Boat in the Jungle Puzzle
All the way through the build, there was one nagging thought that kept running through my mind. “How the hell do you move a five tonne boat from the jungle Boat Yard to the sea?”
Pak Nyoman just kept on smiling every time we asked the question and murmured, “Gotong Royong…..gotong royong. It will be all right.”
I was rather hoping that Gotong Royong was the name of a large vehicle that would lift Big Boat out of the canopy and carry here safely to the water. Boy was I wrong.
Gotong Royong gets it Done
So the day of the launch arrived, rather inauspiciously the 1st of April, and on a damp drizzly morning we gathered at the boat yard. Ibu Ketut made the last blessing, Pak Lombang and the divemasters wandered along and we waited. And waited…. Then the villagers started to arrive. First of all in dribs and drabs. Then all of a sudden in a great rush we had nearly a hundred and fifty hardy souls ready to lift, haul, rock and roll!
That is Gotong Royong, all the villagers doing a favour with the guarantee that at some stage, the favour will be returned. Especially if you include a nasi bungkus and sprite to sweeten the deal.
Riding the Beast
The next thing we knew, there was Made D’Licks riding on the roof of Big Boat like some ancient Egyptian slave master, directing the pushing and pulling to get the boat out of the trees. Huts were picked up whole and moved to clear the way. Coconut logs were laid down as rollers and ropes lashed to the mooring posts and foot by foot our jukung crept from her lair and lurched off down the road.
The final hurdle was getting her from the road and down the beach. At that stage, so many people had joined in that they just slid her down the slope and into the water she went with barely a ripple.
Bobbing and Blessing
Finally Big Boat was in her element. The outriggers were re-attached which got rid of an alarming list to port, the engines were mounted and the only thing left was the blessing the next day.