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The journey into Borneo

Oct 23, 2008

Location: Banjarmasin, Borneo
Author: Viktoria Low
As the sun rises this morning so did the number of extremely large Indonesian tankers. We did our best to steer clear and pretty soon we found ourselves surrounded by small Indonesian fishing boats circling us. Argo was like a majestic unicorn at a grungy rodeo. These extremely long and slender boats sounded like helicopters. At first we thought they were surrounding us with hostile intentions but they were trying to sell us their goods. We were offered live chickens, crab, fish, squid and pineapple. The captain finally was suckered into buying some pineapple. Onward we motored into unknown waters. The charts were off so we were forced to send one of the shipmates up in the bosuns chair to the top of the mast to look out. We ended up running aground like six times but with the extreme skills of our captain we eventually led into deeper waters and up the Sumai Banto river. We passed a monkey island and a tug boat with another monkey running wild on it. As we steamed up the river we finally hit the town of Banjarmasin. Increasing numbers of little shacks on stilts lined the river. We almost made it up the entire river until we hit some low-lying power lines that were too short for Argo’s tall and slender masts. We headed back down the river and found a suitable anchorage. As customs boarded Argo we were greeted with a warm welcomes as the immigration officers personally went around and shook everyone’s hand. The evening ended with another beautiful sunset and the never ending sound of the helicopter-like sounds of the fishing boats buzzing past. The uncertainty of tomorrow lingers before us with the excitement of some possible shore explorations. Would like to make a quick shout out to my family and the “Friday night crew”. Miss you guys. One love.