Constructing the Raft
Click on the images to view each photo full-size, one-by-one, with explanations.
Our first sketch, of how to make the frame.
34 of these huge bamboo sticks 11m long (35ft) made up the raft structure.
An aerial photograph of Coca, our town of construction. The river to the left is the Coca River that merges with the Napo River, flowing in the top of the images. We constructed the raft on the small Payamino river, which can be seen curving in the right of the image.
Carrying the bamboo sticks the last 500m (1/4 mi), was hard work as each weighed up to 70kg.
Our raft floated on 20 of these 55 gallon (200 liter) plastic barrels. We bought them used from a scrap-yard.
The very first bamboo joint. It turned out to be poor workmanship; later we learned the technique.
Peycho looking bewildered around as our raft isn’t taking much shape. Time to learn.
Our tribal landlord shows us how its done.
The humble, but happy home of our friendly, warm, Shuar-tribal landlord.
Eating lunch together with our landlord, always a good experience.
On day 3, we had to float the small main-frame, before it got too heavy to carry into the river
Installing the barrels under the main-frame and the raft is floating!
Our tribal landlord shows us the tricks of the trade.
Constructing, with the help of our friends.
It’s starting to look like something, right?
Chapter 3: Construction in Coca
Peycho, constructing with a machete
Getting much, much closer
Roof and floor installed, happy co-owner
We considered adding a sail to the raft, but dropped the plan as it likely wouldn’t have worked.
Making a fireplace
A fireplace and 2 sand-anchors.
Not so basic, afterall
Harvesting rain-water from the roof and into a 20 gallon water tank. We even added a tap and a sink.
Ready for departure!
Beds, chairs and whatever you need for the next 4 months. See the champagne?
Port Registry Certificate. Officially, we are now a vessel.
International Sailing Permit, issued by the Equadorian Army