What?! Working on Christmas? Sadly, yes. But we had our fill of pre-Christmas in the 3 days we spent with friends in Kuala Lumpur for our visa run. Every two months we have to leave Indonesia and come back to continue our shoot.
And on Dec 23, it was back to work and we were going to Gorontalo, North Sulawesi – a predominantly Muslim area so there was no such thing as Christmas anyway.
We flew from KL to Makassar to Gorontalo where we had a date with handline tuna fishermen in their fish attracting device (FAD) or locally called rakit. Last October, we (along with WWF Indonesia’s by-catch officer Hafizh Adyas) aborted a handline tuna fishing adventure from a small outrigger pumpboat from Belang, North Sulawesi for safety reasons. The waves were big, our boat was tiny and we were five in it! All our gear were dry inside the hull which was the tuna compartment. But we were drenched with saltwater and Hafizh was seasick. It would have taken us eight hours to the fishing grounds on this death vessel, so we aborted after three hours and headed back to land and safety. We have no pictures of this tiny boat adventure as we were trying very hard not to fall overboard.
It was time to try again with Hafizh in Gorontalo with a bigger boat. The owner of a fleet of boats is Pak Wahid and there was a “small” carrier boat waiting in Gorontalo for us. It was small for them but big for us. 100 kilometers or eight hours away from the harbour, we left Gorontalo at 1:30am. We were given a nice tiny cabin to cram our tons of luggage and ourselves for the next three days. It’s 7am on the 26th now and we should get there by 8:30.