Schlagwort-Archiv: on ship

At Sea to Borneo — Cape Po, 9 July 1893

At 4 o’clock in the morning the anchors were hoisted and we now steered through the Api passage passing the island of Merunduny at a distance of 2.5 sea miles, followed by a small steam boat that had also spent the dark night awaiting daylight and now used our wake.

The North-western coast of Borneo was very close to us and offered a strange image much different from the islands we have seen before: along the coast and also in the interior of the land, as far as one could see, there were low-lying plains out of which abruptly rose hills and mountain ridges some of which were of respectable height and mostly in grotesque shapes. Thus some mountains had the form — to use culinary terminology in spite of all deference shown to the science of geology —  of a „Gugelhupf“ others those of a sugar loaf. Other parts of the mountain ridges appear, like many Alpine mountain ranges, as an irregular mountain land with steep slopes and faces whose parts do not queue up as in a regular range or even are connected to a continuous ridge line but instead stand there alone as if they were dispersed over the area. A mirage made water appear in place of the low coastal areas so that the mountain giants rose as if they emerged out of the water and looked like a maze of tall islands — a picturesque and original illusion. Among the heights we saw produced by the mirage, Cape Datu and Sipang were especially conspicuous.

Both capes are already within the sultanate of Sarawak declared sovereign and since 1888 a British protectorate which contains 106.200 km2 with 320.000 inhabitants of which around half are Dajaks while the rest mostly are members of Malayan tribes. A tiny percentage of the population are Chinese who here too are controlling the considerable trade and agriculture.

The territory of Sarawak is to a large part alluvial land of the numerous rivers flowing from the Southern border of the region to the coast, among them especially notable are the Rejang with its highly branched estuary, the wide Batang lupar and the Sarawak on whose Western shore the capital Sarawak or Kutching is situated as it is also called. The coastal area is followed by a hilly terrain. In the South furthermore there are high mountain ranges.

Sarawak has been ruled since 1868 by Sultan Charles Johnson Brooke, the nephew and successor of raja Sir James Brooke. The latter — originally in the service of the British East India Company — had equipped a ship at his own cost, being a heir of a considerable fortune from his father, the yacht „Royalist“ and had sailed to Borneo seeking adventures and enterprises where he found a favorable terrain for his actions. The Sultan of Brunei had just subdued an insurrection in what is now the territory of Sarawak but could not complete the task with his own means. James Brooke now offered his services and that of the ship’s crew to the sultan and soon thereafter put down the insurrection. But Brooke as practically thinking Englishman was unwilling to provide his assistance for free. He demanded and received the territory of Sarawak as compensation.

After skillful political intrigues and scheming Brooke was festively declared raja of Sarawak or Sindjavan on 24 September 1841 and knew with energy and smart actions to consolidate his rule so that he became a relatively powerful, fully independent prince.

His most noble task was to eradicate piracy that was very common in the seas around Borneo as the many bays and rivers of the land offered most welcome hiding spots for the hyenas of the sea. He organized a small army in the English manner, built schools and public buildings and tried as well as possible to tame and civilize the wild Dajaks, the natives of the land who used to practice head-hunting. He favored the immigration of the Chinese in order to promote trade and agriculture in Sarawak starting in 1850. He had repeatedly to step in forcefully, however — in 1867, there even was a general insurrection against the yellow people — but still their contribution, their trading industry still remained irreplaceable for Sarawak.

The growth of the sultanate made England integrate this territory into its domain even though this hitherto independent state owed its existence to a British citizen and had friendly relations with Great Britain both under James Brooke, as well as under Charles Johnson Brooke since 1868. Due to this action, Sarawak was put under an English protectorate in 1888 in a peaceful manner. In a treaty it was stipulated that the territory should be turned into a crown colony of England in case the ruling house of Brooke became extinct. The heir presumptive of the governing sultant is his nineteen-year-old son Charles Vyner Brooke.

