|Mr. Hung and his Thung Chai|
|Careful hands weave a good net|
Paddling the Thung Chai is much like sculling an Inuit kayak. The long thin blade (also much like that of Greenland) is moved side to side patiently in the water on the side of the boat in which you are trying to go. My first attempts simply moved us in circles. Then I watched as Hung moved it, as if dancing, flipping the paddle side to side in an arch, bringing the paddle facing edge forward after each movement, all while balancing standing in the waves. The balance of strength in the strokes turns the vessel.
|A basket full of one's needs|
With the occasional swim, afternoons means repairing nets and relaxing from the sun. Hung and I sit under a tarp in his beached Thung Chai as he shows me with patience how to repair holes made by fish or the ocean bottom. We have everything we need here. Shelter, water, a bit of food, something to do. The hours pass. Now and then a motor boat rides by. Hung shakes his head in disapproval. "Hung thung chai, no motor!" he makes the movement of paddling with a big smile on his face. Thats enough for him.