One Hour of my Day.

“No sir, no Sir, you cannot rent a fishing boat, they are not for holiday makers, you must go on big boat” . I wanted to go ride on a Sampan. I have always wanted to ride on a Sampan and it looks as if my chances of doing so are running out. Not too many days left in Sampan Country. There were many boats for hire, sort of small to medium cruise vessels, complete with full bar, garish lights, tables and chairs for between thirty and seventy five, they are mostly used for dinner cruises up and down the river, at night. This is not what I had in mind at all. “There is one” says I, Oh no Sir he is busy. Well he didn’t look busy, in fact there was no-one on board at all and the whole craft had a somewhat disheveled look, crates and boxes everywhere, random curtains spread about, old bits and pieces, it was a bit of a wreck, almost a garbage dump. A shouted conversation took place from the top of the bank to the bottom. I imagine it went something like “Look at this crazy person, he does not want to spend an hour on the river in a luxury cruise boat, he wants to ride in your fishing boat with no bar, not even a chair”. Ah well, canny fisherman sees a quick buck in sight, ok, ten dollars for an hour, that’s more than I would earn in an hour fishing, lets do it, crazy person or not. Frantic rushing about, junk hurled onto adjoining fisher boat and in about a minute the Sampan was ready to go.

Note the smart mats for the sitting on.

I embarked, given a bottle of water and two beers in a cooler and shaking his head my Captain shoved off. Out into the stream of the Tonle Sap before it merges with the Mekong a half mile down stream and is gone forever. It was exactly what I wanted.

He has got that grin on again

We puttered down the middle of the river and looking over at the bank I could see all the people on the riverfront parade , I could almost hear the comments.

Undeterred we puttered on and reached the confluence of the two rivers, it got a little choppy.

The rivers meet

The village on the other side, flooded in the rainy season I would imagine

Today's catch

Fixing things

Everyone is busy

The riverfront in Phnom Penh

On our way back to the dock.

Here it is in all it's glory, my boat. (not sure you can see the file name but it is img_1948.jpg. Significant !)

I did finally Skype the younger son this evening and told him this brief, one hour tale. Sebastian commented ” Well Dad, that sounds like a life’s ambition achieved”

Too right Seb, too right.

8 responses to “One Hour of my Day.

  1. Great stuff! You tell them Tim! Well worth the $10 I’d say. Great photos, by the way. Keep them coming. Glad you liked my photos, very English, eh? Keep safe.

  2. I’m not going to ask if your little boat had a life vest on board, as it will probably sound to Marin “countyish”. Great picture of you aboard your vessel. So glad you were able to bypass those party boats. Perseverance furthers.

  3. hazzah DAD ! To right, life goal achieved and super cool pictures to prove it! What is the boat tally thus far? Seems like you have ridden most every kind of boat there is! Missing you loads here in Seattle (where yes, it is still raining 🙂

    • I shall have to work on the boat tally Nat, but yes, right, it’s got to be getting up there. Between the Star and Macao ferries in HK and the Sampan on the Mekong I seem to have plenty of nautical adventures.

  4. Loved the look of your sampan.I wonder how it compared with Mfupi?
    Not much good on the Kennet and Avon Canal but well done you for persevering with the fisherman.

    • Yes Mother it was a very nice Sampan. By way of explanation, Ma used to have a canal boat on a canal in South England. It was called Mfupi, which if memory serves correctly is Matabele for “Fat Bottom”.

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