Kuching, the residence of the sultan, may have been our main destination, but we anchored at 2 o’clock in the afternoon at the mouth of the Sarawak below the lighthouse of Cape Po as the town was about 25 sea miles upstream of the Sarawak river and the commander considered the water too shallow for „Elisabeth“ and there was no pilot. The position was picturesque but nothing was moving, no pilot, no boat and no signal.

How could we now learn whether the drive upstream was possible, at least to the coaling station where we wanted to load coal to reach Bangkok? Our ships „Saida“ and „Nautilus“ used to drive up to 15 sea miles upstream to the confluence of Sarawak and Quops with the anchoring spot of Pindany. The much deeper bottomed „Elisabeth“ however could not dare to undertake this journey solely based on the maps. It thus was decided to send a cadet to the lighthouse to ask for information and then drive with the steam barge to Kuching the next day.

Even though it was already quite late in the afternoon I had myself rowed in a boat to the shore nearby to inspect the vegetation and if possible hunt some birds. Wherever I saw land, my urge to collect and research became overwhelming. And in such cases, I could not stay behind on board.

The piece of Borneo we saw was very beautiful. One of the gentlemen of the staff even compared the surrounding of the bay, the rising hills and mountains and rocks to the lake of Gmunden. But I found the comparison of this landscape with the much praised pearl of the Upper Austrian mountains too audacious despite my willingness at the first glance of something to seek and appreciate its beauty.

The lighthouse is on a 150 m high hill that drops steeply down to the sea and is surrounded by mighty and very fantastically formed rocks. The strong tides of thousands of years and the breaking waves had scoured the foot of the rocks and formed numerous caves and grottoes on whose walls, high above the water level, the common swifts had artfully attached their nests, while below the water surface oysters and other shells had taken up position. Furthermore still there are rocks gnawed and hollowed out by tidal waves along the coast and now and then small bays as well as insections jut out. Everywhere there are between the rocks and stones picturesque bunched palm trees, ferns as well as pinewood which everywhere reminds me of home. Where the rocks recede, there are plenty of mangroves whose hundreds of branched air roots dip into the swampy water and form horrible almost impenetrable thickets filled with myriads of mosquitoes.

As my deficient footwear — the nailed shoes from Goisern that I had sent for had been catching up to me for five months and were currently in Sydney — did not permit climbing the rocks, I tried to enter into the mangrove thicket. But the pestilential air full of miasmas and putrid water forced me after a few steps to go back. With the exception of mosquitoes, those small but especially today very annoying bloodsuckers, the fauna here was very sparse and only a few beautifully colored sunbirds scurried through the branches while all kinds of great and hermit crabs were mingling.

Having no chance to land here, I drove around Po Point in a Southern direction and using the opportunity bought some fishes from two Dajaks who rowed by in a small boat. I then returned on board.

The cadet we had sent to the lighthouse returned only after sunset on board as he spent much time looking for a way to ascend to the lighthouse and had lost his way. The messages the cadet brought with were not especially favorable: He had tried to communicate with the two lighthouse guards, two native Malays, with a dictionary but could only ascertain that there were no river pilots here and there was no telegraph or optical relay from Po Point to Kuching — thus we had to go and look upstream for ourselves the following morning.


  • Location: Cape Po, Sarawak, Borneo
  • ANNO – on 09.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Der Störenfried“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to Borneo, 8 July 1893

The navigation was very difficult as in the previous pitch-black nights. At least some prominent islands offered excellent direction markers such as Soeroetoe and Karimata that we passed towards 1 o’clock in the night. Exactly at noon we crossed for the second time the equator and namely at 108° 20′ 2″ Eastern latitude but this time in consideration of the sick on board without song and noise, even though we had planned to celebrate the day with a shooting competition that now had been cancelled.

Soon after having crossed the equator we steered between Direction Island and Pulo Datoe and were approaching the Api passage towards evening.

As the island of Meroendoeny and Cape Api are low and the currents in the Api passage at times quite strong and furthermore a rainstorm obscured all visibility we could not dare to cross the narrow passage and thus had to anchor shortly after 10 Uhr o’clock near Tandjong Api.

