This is an authorized translation in English of a post in French by @marc-allaria: BORNEO - Stop #6 - Maratua part1...!
As my primary language is not English, there are probably some mistakes in my translation.
Remember that the person who speaks here is NOT me, Vincent Celier (@vcelier), but Marc Allaria (@marc-allaria), a French guy.
Piroguier with baton
At the approach of Maratua, an Indonesian atoll located a hundred kilometers from the coast of Borneo, a small smile of satisfaction comes to me after a quick glance at my navigation instruments. Finally my charts are fake! I have been waiting for this moment since I left Papua New Guinea, where the charts had more than 5 km of error in the most remote places of the country. Since then, Asian charts are very often of irreproachable accuracy. A necessity due to the over-frequentation of its waters. This little piece of data, which would annoy more than one sailor, is for me the harbinger of a return to a remote corner where men might have left a footprint less visible than their neighbors to the north. The pass, unknown on my nautical charts, is in the place indicated on the pictures of Google Earth! It's time to re-enter the rhythm of a forgotten daily life since Melanesia.
A little early, Aurora has been waiting off Maratua since the end of the night, waiting for the sun to light her way to the heart of the atoll. It is perched at the top of the mast, that I finally distinguish the pass, unknown of the charts. The current is worthy of that of a torrent, creating beautiful waves while the wind is nonexistent. In such moments, one would come to have faith, praying that the engine has not the bad idea to let go, here, now ... Without motor, Aurora would be thrown against the first reef like a vulgar drifting trunk. It is to wonder how the ancients did, at a time when pistons and rods did not exist yet ... The tranquility of the place gives me the feeling of having passed the threshold of a door, and to be returned in a perfectly relaxing room. A bed of soft sand has been erected to welcome the anchor, and the body of water assures me of nights without roll. Finally! A quick tour allows me to discover 3 small villages and some isolated islets on one of which a hotel seems to have been established. On both sides, I will find an adorable welcome and a precious help for my refueling and food.
A village of the world
(to be continued)
01: DISCOVER THE PHILIPPINES: Funny situations ...! at sea..., by @marc-allaria
02: DISCOVER THE PHILIPPINES: The fishing file ...!, by @marc-allaria
03: DISCOVER THE PHILIPPINES: The Cagayan Islands, by @marc-allaria
04: DISCOVER THE PHILIPPINES: Seaweed...!, by @marc-allaria
05: DISCOVER THE PHILIPPINES: The Bacuit Archipelago, by @marc-allaria
06: BORNEO: Kudat and the technical stop, by @marc-allaria
07: BORNEO: Kinabatangan River, by @marc-allaria