Base Camp Manager, Ian Blessley, Gives His Account of Moving to Camp Foyle

How do you move 3 tonnes of food, supplies and equipment into the centre of the third largest island on Earth?


A Daunting Prospect

The idea of being responsible for making sure that we didn’t lose any of our equipment, camera gear, personal stores and food on the way to base camp was fairly daunting and there were times when I didn’t think it would all get there in one piece. As it was we managed to transport the entire team and its stores up two rivers across land in jeeps and into a partially constructed base camp with only a small amount of loss.

Having purchased all our food and equipment in Banjarmasin it was loaded along with Dan, James and Ung onto the Muara Sambah (a large freight boat) whilst the rest of the team travelled overland to meet them in Puruk Cahu.

A Whole Lot ‘o Stuff

In total we loaded, 36 bags of rice (360kg), 2954 packets of noodles (a slight error meant we had double), 20kg porridge oats, 16 bags of pasta, 272 tins of mackerel (Mmm), 144 tins of canned beef, 173 tins of fruit, 230 packets of soup, 77 packets of milk powder, various spices, 24 kg coffee, numerous tea bags, 26kgs of sugar (14 kg more has been bought since), 101 tins of assorted vegetables, 126 cloves of garlic, 330 onions, 550 potatoes, 12 pumpkins amongst a few other food items.

There were also 18 boxes of scientific equipment and 48 boxes of base camp stores.  In all we estimated that this weighed about 3 tonnes.