The maps of Dutch origin that we had to use in these seas were partly very unreliable as the coasts had only partially been sounded and points of direction on land had only been noted in limited numbers. Thus, for example in the Api passage between the groups of the North and South Xatoena islands, the name of the Diana reef is inscribed but neither its exact position nor its surroundings have been sounded. Instead a laconic warning notes the lack of detailed information: „Hier waarschijnlijk nog eenige Gevaaren.“ (Here probably some more dangerous locations).


  • Location: near Pulo Datoe/Datu
  • ANNO – on 08.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Der Hüttenbesitzer“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to Borneo, 7 July 1893

Towards noon, there was a change in course to the North-northwest through the Strait of Karimata that separates Sumatra from Borneo towards the sea of China. Of Borneo we did not see anything as walls of clouds continuously lay in front of its coast.


  • Location: in the Strait of Karimata
  • ANNO – on 07.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Die guten Freunde“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to Borneo, 5 July 1893

At 5 o’clock in the morning we caught sight of Celebes and the Selayar islands. An hour later we passed through the Strait of Selayar that separates the elongated Selayar island from the Southern tip of Celebes. In the afternoon we drove by the lighthouse of Taka Reva at a distance of eight sea miles.

The weather had again turned erratic. During the day it was clear but towards evening and during the night there were heavy rainstorms. The sea remained smooth and calm.


  • Location: South of Celebes
  • ANNO – on 05.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Die Grille“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to Borneo, 4 July 1893

In the morning the islands of Wangiwangi and Boeton came into view South-east of Celebes and we drove at 1 o’clock through the Buto Passage between these two islands. The weather cleared up, the sun was shining with tropical fervor so that the ship on whose deck everything was drying was formally steaming. But thanks to the air oversaturated with water, the humidity remained high.

The sick list on board saw new unfortunate additions as Clam, Bourguignon as well as my hunter were struck by the fever. The former two had very high temperatures and were hallucinating from time to time. Bourguignon even had further complications besides the fever which made us fear about pleurisy. Understandably the bad health affects the otherwise good mood as we had on „Elisabeth“  almost only sick or recovering patients.

In the evening, Hegadis Island became visible.


  • Location: South of Celebes
  • ANNO – on 04.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is closed. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to Borneo, 3 July 1893

Thus we left Amboina, — un-mooring at the break of dawn — without truly having seen this most beautiful island of the Malukus in its true form. The never-ending rain had destroyed any chance, any enjoyment of nature. I had especially been looking forward to see the Aru islands and Amboina as my expectations had been increased to the highest by the promising accounts about these islands. Now however I am closer to the opinion that the rain may have spared me a certain disappointment  as I found, based on what I however have seen only cursorily and in bad weather, the flora and fauna on the Aru islands and on Amboina by far not as rich and beautiful as the books I had read had promised and surpassed by far by the plant and animal worlds on other highlights of my voyage. My experience was similar to many other travelers before.

Countries, regions and places that quasi promise nothing and are visited only by the traveler because the route demands it or only with prejudice are often a most pleasant surprise and feel like home if the intimate attractions of the place happen in combination with meeting sympathetic people.

This success of underestimated countries and people is all the more important where no travel books or oral accounts can offer a good prediction. This happened to me in Sydney and all I saw in New South Wales for example where I had landed, contrary to my original plans, only upon the special request of the marine commander — and now the stay on the Australian mainland seemed to be an indelible highlight of my voyage. A similar experience I made in regard to the Solomon islands that were close to being cut from the route and instead had offered me the most beautiful of views that one can see in the tropical regions about the luxurious vegetation and original nature growing most pleasantly.

In contrast, often and highly praised landscapes such as those in the Aru islands and Amboina as well as many spots of British India I have found quite disappointing which may have been partially influenced by the fact that I did not see them at the most favorable time and have seen them exuberantly described in travel books. In no way do I want to accuse those who have visited and described the countries I have seen to have false ideas or made wrongful presentations, as I am well aware that on the one hand nothing is more difficult as describing something objectively where weather, lights, season and a hundred other circumstances may influence the viewer involuntarily, and on the other hand that every presentation rests too much on the very individual nature of the thinking and perceiving person to be not subjectively colored.

