Exploring the people of the Mentawais

Yesterday, was my first unplanned day off from shooting.  I awoke with a stinging pinch in my stomach.  Not sure what it was but 24 hours later it still lingers.  A headache presumed most of the day as well and after coming up from my room I found out a few of us had the same symptoms.  Another kick in the ass, we were anchored in at the channel at Sharkeys again but this time the boat was rocking tremendously, not the best for an upset stomach.  My day consisted of trying to not focus on feeling like crap and just trying to enjoy the surroundings.  By 430pm I couldn’t take it anymore and went out for a paddle just to get of the boat and caught a couple at an un-named left with Tim and Tommy.  By nighttime I started to feel better and was able to sleep and watch the entertainment….. We came upon an abandoned boat that had just set itself onto a small reef.

Joel and Yorg having a glance at the find of the day.

Our Captain Joel was keen to snag up the fiberglass boat.  It seemed to be from Sri Lanka, and word has it that they smuggle people here and then abandon the boats.  Its the first Joel has come about in over 5 years on these waters.  It took 5 hours of tugging and waiting until a higher tide to get her free.  The rest of us were long asleep by the time we were on our way north and traveled all night until we got to Thunders up north by morning.  I felt better and we had a sinking boat dragging behind us in tow.

Arriving at Thunders with what Dimitri likes to call the “SS Minnow”

Problem was that it was leaking fuel still and that wasn’t good.  The salvage mission needed to be abandoned and we offered it to some locals in the channel whom were still thinking of ways to get it back since it was over three times the size of their small fishing boats.  Everyone is starting to become spoiled and lazy.  There…. I said it.  Nader, charged it as usual and went out for over 5 hours, so yeah he gets another image on here.

Nader getting more time in the water on the trip than anyone else, and they all wonder why he has more pics?

In that time, I paddled to shore to socialize with the locals through hand signals.  Got a little grom to show me his canoe skills, took a couple photos and headed back to the boat.  Had him follow me back on my paddle board and gave him some juice drinks.  Nader was the only one out so I grabbed my board for a sesh at Thunders with some 4-5 surf coming through. Then after that headed out onto the ski and shot 70-200 from the channel for a while, with Nader, Skip and Cappy.  Good times.  We then headed over to Roxys for a sunset session so the regular foots could get some rights.  It was small, so I once again paddle to shore with my cameras in a dry bag and explored.  Met a coconut harvester who was all smiles.

This trip along with every time I suppress my shutter is all about sharing this crazy world through my camera.  The guy I met on the beach today was so stoked to see his picture and had the biggest smile on his face when I took one of the both of us.  Photography is about stimulating emotion and physiological reactions of all forms and everyday I get to see a new reaction.   Take a picture and share it with someone and something magical will happen!

Sunset at Roxys.

Helping the grom beach his canoe.

To think that only Nader and I wanted to paddle out???!!