Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 9:23AM
[chuck] in Danau Sentarum, Rattan, Science, log rafts

A lot of rattan harvested in the Danau Sentarum National Park (see Danau Sentarum) is used for lashing logs together to float them downriver to the sawmill.  Several "floater" logs are lashed to "sinker" logs until a bam of 20 logs is formed. Twenty bam are then lashed together to make a raft of 400 logs.  I was always curious about how much rattan this took, so the next time I saw a log raft floating through Danau Sentarum on its way to the Kapuas River, I motored over, hopped on, and did some counting.  The construction of one bam requires about 150 rattan canes; an entire raft needs 3000 canes.  Given that each cane is 6 meters long, every raft uses almost 18 kilometers of rattan.  This cordage is discarded once the logs arrive to Pontianak. [NOTE: The image above shows a mega-raft of 800 logs, i.e. two rafts lashed together].

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