Here is to those who do not have to rely on other people’s description of so many gorgeous or strange things but can examine them in place with one’s own eyes, amend or correct them!

To reach Borneo would require us to undertake a journey of seven days. Just at the exit of Amboina that happened in a rainstorm, we were received by a turbulent sea and had to patiently bear the in no way agreeable pitching of the ship.

On board, it did not look pleasant. There were quite many fever patients and all were suffering from the continued wetness. The uniforms became quite damaged as they were too soaked to completely wring them. In the cabins, all kinds of fabric and leather was in a short time, often within a few hours, covered in a dense layer of mold.

We drove in a South-western direction alongside the coast of Buru and could only now appreciate the size of this island and its high rising mountains. Over Buru hung heavy clouds out of which flashes burst from time to time and there must have been as heavy rainstorms today as it stormed and rained on the day where we hunted in vain for babirussas on Kajeli. Continuously new streams of water was pouring down, lashed by the wind, upon our ship.

Despite these rainstorms the sea still retains its charms, and even in rain and rolling thunder it shows its majestic way. Sometimes the clouds rush by, is broken up for moments and offers, especially in the evening, light effects whose grand scale and colorful changes a landsman does not know but fully fills a seaman’s sight and senses.

In the evening I spend much of the time on the open sea on the bridge which is at the highest point in the ship and offers the best view. I let the fresh breeze envelop me and enjoy the images of the gorgeous sunset that offers something new every day and send my thoughts towards the distant home many thousands of miles away. These are quiet and peaceful hours that only somebody who has undertaken a long voyage can truly appreciate.


  • Location: near Buru
  • ANNO – on 03.07.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „König und Bauer“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to Amboina, 27 June 1893

In a calm sea, we passed still during the night the Kei islands, part of the Maluku islands, to the Northwest of Wammar and part of the group of the South Easter islands. In the morning we saw the Watoe Bella islands, especially Tivor that apparently has the same characteristic scenery as the Aru islands.

The Banda Sea we were now crossing made itself felt by its great heat. Towards noon a South-east monsoon arrived. The weather may have been rainy but at least we were spared stronger winds during the day. But dark clouds loomed over all the islands that we passed out of which lightning flashed constantly.

The evening view upon the Banda islands was very pretty. They are of volcanic origin and covered with a very dense vegetation and especially famous for their intensive cultivation of nutmeg. This industry is said to cover at the moment nearly all the area open to cultivation.  From those lovely islands sweet aromatic smells were drifting towards us despite the distance of multiple miles. Moon after moon flowers and fruits blossom in sweet unity — how much will it flower and be fragrant there when the tropical spring reaches the chalices!

Mightily rises the island volcano Goenoeng Api out of the sea with its pointed 670 m high cone. This fire mountain is, even if not currently, still active and a few years ago a heavy eruption has caused terrible damage on the nearby inhabited Banda islands of Xeira and Banda Lontar which claimed many human lives.


  • Location: Banda islands
  • ANNO – on 27.06.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Der Unterstaatssekretär“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

Dobo, 25 June 1893

During the night we passed around the Southern part of the Aru islands and then set course for the island of Wammar. In the morning heavy rain clouded the view. The rain was so heavy that the travel speed had to lowered. Finally the storm relented and some of the very flat islands of the Aru group came into view, first Trangan, then Maikoor and Kobroor, then Wokam as well as the small island of Wammar, on whose North-western coast lies the trading station of Dobo, our next destination.

The Aru or Western Papua archipelago which is part of the Dutch residency of Amboina comprises 22 larger and 73 smaller partly uninhabited and even unknown islands that group themselves around the main island of Aru, which the natives themselves call Tanah Besar. It consists of a row of small islands separated by narrow estuaries. The largest islands from North to South are Wokam, Kobroor, Maikoor and Trangan. The total area of the group is listed as 8613 km2; the islands are divided into front and rear wall islands depending on whether they are oriented towards the West or the East. During the era of the Dutch East India company, Voorwal was the name given to the islands facing the trade routes and Achterwal to the islands turned to the other side.

