By Wooden Boat to Onrust


Got on a local public car we broke through the morning streets of Jakarta to get to Kota Tua. It was a holiday, Jakarta’s busy streets was quiet. Our assembly point was Fatahilah Square.  From there we took ten minute walk to the place where another public transport carried us to Kamal Muara Pier.

Fishy smell was floating in the air. Typical scent of fisherman villages. We walked along a fishy black watered road in the middle of a market to the pier. On the arrival even more unpleasant view welcoming us, the waterfront environment was full of garbage. That’s another life in another side of Jakarta. For something adventurous to pass through this area was no problem at all…..but imagining to live here…….it is a big NO WAY.

One after another we got on board. A wooden boat was ready to take 30 of us to the trio Cipir, Kelor and Onrust Islands in the Seribu Archipelagou. The boat moved slowly among other fisherman boats, ripped apart the black water body, getting away from the pier.

The weather was rather dull, …… one, two, three raindrops fell down mixed with sea water splashs entered the boat.  Black water waves were glittering and sparling under the  warm morning sunshine. The sea breezes lullabied some of us. The boat steadily cruised among green oyster farms (tambak kerang hijau) to wide sea.

Floating on sea, the morning sea breeze makes us sleepy

It took the boat moreless one and a half  hours floating on sea before it reached our destination islands. Islands which full of history. We explored these islands around for at least three hours before cruising back to the mainland, the Island of Java.

On Island of Cipir and Kelor

The sun went down.  High tide created bigger waves. The boat swung to the left and to the right, as if it was going to turn upside down. We were screaming, was it a joy or a fear screaming, I did not know.  A breathtaking  journey on the way back. A boat crew who slept soundly made me feel a slightly calm. Though, I prayed hard and sure some of us did that too. The splashes from boat’s sides wet our skins and clothes. The sea water was dried under the hot, sunny afternoon sunshine left the salt on my skin, made me feel like a salty jambal roti.

High tide brings us back from Onrust to Kamal Muara

Time run very slowly because of the tense I felt, but when the cluster of green oyster farms emerging from a distance  I became completely calm, even more when the water colour was turning dark. It was a sign, we nearly there. Wooden houses and a floating mosque emerged on our sight. The boat was getting closer to the pier.

The golden sun shined 160o to the west when we set foot on the mainland. I relieved, all the tenses were over, blown away by the afternoon sea breeze, replaced by such a joy. I have got through this journey. What a wonderful day with a wonderful experience. The story is worth to share…….. (Imtihanah————)

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