Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paddled Boats of Chon Khneas, Cambodia

My friend John Meader, a fine photographer and canoeing partner (high praise!) took a trip to Cambodia and Hong Kong recently and came back with many excellent photos, which he's kindly given me permission to use. They were taken during a boat tour of the "floating village" of Chon Khneas, which is populated by Vietnamese expats. I'll be posting these in several batches with little comment, since I know no more about the boats than what I can observe in the photos. I'll focus on man-powered, paddled boats in this post, and move on to other subjects in the future. Feel free to comment if you can add to our understanding. Click on any photo for an enlarged view.

Fairly typical of the paddled boats in Chon Khneas. Note the washstrakes which, with the bulkhead at their forward and aft ends, create a cargo hold with higher freeboard than that permitted by the hull itself. Steering from the front is common, although as a canoeist, I can't explain how it's done. Paddles with long, narrow blades seem to be universal -- no oars or yulohs. The women are wearing cloths over their faces, to protect themselves from the badly polluted air.
Close-up of the bow of the same boat. Note the leaf-shaped stem, one of two common bow shapes.


Where the bow man in the previous photo sat cross-legged, women all seem to either kneel or squat when in the bow.

Here's the other common bow shape: a flat, narrow transom, in contrast to the leaf-shaped stem shown above.
I'm not sure if she's paddling this boat or just steering it. There's a bit of a bow wave, and there appears to be a small engine just aft of amidships - you can just make out what appears to be a fuel tank. But if she's under power, then she's steering from the bow and is quite far away from the engine controls.

The paddles have no end grip.

More fishermen.

A market boat.
By the way: John Meader runs Northern Stars Planetarium, bringing educational, portable planetarium shows to schools throughout Maine.

No comments:

Post a Comment