The total number of inhabitants of the Aru islands is estimated at around 25.000; the largest part of which are heathen, in part with a strongly developed fetish cult. The race of the Aruans is predominantly  a mix of Papuan and Malayan elements even if foreign elements are mixed in.

The ground of the islands mostly consists of coral forms. Now and then it is rocky, covered with layers of sand or swampy but mostly, especially close to the shore, composed of corals, the islands have a wave-like form only now and then interrupted by small hills. Jungle and humous parts alternate. Palm trees are plentiful everywhere besides coconut trees, sago and nipa palm trees there are representatives here from very rare species. Splendidly developed here are the tree ferns, numerous the canaries and on many river edges strange casuarines surround the hilly woods. Agriculture is not highly developed as planting is done only what is useful for a vegetarian cuisine besides the fruits of the forest: maize, pisang, batatas, yams roots and where the ground allows, sugar cane.  The outstanding industry is fishing and hunting which supplies the most important trade good to the Aruans. The former offers fish, trepang, pearls and mother of pearl, tortoise shell, the latter produce edible salangane’s nests, a species of common swifts, salanganes, casuarines, birds of paradise, parrots and numerous birds of other species, spotted cuscus (Cuscus maculatus), bandicoots (Perameles doreyana), wild boars, wallabies etc.

The entrance channel to the harbor of Dobo offers only a narrow passage for large ships and the depth of the shipping channel changes here so quickly that alternating soundings show 6 fathoms on starboard and 22 fathoms on port.

A small steam boat in the harbor we at first believed to be the government vehicle which the resident of Amboina was to send here according to the schedule but learned that it was a merchant ship and on the way to a round trip to the different harbors of the residency of Amboina. Apart from this merchant steam boat there were only two pearl fishing boats, one of which flying the English flag, in the harbor of Dobo as far as larger vehicles are concerned but it was full of praus which serve in these waters as coastal transportation.

The village of Dobo — multiple rows of densely packed buildings — lies on a narrow sand covered headland on whose Southern end already at the shore of the actual island where a luxurious high forest.

The buildings, huts constructed large in the manner of barns with steep roofs are used in the front for apartments while the rear rooms are used for storage and magazines.

Trade is strong during the months of January to August as during this time vehicles of all kind, from large praus to small boats from Macassar, from Ceram, Goram, the Banda islands etc. tend to come here. Then a vivid trade develops with the natives.

The character of Dobo is that of a trading place is expressed also by the type of about 500 heads of population — a mix of Papuan, Malayan, Javanese and even Chinese elements — and among the permanent inhabitants there does not seem to be a single Aruans with pure blood. As the true Aruans, the natives of this archipelago live hidden in the interior just as on the other islands of this group such as on Wammar, mostly, in small villages which they leave only to trade in Dobo.

The natives have totally surrendered to the appeal of alcoholic beverages, namely arrak with its 50 percent alcohol and more and thus especially popular. Without thought they exchange all their goods, often the result of hard labor of weeks, with traders for a few small barrels of this poison drink. In all latitudes guns have contributed less to the persistent subjugation of the native peoples than firewater!

As Dobo for itself does not offer anything special and only is settled by traders of the lowest category and with a notorious reputation — the genie of trade is a very unclean fellow — thus I abstained from taking consideration of this shops  and wanted to use the short time that was to be spent in these waters for expeditions to other parts of the island world of Aru.

Multiple gentlemen, however, as well as the ship cooks hunting fresh food had let themselves be transported to Dobo where they were shocked by the fantastic prices. They for instance asked 60 fl., for a pig and  1 fl. for 5 eggs! The gentlemen also did not make any ethnographic catches as the objects offered by the traders were mostly of European origin and overall extremely pricey.

Possibly the exorbitant prices had been asked only in our honor. As officially Dobo, as a part of the residency of Amboina and its position as a trading place had took notice of our arrival by hosting the flags everywhere and all huts even the many praus moored at the shore had been ornamented with the colors of the Dutch tricolore.

