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On the 23rd of February, The Charming Duckling (aka "TLC-1")began her journey to Phnom Penh for her refitting at Sweline Boats. On board was Ralf Regitz (friend, supporter, advisor and entrepreneur) from Germany; Lor Rem (pilot) from Kompong Kleang; Lann Ly (ship's mate) from Moat Klas; Tobias Rose-Stockwell (poet, humanitarian, wine aficionado and founder of Human Translation); and Jon Morgan (enough said.)

It was a warm and hazy day as we set out from Kompong Kleang. The water level of the Tonle Sap has been dropping steadily since December as noted by the water marks on the stilt houses along the banks of the river leading through Kompong Kleang.

Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

The waterway was quite busy that morning with the commerce of the lake.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

The changes in water depth are dramatic. Six months ago this area was covered with at least 4 meters of water. Today it is being farmed by migrants living in temporary shelters.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

With the waters so low we were thankful to have a flat bottomed boat. As it was our prop had to plow through mud and push us along for several meters as we exited the river into the Tonle Sap Lake.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

With the waters low and storms not a problem during this season, many families move themselves right to the edge of the lake.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

Once upon the open water, there was just that--open water for about 5 hours.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

We ran into a sandbar (more like a mudflat) as we entered the mouth of the Tonle Sap River. Thankfully our ship's mate, Aly, was ready and able to apply her extraordinary physical strength to pushing us off.
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell
The First Night.
Rather idyllic.
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

THE NEXT DAY:

Another warm morning greeted us. Tobias is obviously enjoying his much needed two day hiatus from duties with Human Translation.

Photo: Ralf Regitz

Have I ever said how beautiful Cambodia can be?
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Lor Rem--just because this is the best photo of him yet.
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

THE SECOND NIGHT
Just two hours from Phnom Penh:
Photo: Ralf Regitz

Mandatory lotus blossom photo.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

And another one.
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Mandatory Cambodian cow photo.
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

DAY THREE:
This day was hot. Hot as only Cambodia can be.

Jon and Ralf
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

A mosque serving the Cham ethnic minority a few miles from Phnom Penh
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

The population density increases as we approach Phnom Penh.
Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Tourist boats waiting for customers along the Tonle Sap riverside in Phnom Penh.
Photo: Ralf Regitz

Lifting The Charming Duckling!!!!!

Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell

Photo: Tobias Rose-Stockwell
AT SWELINE

After 6 months of living together; weathering storms, leaks and engine problems we have put together a list of changes to be made to our Duckling. These changes will have their own blog-report as soon as they are complete. For now, this is how she looked just two weeks ago while undergoing a reconfiguration of her bow.
Photo: Jon Morgan

More to come!