BORNEO: Maratua, part 1, by @marc-allaria (translated from French)

3년 전

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.

Local mosque

The Approach

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

Fishermen in action
The color of the flag changes, the language also, the shape of the boats is not quite the same, but in these remote villages, life remains the same whether one is in the Hermit Islands in Papua, the Cagayan Islands in the Philippines, or here in Maratua. The main activity is fishing. Some of the fishermen leave at night in the biggest boats, others, tightrope walkers, are specialists of the flats while standing on frail boats, the traditionalists start to row oar, and some opportunists try the net, trying to fling the fish with sticks in the water. In the village, the fish dries on the pontoon, the women are busy in the kitchens, some shops offer the necessities and the school transport boat comes back from the other end of the atoll where the only primary school is located. Which gives me my weekly dose of "hello!" in less than 5 minutes! Conversations revolve around my journey, the lonely condition of which astonishes everyone, and the atoll that I seek to know. These encounters are now legion in my journey, but I'm still not tired of them.

* * * * *

(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

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The first picture has a sensational perspective. that reminds me, I have to buy a gopro.


You can't do it with a go pro, sorry ! You need a fish eye lense, it means buy aDSLR camera with his expensive housing...


then I need only the housing .... cool

Wow, he wrote that so well. The flow of this entire thing made it easy to read and connect with. I definitely see why you wanted to share this.

Lovely photography! Nice Post. Thanks.


This is wonderful travel photography post & thanks a lot to share this content with us.

Beautiful! @vcelier , especially the way he describes the current in The approach paragraph, please post more!

Great photo from Asia. Very nice ocean and village @vcelier

Great to see a picture partially underwater and above water. A pity that there was no fish in the area.

Wow..... this beautiful photography,I appreciate your traveling.... keep it up my friend

nice post sir.
it was very helpfull for me.
thank you sir.

The color of that water is absolutely amazing. I just want to jump right into my laptop screen :P

Have you ever been to bali Indonesia?

I've been here a year now and it's so nice, especially the islands next to bali.

But borneo looks just amazing!


Lombok is nice and quiet. Bali is too busy for me and sea is full of plastic. But there is so many nice places in Indonesia, like Sulawesia


YEAH so far I’ve only seen Bali, but this weekend we are going to java, so that will be a cool Trip. Finally see some more of Bali.

Actually I did see the gili islands, which was beautiful.

  ·  3년 전

Lovely photography! Nice Post. Thanks.

So nice! The way you take your photos is just amazing! Keep on :)


I try to do it ! More one my blog if you want

wow . Amazing photography 😍

wow ,, the sea is very beautiful with very clear water.


Yes it's a really nice atoll

Such a beautiful shots!


Thank you. You can find more on my blog.

It seems like you love travel. have a chance to visit vietnam ^^


I hope one day, but not immediatly, I'm far from Vietnam straight now. I heard many good things about Vietnam

Nice photography👌👌👌