First, let me say happy Easter friends!
To catch 10 am flight from Tarakan to Balikpapan, Malik expect us to be ready on the boat by 7 am, make sense right? And we did ready by then. I was still a bit suspicious at our boat driver. I found him really ignorant, not only has he obviously failed to communicate with any human being at all. I laid out my concern and my friends try to sooth me by saying he already changed the machine yesterday, so we should have nothing to worry about.
We got the best seat on the boat at the front. Tell you what friend, never too lazy to be the first. This is a tough world the fastest survive! Hahaha. No problem at all when he started the engine. After around an hour boating, the boat stopped at the middle of the sea, get closer to the other boat, and – maybe – they exchange boat crew or something. All I know Malik jumped to our boat adding to 21 people that already on our boat. Around 45 minutes later the engine is stop working, and guess what? We don’t have any fuel! My goodness! Who’s on earth didn’t check the fuel before traveling quite far with ANY vehicle? Yes that stupid boat driver. The crew was shock too along with Malik and us.
No phone signal, no boat passing by, and the person on the other side of the radio CANNOT understand what we’re saying by “THE ENGINE IS NOT WORKING”, instead he kept giving direction as he thought we’re lost! The whole situation was frustrating indeed. Malik tried to be calm, and I can’t help myself from yapping on and on to the boat driver. I was releasing all my bad energy to him thou I know it won’t make the engine turn on or give it fuel.
After 2 hours, and we felt quite bored, Vari and I start yelling for help everytime we saw a small black dot that looks like a ship. A boat passed by – Thank God! – but know what??? They said they are FULL, and no way they can take more people on the boat! Not even one! Oh my GoD! For real??? And they rather leave us alone drifted to – most probably Malaysia??? I can’t believe it. Malik try to get the second boat come to rescue us with on and off phone signal, but the communication seemed chaotic. And I also found out that Blackberry has no good phone signal receiver or retreiver at all. Same provider but non-BB handset can at least have 1 or 2 bar of signal, and all BB phone were useless, and we’re talking about the same provider. So next time when you’re going to remote island, make sure you bring other handset than BB.
After around 30 minutes a wooden fishing boat passed by and helped us. I feel so grateful. Simple and sincere people. They throw a rope and pull our boat. But after 20 minutes they said our boat is too heavy to pull and half of the passengers have to move to their boat. My group moved to that really small fishing boat. It was raining quite hard and I jumped from one boat to another with big bag on my back, just like in the movie. I sat beside the captain and the ship sailed really – really – really slow. They said if they have to pull the boat, we will reach Tarakan by midnight and I almost faint to hear that.
The wave went high and the captain said they have to let go the boat or we’re all going to be in danger. So the whole passengers from our boat moved to the fishing boat. No room in the cabin that should fit only for 8 people the most. So the rest of them sit in front of the boat with the fish, with rain and then sunlight. I feel bad, but nothing I can do. Oh, of course the stupid boat driver and the poor crew leave behind with the boat waiting for rescue.
As I sit beside the captain and having conversation with him, he started to tell scary stories, like we can actually drifting to Malaysia if no one help us, and the sea area is quite dangerous due to piracy. Man, that’s scary! He said it’s not seldom that the pirates come and mob simple fishing boat just for the mobile phone and cash money, and if their ship quite big they will take the fish too.
Malik was really considerate as holiday organizer. Knowing it already passed lunch time, he bought a few kilos of fish and somebody cooked so we can have fresh fish for late lunch. Delicious indeed.
We finally arrived at Tarakan around 5 pm, and of course no more flight to Balikpapan. Malik made like hundreds phone call to arrange our flight tomorrow. We pulled over at the fishing market in the middle of simple fishermen housing. It’s still better than Muara Angke in Jakarta, way better. On the lighter side, I can get few good picture there.
Long story short, Malik feed us with delicious dinner and put us in a very nice hotel. I feel really grateful. The most exciting Easter I have so far. The rest of the day is wonderful. I thank God for hot shower, clean sheet, and air conditioner.
On Monday, we get to the plane and flew back to Jakarta on 11 AM. The rest of it is all about good moment of camaraderie. We laughed, re-tell our story, how we feel and alsofell asleep. We arrived at 2 PM in Jakarta, safe and sound.
This is one beautiful journey. I’m love you God for this gift of life and friendship.