17-Nov-2019 -- My second visit to Taiwan, the first one was in 1981. Then, as now, the main purpose was to visit the National Palace Museum with its impressive collection of Chinese arts from back to 6.000 B.C.
When that had been done, there was time to look around for a suitable confluence point. N25 E121 seemed to be the easiest. I took the metro from Taipei up to Tamsui, then a bit sightseeing in the area including a visit to Fisherman's Warf before I took the ferry across the fjord to Bali. I asked around for a bus southwards towards the fishing port of Yongan without any luck. An Uber taxi was the answer for the trip of about 50 km. The driver knew sufficient English to provide an interesting drive. He pointed out a nuclear power station, a gas powered station and told me he had been to mainland China many times. It would only take a couple of hours by boat, but he had gone by air. Taiwan used to be a rich country, but now many of their best people had gone to the mainland as work opportunities were more interesting there.
Yongan is a typical fishing port with about 365 fishing vessels from about 6 to 25 meters. As it was Sunday they all seemed to be in port. I walked along the rows of boats. Some men were maintaining nets or other kinds of minor works. But few spoke English. A Taiwanese tourist who spoke English tried to help me, but was told that the people were fishermen and did not take out tourists. I was about to give up heading out of the port area, when the man came running after me. He had found a man and a boat and had explained my purpose of confluence point hunting. The vessel was about 15 meters long, it had a navigation system onboard and the captain found the fact that an eighty years old European traveled alone chasing confluence points was somewhat unusual and perhaps enticing.
Before setting out we had to stop at a control post (port authority, police, customs ?). The boat owner submitted a form and my passport and we cruised out through the port. It was a sunny day. The sea was calm. I set the Garmin to the desired point, and the captain, Mr. Teng did the same on the vessel’s GPS. From the mouth of the port it was a short trip, about a nautical mile. The main problem was to get a good photo of the GPS registration at zero. We criss-crossed a few times before we settled on 5 meters on my Garmin and on almost zero meters on the vessels GPS.
Back in port I got my passport back and Mr. Teng and I exchanged addresses and photos on the Line messaging programme. With his limited English and my even more limited Chinese we still had a satisfactory communication. I very much enjoyed his company and he was thrilled by meeting an "adventurous" old man.
Going back to Taipei was easy. First an Uber-taxi to Xinchu Railway station, and then a (slow) train in to Banqiao Station the city.