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
29

Gita, Halmahera

Written by Edward Beckwith on Wednesday, May 29, 1940

Areca palm beside Bai River
Areca palm beside Bai River, Pajahi Bay, Halmahera. Photographed by Hugo Curran.
Coast of Halmahera, Indonesia
Coast of Halmahera, Indonesia. Photographed in 2009 by degi.
Hugo and Fenton went off at 5 AM to look into the country and report on the unfound river. They sent back word by the launch that they had discovered one.

I suggested at breakfast that we examine the charts and determine on a future plan. Anne wanted to stop at Makian, 11 miles from here, and David wanted to stop at either Zamboanga or the island just south, Basilan, to ship some seeds.

The plan determined on was therefore to start after breakfast tomorrow, sail for Makian, leave there at noon, and arrive at Loloda Bay next morning. Spend the day and a night there and leave in the morning for Sireh Bay on Salibabu Island, south of Zamboanga and 300 miles, then Jolo Island — 60 miles, then town of Sandakan, North Borneo — 180 miles. The boat will be hauled out here and be cleaned below the water line. It is one of the few places where this can be done.

This trip should be extremely interesting. It will start with some beautiful and impressive views of the volcanic cones of Moti, Tidore and Tenate. Loloda Bay on the northern coast of Halmahera is very beautiful with a good and secluded anchorage. Salibabu Island is very seldom visited and should be interesting. On Basilan there is someone who David met in Manila and who keeps a large rubber plantation. Jolo is an English Island and is especially interesting. It is noted for its beauty. From Jolo to Sandakan, Borneo, there are innumerable islands which are probably varied in character.

Anne, Marian, David, Ted and I took the large launch and went to a small island in the distance with a white beach named Djodji. It was disappointing as the beach when we got to it was not white but dirty looking with coral reefs which made landing difficult. David became interested in some small white crabs with large claws which lived in holes in a mangrove swamp. We also came to some native houses and David had long conversations in Malay with the inmates. Anne and Marian hunted shells without good results. We went then in the launch to the village on Woda where we were yesterday. Anne wanted to show me a Muslim cemetery in a grove. It was picturesque with evidences near it of past inhabitants who had built concrete structures which the present inhabitants did not appear equal to constructing. Probably the Portuguese were here before them.

Ted was met by a great many natives with shells. He gave them bottles of perfume in return, some got Florida water in small bottles, others hair oil. All seemed delighted. Ted amassed an enormous numbers of shells and there was always another native turning up with some. He seemed to have an unlimited supply of bottles of perfume.

News over the radio in the evening about the Belgians disowning Leopold as a traitor after his unauthorized surrender to the Germans.

 

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