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Notes written by Oskar Speck relating to his voyage

Date: 1939
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Nancy Jean Steele Bequest
Object Copyright: © Australian National Maritime Museum
Object Name: Record
Object No: ANMS0533[014]

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    • ANMS0533 [014]Zaka, 17 June 1939 Left Malala on Sunday, 13 June. It was raining until the afternoon. Strong counter-current, got only as far as Lababia (island). Slept in the mission building, which appeared to be where the helper also lives. Continued the next day. Map completely useless and suddenly I hear a shot. Move towards a motor boat and meet a young Australian and his crew catching fish with dynamite. These people must be good divers, since the fish almost all sink. There is a terrible mess on board and very dirty. Stayed there overnight. Continued the next morning. Received almost [illegible] good wind from ashore. Then the wind is changing and eventually blows from the south-east. I land in a village [illegible] (Photos) Very nice people there and apparently particularly friendly towards Germans. Very nice [illegible]. The next day I go on to Zaka. The [illegible] is visible from a long way away. I arrived there around mealtime. My laundry is done there and I stay for a day. Unfortunately I can't get a map of these parts and so I have to cope without a map as far as Samarai. Good weather. Feeling rather down, but don't know the reason for this. Buna, 21 June 39 Left from Zaka on Sunday. Rather strange people, but they helped me quite a lot. I crossed the border in a large bay and arrived at a small village in the evening. The mission building was on top of the hill, but it was at least half an hour to get there. The Papuans helped me to carry my boat to the [illegible] There was an inscription about punishment if the border is crossed without having £50 . I was thirsty and wanted to get some Kulau, so I gave one of the Papuans some razor blades and a "Lap-Lap" and he said "Yes" and disappeared. After one hour I still didn't have any coconuts and it turned out that the chap had misunderstood and had run to the mission. After another one of them had brought me some kulau the first one came back and said that I should go to the kai-kai at the mission. That wasn't going to happen, of course, since it had become dark and I had finished eating. Didn't sleep well there because of scores of mosquitoes. I continued the next morning, but finished early. People don't speak English and don't know what to do with razor blades. Filmed pieces of clothing. Everything made from tree bark with [illegible] patterns. (A piglet half eaten by a crocodile and then used as "Makau" for Papuans.) I keep my revolver close to me overnight, but completely unnecessary. Papuans with coconuts at dawn! Child with a big wound!! Continued with good winds and stopped because a Papuan invited me to visit. The wind also started to be unfavourable and so I decided to stay there. Photos!! Strange .. ..[page finishes here]
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