Another early morning, on the Bridge for 4:15 and our arrival. I had never called here before and preceding the call, I had tried to glean as much information as possible from the port itself; unfortunately, the agent was the tour operator and not privy to the type of information I was trying to obtain, depths, currents, berths and so forth. The agent had told me the name of the berth, however none of them were marked on the chart 😉 so that didn’t help either.
Being what it is, the charts didn’t tell us much either; both ‘electronic’ (ENC) and ARC, (which is a scanned copy of the paper chart), didn’t show us much. All we knew was that it was shallow! :-). We approached through the, by now usual, fleet of fishing boats, hundreds of them, many of them not showing any lights and made towards the pilot boarding point. One of the many boats seemed to be making a direct course for us and we presumed, correctly, that it was indeed our pilot (and it transpired, 13 ‘officials’ for visa production).
The first matter in-hand was to ask the pilot where the berth was, (it turned out to be nowhere near where we thought we might go), so just as well that we cleared that one up :-). The channel was shallow (3 metres under keel) and the maneuver involved swinging through 90° and backing towards the berth. This involved our stern swinging over a bank, which gave us a clearance of 2 metres under the azipods, so all this was done really slowly.
I was duty-bound (but of course), to try to obtain some photos for these pages and so, after completing various tasks, I boarded one of the complimentary shuttle-buses which took me to the centre of Sihanoukville and the market. Having arrived here, all of the passengers were mobbed by taxi drivers (aka prospective tour guides). As it was my intention to see as much as possible in as short a time as possible, the bartering with the tuk-tuk drivers started in earnest and having arrived at an agreeable fee to both parties, off I set. I had a map with me and pointed out to my driver where I wanted to go and when I wanted to be back; much nodding of head and thumbs up…..
First of all, off to Wat Leu, a beautiful Buddhist temple, before we did so, we stopped at the roadside to see some of the wild monkeys.
Then onto the temple itself…….
Then onto the Fishing village, near the port……
Then wending my way back to the ship, some shots taken on the way. I asked my driver to stop at an intriguing shrine near the centre of the city, unfortunately our language barrier prevented me finding out what it was for; a Buddha with snakes surrounding her, in this case they look like cobras.
Finally, one I couldn’t resist, taken from my tuk-tuk, so slightly blurred, a family in their car, complete with Cambodian air-conditioning.
K1 returned yesterday, having had a wonderful time at Angkor Wat and 600 photographs! It’s going to take me a few days to sort them, before I can post them and of course, we arrive in Singapore tomorrow evening.