COASTAL TAIWAN – Seaweed divers; Chinese Junk documentary

July 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Ama diver, Japan  (

Ama diver, Japan (

Chinese Junk – documentary film hit in New Zealand (TaipeiTimes 31 July 2015)

(from Taipei Times) A documentary chronicling the international effort to salvage a rare Chinese junk and return it to Taiwan was enthusiastically received at its world premiere in Wellington at the New Zealand International Film Festival, which is being held in various cities in the country.
The film received a standing ovation at its world premiere.
Directed by Robin Greenberg, the documentary, Return of the Free China Junk, documents the journey to return the Chinese wooden sailing boat Free China to Taiwan.
The boat is 21.3 meters long and 5.2 meters wide and is believed to have been built in the 1890s. It is also said to be the oldest existing Chinese junk built according to ancient methods and one of the only junks to have sailed across the Pacific.


Replica Chinese Junk – located river end of Nanjing Road West, Taipei

North coast near Keelung

North coast near Keelung where seaweed diving women operate.  (Story below)

seaweed2SEAWEED DIVING WOMEN of Taiwan   (TaipeiTimes 8 July 2015)



August 6, 2013 § Leave a comment

Keelung is pronounced Gelong.  Ge as in 'me' then long.  Ge-long

Keelung pronounced:  Ge as in ‘me’ then long. Ge-long, (spoken not as is written).

An unusual name for a shop.

An unusual name for a shop.

1-DSC09605Yet to work out how to get to the top floors of the tallest building in the city.  The lift will only allow access to the 17th floor where there is a ‘Sydney’ restaurant.

Maybe the top floors are a private penthouse?  It would be a stunning view of the harbour below.


August 3, 2013 § Leave a comment



August 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

 Port of Keelung

Port of Keelung 1 August 2013

Beautiful day at Keelung, August 4th. Twin masts of Rainbow Warrior III - far right.

Beautiful day at Keelung, August 4th. Twin masts of Rainbow Warrior III – far right.

October 2012 in Taipei,  young people dressed as Greenpeace volunteers were seeking donations at Chang An Road, East during midday lunch time.  There was no reason to doubt they were not genuine, except stopping people and asking for donations is, I thought, a bit unusual.


Keelung, Taiwan.  4 August 2013



July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Cruise ship stopped for a few hours.  Not an ideal method of sampling the local culture as that culture would now include a few thousand people from your  cruise ship.

Cruise ship stopped for about eight hours last Sunday. Not an ideal method of sampling the local culture as that culture would now include a few thousand people from your own cruise ship.


July 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

Taiwan's north shore, near Keelung.  As seen from the daily 'shuttle bus' to Tamsui - a 2 hour journey.

Taiwan’s north shore, near Keelung. Man-made harbour as  seen from the daily ‘shuttle bus’ to Tamsui – a 2 hour journey.

Bus ticket

Bus ticket


GREEN ISLAND – east coast diving (off Taitung)

June 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

1-2013-06-207We’ve only been to the island for one-day (in 2003).  Everyone was out diving and the water visibility looked blue enough to be 100 foot plus.  Following news in Taipei Times over the years seems to show that the underwater ecology around the island is in need of better protection from both the visitors and the locals. No easy task and probably a lot of effort required.  However, even a badly damaged area will bounce back in a few years.  Green Island waters are constantly being refreshed by currents so it won’t be too difficult a task – it just requires the right people to get it happening.  Plenty of underwater video on YouTube.  We’ll post something here.

Bus ride view

Bus ride view

First view of Green Island

First view of Green Island


Poster impression of a large fish, probably caught by line.

Poster impression of a large fish, probably caught by line.

Ancient Japanese method of fish printing


The fish artwork  is an ink impression taken from the fish.  Species is similar to Australia’s Black Cod – a fine-textured flesh superior to Giant  groper (elsewhere called grouper).

They are a slow-growing species which I fear might easily become rare in the shallows around Green Island.

Exactly what is happening at Green Island with diving, spear fishing, coral collecting is not clear to me.

The island is far enough offshore to catch the blue water currents and therefore  is potentially perfect for diving.

Balancing this asset against the interests of others who seek short-term instant rewards from the sea will require talented negotiations.

A  bit difficult if insufficient understanding of marine ecology is absent.

The answer seems simple.    Protect the diving sites from all forms of fishing, fish collection (for aquariums) and removal of coral.

This provides an asset that lasts a long time – but never forever.

Divers do minor damage, but slowly.  Eventually this needs management.

Some tips from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in Townsville on managing coral reefs and fishing might be a good starting point.

FISH PRINTING (Taipei Times 8 May 2017)

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