|Loading vehicles @ Brunei immigration - Muara terminal|
The first thing that I noticed as soon as I boarded was this chained staircase, meaning restricted area!
And, the urge to go up and take a look was too high, so I asked the one of the uniformed crew members if I could go up. "Wait mam, will check with the captain and come", he said. Within minutes, he came back and let me go up...
|First I saw the captain- was not sure if he would let me in...|
The Captain seemed to be busy, so I was hesitating to enter, but just then he waved at me to come in! Captain Nurniwan was soft-spoken and was not fluent in English. We managed to communicate with his broken English and my broken Malay! First off he said that Shuttle Hope was made in Japan and the capacity of this vessel is about 200 passengers and can take 45 cars at a cruising speed of 15 knots. "Got 2 engines, so can bring cars/buses from one side and drive through the other side" said the captain and walked me to the other engine in the rear...
When he knew that I was from India, he commented that before heading this 'ship' he was working in large ships and used to go to ports of Kozhikode & Calcutta in India! With his permission, I started taking pictures of the gadgets and cabins in this deck.
When the captain showed me the 'eye' of the ship, I was fascinated and asked him "what can it see?"
The captain opened the GPS like EYE and said, "Look at that ship, now this 'eye' can 'see' and tell the name and other details of that ship", and we learnt that the name of that ship was Oriental! He further explained that "see this radar, can show if any boat or ship come in my way, especially during bad weather, and the transducer tells me the depth of the water and with this wireless phone can communicate with other ships or with ports...""How safe is this ferry, that too if it rains heavily or...?" for which the captain said, "don't worry, no tsunami in this part of the region and it is quite stable". Satisfied with this I moved on to take a couple of shots of the Brunei Bay...
|Passengers boarding a small ferry|
|In this kind of ferries, you will be cooped up throughout the journey!|
Now, I moved on to the other part of the captain's deck...
|The Crew's kitchen...|
For a 9 member crew, the kitchen seemed to be small, but well this ferry goes only on short trips, so it should be fine!
Shrill sound of the ferry's whistle prompted that we were about to start our journey...so I decided to go back to the passenger's deck and to my surprise, the captain was kind enough to offer any help if I needed!
Coming down to the passenger deck, I realized that, practically we had the entire ferry to ourselves! Towards the rear end, I saw this...
|Emergency plan showing the vessel's layout...|
'Not bad' I thought, thatz why the captain had commented earlier that Shuttle Hope was safe, with all this elaborate safety measures!
You might also like to read/see pics of my other Borneo experiences...Poring - Canopy Walkway Bridge
Aerial Views - Borneo
Water ways of Brunei - Air Kampung, Venice of the East
The Giant Flower - Rafflesia