We left the tiny island of Sagori and headed to Benteng on the island of Selayer on the southern tip of Sulawesi. Benteng is the regional gov't center for the region that also covers Taka Bonerate, a marine national park. Many of the rally folks are also scuba divers and they were itching to get into clean water to see some of Indonesia's underwater biodiversity, so they headed straight to Taka Bonerate and bypassed the rally stop at the city.
Our rally organizer wasn't happy that folks chose to ignore the local government's offer to host the rally events. We felt that the rally had provided us with so much and the local governments had done so much for us that we really had to go to Benteng and make a showing for the yachts. Only five boats felt that way, though, and the rest chose not to have to sail upwind to get back to Taka Bonerate. I can't blame them, really, as the routing choice to go to Benteng before Taka Bonerate doesn't make sense from a sailing perspective. But the hosts aren't sailors.
Sorry, but these pictures aren't necessarily in order, but it's too tedious to try to move them around with the limited bandwidth available on the internet here. You'll still get the idea, I hope. Some of the photos are from Out of the Blue II with thanks.
Our first sense upon landing on the dock was the smell of drying cloves. Here are some of the tarps laid out with cloves drying on them. Locals would rake them to turn them in the sun and they'd fold up the tarps at night or if it rained.
A plaque outside the gong building that tells the story, but the English isn't perfect. One place has the date as 1686, but another place says 1868. Only a couple of hundred years difference....
Our dinghy tied up to the police launch at the dock in Benteng.
We went snorkeling out to the reef across the water the next day. The divemasters are the two guys on the left and right. The boat driver and owner is in the middle. They all seem to smoke--that surprised us about the divers, but so many men in Indonesia still smoke.
The "knees" of the outrigger on our snorkel boat. this is the boat that was so loud, we couldn't talk to each other as it was running and it vibrated so much that my eyeballs jiggled in their sockets and I literally couldn't focus on anything until the boat stopped! These wooden branches were tied onto the bamboo outriggers and cross members with twine and allowed a lot of movement as we motored across the water. I'm sure they search hard and long for pieces of wood that bend just at the right places to use for this purpose.
Jason carrying one of the water pots out of the trance house. Women weren't allowed to touch the pots of water after the ceremony and they were one man shy, so asked Jason to carry the pot out.
Jason going through the southern gate built into the stone wall
Coming down the modern stairway from the mosque village. Excuse the finger over the top left corner.