Drama in the Anchorage

Drama at the anchorage

It never takes long for us to meet everyone in any anchorage we frequent; it is the way of cruisers. We share our corner with a large commercial looking ship turned luxury charter boat, Salina. We met some of the crew at shore and were invited for a look. We popped over in the dinghy and were warmly welcomed by the crew. Our friend, the cruise director, gave us a tour of the upper deck, pilot house and eloquent salon.

We heard a ruckus from the lower deck and Emi darted down the stairs to investigate. There was some screaming and banging about and we heard her say, put down the knife! She came back to us clearly upset and said she had a problem with some of the crew and asked that we go to the back of the salon area to which we quickly responded. Up the steps came a wild eyed Indonesian guy flailing about a long kitchen knife. I moved Sam behind me as he approached. Emi was able to calm him down and get the knife, good work! She handed me the weapon and sat the guy down, he was clearly ragingly intoxicated. When we saw us and realized what he was doing he became very emotional and apologized profoundly over and over. That is a testament to the extraordinary sensitivity of the Indo people; whatever caused his rage became secondary to our fear. He moved closer and I was cautious but could see he was sincere in his remorse.

About then, the second player bounded around the deck outside, again with a long knife and insane level of rage. This guy was clearly the instigator and he was wound up tight. When he saw the first guy inside, he started banging against the large salon window. He found some sort of heavy object and managed to throw it through the safety glass port, shattered glass bits flew everywhere. Again when this maniac saw us, he stopped and pleaded he was sorry. A great commotion followed and I looked out to see my dinghy flying towards shore with two people in it. Apparently the ships tender had been cut loose and was floating in the bay so mine was the only available boat to take to get help. Soon I saw a police boat and my boat return to the ship. When the police boarded it took that as a good time to flee. Sam and I cautiously headed to the stern to find the assailant out cold, cops on the boat and my dinghy within reach, we got out fast. 

We met with Emi and her husband later that night and they were so embarrassed and sorry for our experience, we just looked at it as another adventure and story to tell. The police did take the two fighting crew into custody and all was well back on the ship. I commended her on how well she handled this difficult situation.

In three long stays in Indonesia this is the first violence I have experienced. It was clearly a feud between two young men both intoxicated. I laughed; there must be a woman involved somewhere. What was remarkable is that consumed by rage and alcohol (probably the deadly local “moonshine”) both guys made efforts to apologize to us. They interrupted their drama to have genuine concern for us. Another of the “only in Indo” experiences I have had