Made the Mad Axeman and the Timber Haulers had done their thing so the next step was to come up with a plan! Some serious designing was required. Suggestions came thick and fast. A stronger, longer ladder. A loo with a view. A captain’s chair. Even a water slide! You name it, it was suggested.
So after scrapping some of the less practical suggestions, out came the set squares, protractors and sharp 2H pencils and the drawing commenced. Now I may have mentioned that my knowledge of boat building was limited to something you could fold from paper and float in the bath, as a result, the task of designing a sodding great 15 metre wooden boat was somewhat daunting. Nevertheless, after a couple of weeks and much head scratching, a reasonable facsimile of a set of plans were produced.
Construction Crew Consultation.
Meanwhile, Pak Nyoman had found our trusty boat builder, the incredible Pak Gandy. We were formally introduced and I humbly submitted my design. The boat captains, led by Pak Lombang, boat builders and various hangers on all peered at the plans and there was a long silence. The suspense was killing me. Cigarettes were passed round, cups of coffee consumed, various aspects of the design were pontificated over and, after what seemed an eternity there was a mass nodding of heads. At last the verdict was pronounced.
Then the plans were neatly folded and …….never, ever looked at again!
Boatyard in the Jungle.
There just remained the question of where the boat would be built. For some unfathomable reason, the location for our boatyard was in the jungle, nearly 200 meters from the sea! I did question this choice but was reassured that this was a very fortuitous site, approved of by the deities of boat builders.
There was one other slight problem. Because rainy season was in full force, workers, timbers and tools would soon end up soaking wet and like my wet suit, ever so slightly mouldy! So a suitable tent had to be built. Therefore the greenery was cut back, bamboo sacrificed to the cause and a spidery structure was erected, covered in canvas and lashed to nearby trees. Finally the finishing touch was the installation of the temple and that was it, we were ready to go!
In our next thrilling instalment, “Pak Gandy scribbles in the sand!”