A view from Cambodia

Monday 30 April

Almost every morning since the start of the project there has been a strong wind, but a group of divers faithfully gets up early to head out to the barge. Some days, however, we all stand by for the full day because it’s not possible to get on or off the barge. This morning was a day when we were on stand-by because of the weather, but then ended up heading out to the barge at about 10am. From that point on, the team moved like a machine, trying to get as much done as possible before the rough weather we knew was coming actually hit us. I have not experienced anything like this in work in Cambodia before – we only work in the predictable dry season, and not in the monsoon season, where it is too difficult to work. I have been very impressed with this project and everyone here, including the principle investigators as well as the volunteers.

Two very reliable diving tenders – Fiona Shanahan and Heng Kamsan (photo by Andy Viduka)

I have really enjoyed this project and excavation because it has really showed me in person what I have seen people talking about at conferences and in their papers. It is a really good thing to be able to see it in person. There is such a range of publications on Australian research from so many public and private institutions, it is very interesting to be part of one. These are the sorts of things that I have been thinking about as I have helped out with the various tasks on barge, and the long hours of tending divers.

As the afternoon rolled on, we had some problems with one of the compressors, which affected how many divers could be working. Towards the middle of the afternoon we could see a line of wind on the water, and knew that we had to hurry up in order to get off the barge before it got really dangerous. We got everyone safely onto the boat in very rough seas and had a lovely but bumpy ride back to the harbor.