Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
DECEMBER 1939
 
 
 
 
 
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JANUARY 1940
 
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FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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MAR 1940
11

Aboard the Poigar at Unauna, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Monday, March 11, 1940

I considered the question last evening whether to sleep in the bow or the extreme stern. In case of rain the stern was the best but I decided that the smell and vibration there were too great, so placed my mattress in the extreme bow. There was noise until late from talking natives; once I got up and clapped my hands, which seemed to help keep them quiet. The night was fortunately clear but toward morning the sea became quite rough. Many natives were actively sick. Hugo went to the lower deck for a few moments and the smell made him actively sick too. I stayed at the bow which was fairly free from smells except at times when they drifted up from the lower deck. I felt all right.

We reached Unauna, the smallest of the Togian Islands, but which had on it the most important town. I went ashore with Hugo without breakfast and we found some bananas and opened a can of sardines. As the boat did not sail until 12, Hugo decided to go on a trip to the hills. He was attracted by some palms which he did not recognize. A native went with him. I looked around the pristine town with a native who was pleasant and spoke a little English. The place was small with nothing about it distinctly unusual. There was no market. It was interesting to know that it was very close to the equator. I returned to the boat an hour before the time for sailing. Hugo found that the palms he had seen were Pigafettas, an interesting discovery. The altitude where they grew was not over 500 ft. He found nothing else of interest. We boiled some water on my stove for drinking purposes and had spaghetti for lunch.

The boat left at one for a smaller port on Unauna, named Kolio. We arrived there at about 2. Hugo went ashore with Wongso to try and get some bananas, while I stayed on board. Our fare was collected today, 29 guilders each for the trip from Gorontalo to Poso, which we will reach in the morning, and it is a special stop to let us off.

There are fewer natives on the boat now although it still seems filled. I have been trying to trace the source of the bad smells and think they were partly due to dried fish which was partly decayed. The fact that my mattress at the stern is just next to and above the toilet did not seem to have anything to do with it. I am writing this there but the wind happens to be in the right direction and the air is fresh.

There was the most colorful sunset I think I have ever seen and I became so interested in looking at it that I forgot to take a color photograph.

We are both unshaved and getting more native looking. We seem to eat very little. I proposed hot soup for supper but Hugo did not respond and we ate a few bananas.

Slept again on the forward deck hoping it would not rain.

nauna Island with volcanic peaks
Unauna Island, Indonesia with volcanic peaks. Photographed from the Cheng Ho by Edward Beckwith.
Palms on the shore of Unauna Island
Coconut palms on the shore of Unauna Island, Indonesia. Photographed by David Fairchild.
Pigafetta palms in the distance on Unauna Island
Pigafetta palms in the distance on Unauna Island

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