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Journal of a Seaplane Cruise Around The World
Part Three: Asia

Monday, October 23

Basra to Lingeh

Up by moonlight to help the ship back in the water. Tricky job, for the wheels on the truck had no swivel and it could be turned only with two dozen coolies dragging the whole cart on a tug-of-war rope. Baird and Barber down to see us off.

What rotten luck! We have run downstream and upstream, and no success in getting off. On the first upsteam run I got up to 80 miles an hour and still couldn't lift it; the ship tended to nose under and I was very uneasy so we have stopped to examine all compartments for water, and we are gassed 60-60-30-30, about 6100 lbs., so perhaps there is good reason. But is it a gripe! Well, we are taxiing a long way upstream, and the R.A.F. speedboat will dodge back and forth ahead of us to break waves over the river. The river is full of boats 30 feet long and one oar; or little one man boats that scramble for safety at much the last moment, as you go by. The bank is studded with palms and the whole scene is lovely, except for that fact that we cannot fly.

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