In a small dinghy arrived the postal master of Dobo, a dignitary whose position was comparable in the Dutch residencies of the Malayan archipelago to our district supervisors (Bezirkshauptmänner).

The chiefs of the individual tribes living in this archipelago are acknowledged by the government but are subordinated to their officials. Said postal master,  a comic fat Malay and the only one in the village who could speak a few words in a European language, namely English. He reported that the resident of Amboina had finally departed the day before after he had awaited the arrival of „Elisabeth“ from the 12th to the 25th June.

I vividly regretted that the resident had wasted so much time waiting for our arrival but he seemed to have been a victim of some miscommunication. Even if it was very difficult to predict the precise day of arrival of such a long sea voyage in advance, the circumstance that the resident had been expecting us already 14 days ago can only be explained by an error.

The faulty English used by the brave postal manager made it more difficult and time-consuming to develop a program for my time on the island, so that only after a full hour everything was arranged. He immediately afterwards went to the village to make the necessary preparations for our expedition. Toward noon he was back on board, this time wearing a coy hunter costume and armed with two overlong rifles of medieval vintage. He was to be my guide for the excursion to Wokam island.

The steam barge took us quickly to the West coast of the island where the flat coral rich shore proved difficult for us to disembark, even more so as a heavy rain was falling that forced us for some moments to seek shelter in the hut of a mixed-race Malay on the shore. Then everybody went as usual in different directions in the company of a guide.

The jungle that engulfed me after only a few steps reminded me vividly of the forests in the Solomon islands and New Guinea in its splendor and luxuriousness of its vegetation but with the difference that the ground was extremely swampy and in many places there were broad marshy streams criss-crossing the forest whose black deep moor filled the air around with miasma.  The color of the stagnant water was a dark black-blue. At every step that we made in the swamp we uprooted decomposing organic matter that produced an abominable smell.

In the beginning I tried to walk across the swamp on fallen trunks that were laying criss-cross but this method was later not practical so that I had to, if I wanted to advance, for good or bad to wade through the swamp and I only managed to drag my foot forward with great effort out of the viscous mass where I had placed it. Furthermore the terrain full of trees was overgrown with all kind of copious vegetation and about every half hour a new heavy rainfall poured down.

Immediately after each rainfall the sun peeked through the clouds and as soon as it became visible the voices of the birds were immediately heard too that had gone quiet during the rain. Among these sounds, those of the white cockatoo (Cacatua triton) and the black ara cockatoo, as well as the cries of the pigeons, some parrots, a brushturkey as well as kingfishers and  mainas of various species were especially notable. The enormous height of the trees made my efforts difficult to discover the birds just like in New Guinea.

I concentrated my efforts mostly on catching one the black cockatoos that are notable by their beautiful feathers dusted with white, light-red cheeks and a splendid tuft rising vertically. But the effort was in vain even though I waded through the swamp for hours. Though I saw a few specimens of this species I managed to shot and wound one but failed to bag it. Instead I killed two brushturkeys sitting in a tree (Talegallus fuscirostris), multiple kingfishers of a new species (Sauromarptis gaudichaudi) and three large pigeons.

On a dry ficus tree I found an uninhabited but apparently recently built airy of a large predator. Clam later assured me to have seen an osprey close to this airy that was hunting fish at the coast.

The information Wallace presents in his work „The Malayan Archipelago“ about the variety, splendor and richness of the butterflies of the Aru islands I found confirmed as despite the frequent rainstorms everywhere during my journey through the jungle the most splendid butterflies notable for their size and diversity of species were fluttering around. Thus I saw a butterfly flying from branch to branch like a bird, probably Ornithoptera aruana,  whose wingspan is incidentally 20 cm!

Another peculiarity of the Aru islands is the presence of marine animals especially shells and snails at a great distance from the shore. Part of the snails must have been carried into the interior by hermit crabs, the other beings and forms might have been pushed there by flooding. As the interior of the islands lies in many places deeply below sea level which also explains the swampy character of the forest.

