Running the Gauntlet

With a population of 260 million living on over seventy thousand islands Indonesia is diverse and fascinating. And they are fishermen ! sturdy wooden craft and unique methods abound. The photo shows a squid netter with its huge bamboo structure incredibly engineered with its strength in the upper super structure. Heavy large nets are lowered from the sides and in places we have encountered dozens anchored out in long lines covering several miles. We are not complaining at all as this is their livelihood. The challenge amongst a wide variety of craft and passive methods is navigating around them. There are NO navigation lights ! the huge wooden fishing boats, and their nets and devices are unlit. If manned, the practice is that they will shine a flashlight or hand held torch towards you, then, sweep the light beam across the waters in the direction they desire you to take. Simple, but mostly workable. But these passive devices and long line nets strung along the surface are invisible at night. Several of our friends have been caught up in the nets and we all fear hitting one of their heavily built Fish Attracting Devices (fad) in the dark. Leaving Debut we negotiated our way around nineteen long liners before making our way thirty miles offshore. So over the next several entries we will show a small variety of the fascinating boats and methods these hard working fishermen employ.

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