in the dark, they additionally put a crewman with a flashlight in front of it who just sat there and stared at it.

Hmm… did they expect it to catch fire any second now? I better don’t wanna know. Adventure!