Moken boats

Exploring River No. 1

Cole driving
One day, the plan was to visit a tidal river in the island of Lampi. As one often finds in Asia, the river has no name, it has a number: 1.

See the river in Google Earth!

Entering river no. 1
'Seaworld I' seen from the river Ingrid Eve and Emma

It took all our boats to take us to the river, and even if it's fun, paddleling a heavyly ladden canoe is real work. Ingrid, Eve and Emma.


Mangroove seeds







Mangroove seedlings

After beach and sand banks the mangroove begins. The trees are sometimes really tall and have their roots in the mud of the tidal river. That means, the seeds would fall into salty water where the germ dies off quickly or gets washed into the ocean. To prevent this, the fruits germinate right on the tree and make a long strong root while still hanging on the branch. The day they really drop off, the root hits the mud like an arrow and has a chance to keep the young plant alive. And they do, as we also could observe on the banks.
banks of river no. 1 Brahminy kite
Along the river we observed of course our daily Brahminy kite and some more birds. The guys in the canoes later told me something of birds singing, but I sat in the inflatable with the outboarder - I did not hear a thing... :-/ Cole leading the way Where the river ends

The river is shallow and winds itself through the untouched mangroove forrest. So Cole, the driver, had to watch out all the time for the best passage. Several times we needed to jump out and trail the boat for a while over banks or fallen trees. The main obstacle turned out to be the sticky mud, that held on to our shoes. Anyway, we managed to remain quite clean and to keep all our shoes. But the river went shallower and shallower and then a really huge fallen tree marked (for us) the end of the creek and we decided to return for lunch.
© above picture: Emma Timbs
Cole fixing the outboarder Tiger trailing the boat
Hear some sound of the event - MP3 (3.6 MB, 15:33 min)

As we found out on the way back, our outboarder was a fragile thing. When the canoes were out of sight, the engine gave up. Cole dismounted it instantly, obviously something like this did not happen the very first time. Still, the engine sounds were discouraging and the boat did not have a paddle. So Tiger jumped over the side to trail us back home. Sometimes, the water was even deeper than this. Later Andy took over until Cole indeed had fixed the outboarder.

At the moment we believed there were no crocodiles in the area. Later we learned, they only are scarce...

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