Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
FEBRUARY 1940
 
 
 
 
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MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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MAY 1940
 
 
 
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MAY 1940
18

Obi and Bacan, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Saturday, May 18, 1940

Anne Archbold sewing aboard the Cheng Ho
Anne Archbold sewing aboard the Cheng Ho. Photographed by Edward Beckwith off Bacan, Indonesia.
Slept on deck but had to come in on account of rain.

Went on watch at 8 from 8 to 12, 2 hours at wheel and 2 hours plotting course. Followed coast of Obi and then headed for Bacan which was visible with its 7000 foot range of mountains. Took a great many bearings and kept constant check on our position.

Anne finished my variegated shirt.

As we entered the strait in early afternoon the view of Bacan was very impressive. Approaching the island of Mandioli, Marian, Anne, David, Hugo and I landed in the launch, while the junk continued north to a small remote bay on the same island. Since we had been distinctly forbidden in orders from Batavia to stop in the D.E.I. on the way to the Philippines we did not take any cameras ashore and Ted instructed Moso, the engineer, to take off a part of the engine and report that we had broken down if there should be any investigating.

Hugo and David went off into the jungle while Anne and Marian hunted shells as usual. Several natives came up and we got some fish from them, exchanging cigarettes, watches, and a toy balloon. The natives were pleasant and did not know that Holland and Germany were at war, and they did not care.

At about dark we all started up the coast in the launch to find the junk. Saw the lights in about half an hour. The evening was perfect, the small bay perfectly calm, and it did not seem likely that any Dutch official would find us. Moreover, there were no mosquitoes. The evening broadcast gave news of the German army approach to Paris.

 

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