At lunchtime today, I got a call to inform me of a boat burning down in Dili harbour. I grabbed the camera and zipped down to find a 15m long wooden vessel well and truly alight. I took a few snaps, observed the hundreds of interested observers, the traffic schemozzle near the government buildings and eventually got bored and left.
I am told it burnt down towards the waterline and then at 3:45pm, the heavens opened for perhaps the first humungous dump of the wet season. At 6pm I was told it was still burning.
The rumour mill says the boat was offloading smuggled diesel and an accident happened during the process. Dili rumours are fairly notorious but usually 80% turns out to be true.
It certainly was great entertainment watching the plumes of dark black smoke (no carbon credits earnt here) rising to meet the looming storm clouds above. The black smoke would seem to support the diesel theory.
The absence of any form of vessel capable of delivering water to put out a fire on the water was noted. But even the land-based bombeiros (ie firemen) require a little financial incentive to attend to land-based fires. And no, there is no marina in Dili.
Anyway, it was all better than the TV.