At Sea to Singapore, 4 April 1893

Gorgeous weather again and a calm sea. In the morning the island of Pulu Penang, also called Prince of Wales Island and part of the British Straits Settlements, appeared. I had originally had the intention to visit it and stay there for a day to learn about its vegetation and explore new bird species. As I was assured that the surrounding of Singapore offered both at equal quality and I was eager to reach the Malaysian archipelago and Java as soon as possible, I gave up on this enterprise and we stayed on the course to Singapore.

From time to time we saw the nebulous profile of the Malacca peninsula and the blueish contours of its mountains.

For the first time we met one of the small Malaysian sailing boats called „Proas“ that sail from Sumatra to the Malaysian peninsula and back for the purpose of exchanging goods or fishing. Very strange is the construction of these crude vehicles and especially its rigging. The sails consist of small, oblong red-brown straw mats which are fastened on poles. If these sails have to be shortened, the sailors collapse the structure of mats like an accordion. Towards 4 o’clock in the afternoon the volcanic cone in the midst of the strait of Malacca,  called Pulu Jarak,  became visible, also a good naval point of orientation. We bore away to backboard to have a closer look. It rises in its conical form to 152 m out of the sea and is covered down to sea level with rich tropical vegetation. The crest coronets of the trees were very dramatically illuminated by the setting sun.

Numerous driftwood, namely palm tree wood, was swimming on the waves — trophies the sea hat seized from the land in its relentless onslaught.


  • Location: At Sea to Singapore
  • ANNO – on 04.04.1893 in Austria’s newspapers. The Neue Freie Presse includes a report of FF visiting the maharaja of Jepore dated 11 March (PDF).
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is performing „Frau Susanne“, the k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater „Die Rantzau“.

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