Under the black humus layer only shells and corals of very recent formation can be found. Thanks to the protective layer many forms are completely intact and unweathered

My guide, a mixed-race Malay, proved to be a lazy rascal who had only one motto: Let’s go back! The brave one was also not very keen on wading in the swampy terrain so that I had to use all possible means to make him go on. This islander seemed to be an example for the belief that mixed-race people have no good qualities and think that the mixing of individuals of two or more different races only will result in the inheritance of all the bad physical and psychic characters of those races that are combined in that respective mixed-race person.

At sunset I met the other gentlemen again on the beach  some of which had been luckier than me — proven by their catches of a black cockatoo, numerous parrots and a beautiful light brown heron.

As the low tide had arrived in the mean time, we had to wade for a rather long way through mood and water to reach the barge.


  • Location: Dobo, Aru Islands
  • ANNO – on 25.06.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Das verlorene Paradies“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to the Aru islands, 23 and 24 June 1893

On the 23rd appeared long stripes of a yellow mass appeared on the sea whose density increased more and more and finally covered everything around over a wide area. As the character of the mass could not be determined during the drive on board, samples of this substance were fished out and then examined with magnifying glass and finally with the microscope. It was determined that the mass which many had assumed to be spawn was actually  pollen.

Land we did again not see during these days as the South-western coast of New Guinea which should have been in our field of vision is too flat to be perceived at such a great distance. As messengers from the land, however, appeared five lovely swallows, probably diverted by the storm. They were visibly tired and circled around the ship then flew on board and landed on the yards and ropes to rest. These delicate animals escorted us to the Aru islands and soon became so tame that they even flew into the officer’s mess and landed on the dinner table or on the electrical lamp of the chandelier.

The fever epidemic was still not abating during the 23rd and 24th. To the contrary, numerically it was still on the increase: On both days there were more hitherto healthy people affected by the fever while the number of re-convalescents grew but slowly.


  • Location: South of New Guinea
  • ANNO – on  23.06.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „Der Meister von Palmyra“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.

At Sea to the Aru islands, 22 June 1893

In the morning of 22th June, the journey was continued. After many changes in the direction of the course that were necessary. the Adolphus islands North of the Australian mainland came into view and soon thereafter the islands of Thursday Island and Banks island on starboard with the high Mount Augustus.

As the quinine supplies of the ship pharmacy were getting low due to the numerous fever cases and the provisions had to be replenished and „Elisabeth“ had been unable to send news about its well-being and woes home since the departure from Sydney, the commander decided to pay a call to Thursday Island. Thus we passed through the Prince of Wales-Canal between Hammond Island and the North West Reef known to us from our first passage of the Strait of Torres, at 3 o’clock in the afternoon we anchored close to Thursday Island in front of the pilot station of Goode Island in the Normanby Sound, and sent out the steam barge to Thursday Island to buy quinine and supplies and to telegraph home.

The was no longer as beautiful as the day before as fog and rainstorms clouded the horizon.

I saw again, while we were anchoring at the same spot where I had observed a sea eagle during our first stay next to the pilot station, one of those birds circle around the ship. He swooped down on the kitchen garbage, came close to us about four or five times and finally at dusk flew away to Goode Island to rest for the night.

After an absence of three hours the barge returned — unfortunately without a mail package that the commander had announced — and the voyage was continued at 8 o’clock in the evening. We steamed out of Normanby Sound, past the lighthouse ship at Proudfoot Shoal on starboard, out of the island area of the Strait of Torres and reached the Arafura Sea which showed itself again as very calm but made us experience its muggy heat immediately after our entrance in its region. No fresh wind, the smoke rose straight as an arrow into the air, the tiring muggy heat stuck to the ship and in the cabins the temperature was between 28° and 30° Reaumur (35-37.5° Celsius) .


  • Location: Thursday Island
  • ANNO – on  22.06.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing „College Crampton“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is closed from 1 June to 19 July.
The Wiener Salonblatt issue 26, p. 6 notes Franz Ferdinand's good health and arrival at Thursday Island

The Wiener Salonblatt issue 26, p. 6 notes Franz Ferdinand’s good health and arrival at Thursday Island