Awaiting Wind

Adventures of the Jaga II

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Traffic Jam

When we purchased our AIS unit (automatic identification system) the propaganda in the owners manual assured us it could track up to 500 ships at a time. I remember thinking So ? We would never need that. Wrong !

Singapore Straits is perhaps the busiest sea lane in the world. Our task was to cross Five lanes of traffic , turn westabout and join the flow on the outskirts as we are the tortoise avoiding the hares.

As we neared the charted crossing our AIS unit maxed out to 500 of 500 ships being tracked. JAGA II is in the Centre of the screen as we travel N NW to cross. As evident, we had a tense undertaking in slow motion ( us at four knots against current ) as we threaded our course thru the huge commercial ship traffic literally smoking along !

Container Ships were our scenery for the twelve hour journey to our next anchorage. And have been our companions continually up the Melaka Straits. It will be a long time before we enjoy empty ocean passages again.

Polliwog to Shellback

Sailors are a superstitious lot. No rabbits aboard, never name your destination, don’t rename your ship, don’t leave on Friday, no whistling, no banana’s , ect ect.

Sacrificing to Neptune covers a multitude of traditions. And rites of passage include becoming a Shellback by crossing the equator . We turned west once reaching the magic line and followed it for awhile in order to properly appease and hopefully please King Neptune for future good luck . Ceremony and rum gifted over the side.

Evening entertainment

We have kinda lost track of the evenings we have taken our dinghy ashore for the music and dance.

Beachside Salad

A light salad or a full banquet , food is also traditional at gatherings.


Behind every dancer….. these folks provide tunes from the backdrop. Highly skilled there rhythm must be perfect for the dancers to succeed.

Dance traditional

In all countries I am familiar with dance begins at an early age, Indonesia is no exception. I can also readily admit that a night at the elementary school auditorium watching youngsters struggle was never high on my list of entertainment. But.

Tradition and precision is of the utmost importance here. The hand and body relay the story. The intricacy of dress from foot to headgear is nothing short of incredible and photo’s can’t do justice. It must take incredible time and energy not only to create but to care for the costuming. And it spans all ages, young to seemingly ancient have regaled us with their magic.

Fleet Management

Every evening twenty nine squidders would venture past us smiling and waving as they head out for the nights work. They are but a small group that made up the fleet that would light up the horizon at dark. A small city of lights would appear and stay until morning. Smiling and waving they would return past us at first light . Hard working fishermen.

Squid Hunters

Superstructure Engineering. Using the two masts and rigging stays to the bamboo net grids these fishermen have evolved their crafts into effiecent squid boats. And there must be tens of thousands of them across Indonesia. No marine grade alloys, carbon fibre, fibreglass, swayged fittings; mostly Bamboo ! And engineered to function and survive the sea’s harshest demands. Humbling.

Darkness overtakes us on passages and the previously empty horizon lights up like a city as High power lights come on to attract the squid. We counted eighty-two boats in one go and we sailed thru the lights for twelve hours. I wouldn’t care to be a squid ! 

Indonesia Bus

With over seventy thousand islands in indonesia these ferry’s are everywhere. Smiles, waves, and sometimes blaring music roar past us as they make their journey to the town for supplies and or return. 

Scooters, motorbikes, barrels and sacks of fish for the market, building materials, it’s all on board. Stern anchors are deployed on approach and the bowline made fast to shore. Ladder like structures are assembled and loosely  covered with planks and after most passengers disembark, the others wrestle their polysacks of ice and various catch, squid, snapper, produce,  whatever to market. Honda scooters and the like are pushed and shoved to land. 

Fuel drums, cement, iron and planks make up loads alongside the motorbikes for the return trips back out to the Island villages. No room below and the cabintop loads up with passengers. Smiles, and waves are the order of the day. 

Family Car

Anchor down and before the sails can be bagged and covered the local youngsters will arrive in the family car. ” Hello Mister, my name is ” begins the conversation. Pencils, paper, and the like is high on their priority list and once given word spreads and we have had as many as five dugouts at once. We were amazed at first just how young a lot of these smiling faces are to be out and about so far from shore in their hand made canoes. We finely accepted the fact it’s the way of life and these are not unlike bicycles children have else where.

English is important to them and they love to try and banter with you to perfect it. Grand fun we have with these visits.

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