Fairchild Tropical Garden Expedition aboard the Cheng Ho 1939-1940
MARCH 1940
 
 
 
 
 
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APRIL 1940
 
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MAY 1940
 
 
 
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JUNE 1940
 
 
 
 
 
 
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JUN 1940
6

South Loloda and North Loloda, Halmahera, Indonesia

Written by Edward Beckwith on Thursday, June 6, 1940

Hugo Curran modeling clothes made by Ann Archbold
Hugo Curran modeling clothes made by Ann Archbold. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
Hugo Curran wearing clothes made by Ann Archbold
Hugo Curran wearing clothes made by Ann Archbold. Photographed by Edward Beckwith.
We had planned an early start. I got up just at daylight, 5:10 AM and woke Ted. We raised the anchor at 5:45 and left beautiful South Loloda Bay on a beautiful fine morning at about sunrise. I did the navigating as usual.

There was considerable rolling to start with and Hugo was seasick and could not eat any breakfast. Everyone else seemed all right. I certainly was, and the attention needed in taking bearings and plotting the course kept me busy.

Up the coast of Halmahera for 35 miles and then a search for a good anchorage among the North Loloda Islands. The islands were attractive, with many reefs and beautiful sand beaches.

After examining one place we anchored at 11 A.M. off Dagasuli Island near the native settlement of Doolita. The anchorage was good in about 22 fathoms, and the swell which had been following us did not reach there. About 4 P.M. Anne, Marian, David, Hugo and I went in the launch to the native village of Dana on Doi. This is one of the towns from which ebony was shipped by KPM steamer. The town was larger than those at South Loloda Bay. The natives seemed poor but glad to see us and the children immediately began to hunt for shells for Marian. I advised her not to give any presents or she would have too many looking for them. I bought 3 cheap batik sarongs at about a guilder each. They all cheered us as we left.

We returned just as dusk to find that Ted had sighted a patrol boat off the Halmahera coast and that the boat had signaled to him by flashes in Morse code. He did not answer but fully expected that the boat would come over tonight or tomorrow morning. Ted rehearsed with David what he would say to the officer in explanation of our presence here without official permission. “We had a new shaft replaced in Ambon which had been running hot. Our supply of oil was limited because the officials at Ambon had confiscated the shipment of 40 gallons of oil sent to Ambon on our order. We therefore were proceeding slowly to the Philippines but needed oil and if he would supply it we would use the engines instead of sails.” This sounded well and Ted is a wonderful liar when it comes to anything of that sort, but an investigation of the log would have shown that we had used the engines and not the sails. Ted is so good, however, that he could probably explain it too. The only thing I was concerned about was my cameras and especially developed and undeveloped films which they might want as possibly showing the coast. They might well have orders to confiscate all films to prevent the possibility of their falling into the hands of the Japanese. Accordingly I hid cameras and films among the supplies.

The patrol boat appeared to anchor off the native town of Gisi on the coast about 5 miles away. Ted fully expected them to come over in the morning. It was suggested that we leave in the night, but Ted thought that they would follow us if we did so and then the situation would be more complicated.

I noticed in the launch this afternoon and also at dinner that the feud between Anne and David was still on. He did not address a remark to her at any time.

Anne has now started a new activity and which is to make half length pants to go with the shirts. She made a green pair for Hugo after he had made an unsuccessful effort to get her to make them for me instead. When they were done I insisted on taking his picture in them. I am afraid that I will come next. They were not beautiful on Hugo, being made of a greenish material and extending just below the knee. They were neither short nor long pants. They did not fit any too well and her lack of experience in tailoring was shown by her remark that she “had found they had to be made differently in front from behind.” Moreover, there was no provision for a belt and were held up by a fold so that they were in danger of coming off.

 

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