Saturday, January 8, 2011

Discovering Batu Gajah ...tin dredge 8 January 2011

Kapal Korek. Photos do not do justice to this enormous beastly machine.
If only my Geography and History teacher had taken me here...
Batu Gajah was supposed to be a short stopover on our way to Ipoh for my mother-in-law's 68th birthday. The last fully restored tin dredge in Malaysia was our destination. However we ended up spending 5 hours in Batu Gajah.

The drive along the Batu Gajah -Tualang stretch was beautiful in the early morning. We left KL at 6am, caught the rising sun along the North-South highway and was greeted by the surreal, mist covered peaks of the Titiwangsa mountain range.

We use kapok pillows in PD, bought by the roadside.
Kapok trees were in full bloom in Batu Gajah!
The trees were filled with tufts of white cotton fluff busting out from their seed pods.
The tin dredge was huge, rusty and partially sunken. Walking into the tin dredge we had to cross a rusty metal bridge over the deep dark waters. The words "drowning" and "sinking" flashed repeatedly in my mind. It didn't help that on board the pontoon there were many manholes that were uncovered and looking down into one, we felt dizzy when we saw that it was an endless drop into the deep, dark abyss.
There wasn't any signs or information boards, so we didn't know what we were looking at. I should have done more research on the tin dredge.

As we walked in within the tin dredge, Fai noticed that the dredge was lopsided. The left side was partially submerged. This can be seen evidently from the outside.

The surface of the floor was rusty and cracked. We felt it was safer to distribute our weight and not stand in a group.
I couldn't shake off the foreboding I felt and the thought of the 4500 tonne behemoth of steel floating on a 80feet deep pond compounded that feeling.
In retrospect, I should have gone up to the upper decks with JY.
She attempted to but came back down when she saw how dark it was up there.
Darn those vampire series!

The 2.5 tonne buckets were massive.

The buckets on a chain looked like a roller coaster ride. It was difficult to imagine how such a heavy piece of machinery could have worked.

Fai's sketch of the tin dredge


Karen Cuppy Cake said...

Hey! I would be more than happy to meet a vampire up there, ok?!

Chandrika Fern said...

Hey! I'm planning to go to this Tin Dredge place with my girls this weekend & 'discovered' your blog... :D

And a luvly quote you have on your blog for today. Copy-paste it to my FB.