A view from one of the Zodiac inflatable craft as it heads back to Orion.
Above the top deck, you can see the crane arms used to raise and lower the Zodiacs. (They stack on the top platform when not in use.) The low platform at the stern of the Orion is where we step in and out of these landing craft.
In this shot, the Orion is at anchor on the river off the town of Agats in the Asmat region of the Indonesian province of Papua. This is a very remote place. The maps simply identify the area as "swamp" or "jungle". The river is very tidal and only navigable at high tide. In fact, the depth was only 6 metres at high tide. The Orion has a draft of 3.8 metres. It is a long way up river from the Arafura Sea; and the Captain sent out a Zodiac to lead the way and check the depth with a lead line. Better to be sure - getting stuck on a sandbank would create a lot of paperwork!