UnLicensed Captain Plows Through Mekong Delta

Posted on Aug 11, 2013 in Funny

He had just boarded a passenger and auto ferry deep in the heart of the Vietnamese Jungle to take a short excursion to a remote island.   There must have been close to 100 people and cars on the ferry and as sweat dripped off his forehead he made his way to the upper deck to speak to the Captain.  He liked boats so he wanted to ask the Captain a few questions.

“Go Ahead and Take the Controls Sir”

“Go ahead and take the controls”, the Captain said, stepping back from the large tiller offering it with a hand gesture.  Bill didn’t know Vietnamese but he smiled and took the wheel.

He was piloting a large passenger vessel loaded with tons of cars and motorcycles.  He didn’t know the language, the river or how to Pilot this type of boat – but here he was.  Welcome to Vietnam.


Passenger Ferrys like this are pretty common in Vietnam which is cut into many inaccessible areas due to the wandering Mekong Delta and thousands of other small rivers that cross it.

There are dangerous sandbars that crop up everywhere which make it hard to navigate.  That didn’t bother Bill as he plowed his way down through the Mekong Delta.

The passengers below seemed oblivious to the fact that this foreigner had commandeered the vessel.


The ships mate found it mildly humorous that a white man in a rice hat held his life in his hands.  But Bill had a certain air of authority.

After all he did come to Vietnam bearing the good wishes of Obama (his self proclaimed “good friend’).  “Obama”, he said, had sent him on a goodwill mission to bring the people of Vietnam and the US closer together.

This ferry ride was part of his grander scheme to bring international harmony to the cultures.


Tu waits, and watches.  She hopes to make it to the Island in one piece.


Bill peers into the distance.  He is not sure what he is looking for.  He is not sure where to go.  But he is vigilantly watching.

This is more a show designed to comfort those around him than to actually do anything with what he sees.  A Captain always watches.


Man on boat realizes he is not entirely comfortable with the situation as he bites his lip while gazing downward.  It’s only temporary he thinks to himself.

man on boat

We were traveling through a remote area of Vietnam that was famous for Shrimp Farming.  In fact, Shrimp Farming had been practiced here since the 15th Century.

We traveled to a small island with no running water, no electricity – just shrimp farmers.  And they had a lot of shrimp!  This Shrimp Farmer cooked us a meal with the Shrimp he fished out with this net.

Shrimp Farming

These Shrimp Farmers struggle to lift a massive container filled with Shrimp!

Shrimp farming2

So I guess your wondering if we made it.  Did Bill deliver us to the Island, unharmed?  Well the answer is yes.  And we had a great time watching him perform this once in a lifetime opportunity.    Welcome to Vietnam Bill.