National Geographic : 1945 Jan
Seafarers of South Celebes The Saddle Shows Her Rank: She's a Four-cushion Lady At Bira, three and five cushions denote lower and higher grades than hers. The sunshade is for pomp, as the sun has declined. Spectator at a fencing match, she is riding home to her village (page 64). ness, driving rain and spray across the deck. Though it blew hard it was only a small one; but it was enough to drive the ship back some distance to the west and to prevent her once more from clearing Bulu Bulu. It was not only our failure to pass Bulu Bulu that was worrying Hadji Badong. Sev eral times we had been compelled to anchor hastily, fully exposed to the wind, to prevent the ship from being driven on reefs. When we anchored over a reef in an ex posed position, the pitching ship tugged at the anchor cables, scraping them over the sharp coral so that it gradually cut through the tough fibers. Hadji Badong had then to decide whether to risk losing an anchor or to set sail again and try to get clear of the reefs. The fibers of the anchor cables, like stiff black horsehair, came from areng palms, which also provide sugar for the people of the islands. These cables are stiff and prickly, and many prau masters prefer the more flexible ropes made from coconut-husk fibers. We had already lost two anchors through the cutting of the cables by coral, and now only one remained on board. "I don't want to anchor again," said Hadji Badong. "We'd only lose another, for it's clear that Allah has forgotten us. And if we go on beating about near Celebes we shall only be driven back. We'll have to sail south to Flores."