north halmahera: things you do when your boat flip

P1040826this is how our boat being tolled by the sea police post flipping

laugh first. and realized that a flip happens in other aspect of life too.

it was the most beautiful day and the calmest wave in tobelo at the end of april. it was the day of the kora-kora festival (boat festival). hundred of boats were at the sea making a round trip in the north halmaheran seas. out of all the boats, it has to be the boat that we ride that made the incident.

_MG_0744one of the best day in tobelo, photo courtesy of labodalih sembiring

i remember taking a small kora-kora boats with 7 other people. the kakara mamas with their particular scream and dancing on their own boats. the guys in the other boat with the wangongiran elders. the cakalele musician in their own boat. it was probably the most sunniest day of my life and such a festive atmosphere.

_MG_0763mbak heidi and me smiling without premonition, photo courtesy of labodalih sembiring

P1040804the dancing ladies of the seas: the kakara mamas

_MG_0778wangongiran elders of tobelo dalam, traveljunkieindonesia spotted (with his papuan ikat), photo courtesy of labodalih sembiring

P1040796musician and their instrument carried by a kora-kora boat

no one sees it that the boat going to flip that day. the only strange things is that our boat machine died like 5 times from the start of the journey. the last one, it was really long maybe 10 minutes stop and the other boats already went far away by then. the water police boat was coming for us, to change to their boat to continue the journey. but when they are near suddenly our boat flip. everything happen so fast.

i just remember grabbing the other end, trying to stabilize the boat. but since the flipping is really happening, i went to the other end. and somehow sit on top of the upside down boat. but it’s also slowly drowning. forget my bag, it catch the water already. although trying to put it up.

the water police was panicking and jump into the water to rescue some of us. the kids of the fishermen cry out of shock. only one friend who can’t swim (but somehow manage to save her ipad). they threw us life jacket, but when i looked everyone who belong to the media team are putting their camera up high. but unfortunately none of those camera survived.

P1040817our boat navigator with only one hand and his two kids

we were rescued. the kids are being calmed and put into towel, and also jacket. most of us laughing when we were on top of the police boat. what else do you expect we would do? the total damaged cause us all our gadgets. but the most important things, our lives were save. i just notice that our boat navigator only had one hand, somehow his right hand looked like it’s been cut. i don’t know because of what.

you could speculated a lot about how the boat flip. we prefer not too. but since then i always believe that every boat can flip. the only thing that you can do when you are riding any boat and doing island hopping, is to surrender your life to the sea. whatever happens, happens.

when the boat you are riding flip, put your best smile and dive along (and don’t forget to bring dry bags next time). be thankful when you survived. we were lucky because help was near. and remember, always remember not to waste your time in life. and for us, the flip, make us laugh with life.

_MG_0855last photo from labodalih sembiring‘s camera, smile!

P1040824the last photo from my camera (it survived after being repaired)