"By Aeroplane to Pygmyland" Accounts of the 1926 Smithsonian-Dutch Expedition to New Guinea

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Journal of Matthew Stirling
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May 4, 1926 : Albatross Camp (Base Camp) ; Mamberamo River

May 4th

Today the unloading of the Albatross was completed. No incidents of particular note. The clearing and camp making continues, but naturally there is a lot of confusion yet since most of our man power has been occupied in getting the ship's load on shore. The water in the river is falling very slowly. There is scarcely a perceptible change since our arrival. Our native motor boat engineer knows about as little as possible about a motor with the ability to keep it running. Instead of one man, three are needed to run the motor boat: one at the {p. 48} wheel, one at the throttle and one on the bow to handle the rope in landing. None of our Malays at any rate are capable of doing more then one detail on a job at once. It rained a little today, but on the whole the weather thus far has been quite pleasant and cool and fairly rainless, when it is considered that about 110 inches of rain fall here during the dry season alone.

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