Indonesia, Sangihe Island & Sangihe Festival 2014


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After arriving in Tahuna twice and not hitting this (it is uncharted and not visible Google Earth), we were shocked to see it so clearly from Pusunge Hill.


harbor on Sangihe is marked by this lighthouse which according the the chart operates "when a boat is expected". Okay, that's helpful. We reached Sangihe - against the wind and current - in five days. But it was only 230 miles from where we started...more on that later.

Running the Gamut

Immigration, Customs and Quarantine officials awaited our arrival and checked us in efficiently amidst much laughter.

The "Fleet"

Seventeen boats participated in the arrival and Sangihe installed moorings so we would not have to anchor in the bay's deep and wreck-littered water. Carina is the very last boat to the right.


harbor is deep and wide and subject to west/southwest swell. The local government installed moorings. Soggy Paws sits securely on a mooring with a brilliant mosque behind. Lovely.

The Tourism Guy

Jeffry provided unceasing support to the fleet. His English was excellent, a relief, since many Indonesians do not speak the language and it is not always taught in school for lack of qualified teachers.

School Kids Swarm Cruisers

Every time we went ashore we were inundated with children shouting "hello mister!, hello mrs.!" It seemed every child has a cell phone and wanted to use the "camera setting" to take a picture of us and them together.

National Bunting

Indonesia's flag is a simple red and white so the country's colors were evident on all streets of Sangihe

Munchin Attack

David of Sidewinder seemed to have a special something that drew kids to his side. Maybe it is his "surfer" persona.

Festival Sangihe

posters were everywhere and schoolkids seemed never to be in school but watching the proceedings.


you want them sweet? Nope! But they're great if you use them sparingly.

Dried Needlefish

and other varieties are present in public markets in the Philippines and now Indonesia. These 18" long needlefish aren't appetizing to our uninitiated palates.

Spice Islands

These islands continue to produce and provide nutmeg, cloves & mace to the world.

Abundant Produce

could be found in one or the other public market. All local;all fresh; all moderately priced. (Helena photo)

Natural Honey

is even available on the old Pepsi bottle full for about $1.70

All Dressed Up

for not just us, but for the "bupati" or regent and his staff. These children were at the home of the last king on Sangihe.

The King's

home is a modest wooden structure, roughly one hundred years old but recently restored.

And Still More...

school children to laugh with us as we toured the island


is a carbohyradrate foodstuff derived from the pith of sagu palm. In Indonesia it is an important source of energy, though its nutritional content is limited. We'll see sagu again...

School's Traditional Costume

These children wear the traditional costume of the school and the poor tykes had to endure the brutal sunlight for a while.

We Didn't

meet the big guy - he spoke no English - but he wasn't the only one in this garb...presumably he was an elder teacher.


are motorcycle taxis in Indonesia. Many have solid panels to shield passengers on rainy days.

Pretty Mountain Cottages

lined the road we traveled up the mountain to a site of sagu production. Every home was neat and included lovely gardens.

The Mountain Village Road

was barely wide enough for a four wheeled vehicle, maybe because most vehicles are scooters or motorcycles.

Sagu Production

seemed to be a village affair. First the pith is removed from the wood with a (scary) mechanical saw, then the pith is washed and settled and dried to a slightly damp powder.

This Interesting Looking Boy

was part of the tree-felling team and carried a very sharp machete in a wooden sheath


is a lovely curious lady from Japan who had to try to make a sagu "pancake" during the demonstration. In this case, sagu and coconut were mixed together and sprinkled into the hot pan and gently coaxed flat with the fingertip...a trick when the pan is a few hundred degrees!


and others peppered our guides with questions about the process of sagu production and how it is used in foods of Indonesia


is stored in banana leaves that line the inside of these tall thin baskets.

Going Back Down

the mountain from our demonstration meant each of us chaufeured by scooter. Here Diane of Heather May and her escort ready themselves for the descent.

Visiting Chef

William Wongso, an award winning chef and television personality, entertained us during the festival, making a spicy, sweet garlicky mixture that - believe it or not - tasted wonderful with mixed fruit

The Crowd

of yachts and the entourage of tourism representatives gather at the "sunset" bar overlooking Tahuna Bay. The arrival of yacht Emma Peel that day meant we had achieved a record for the number of yachts visiting Sangihe.


were some scenic mountaintop terraced gardens


all the way from Jakarta came to demonstrate their skills for the festival. This young man is deep in concentration just before jumping off the mountain and soaring skyward.

The Instructor

took a passenger on the last flight that evening.


insisted on taking Les' photo on the mountaintop


similar to boats in the Philippines ply the waters around Indonesia. These graceful trimarans are reminiscent of water bugs.

Waterfall Tour

Glenda of Helena and Suzi of Sidewinder enjoying the falls after a hike through the jungle.

One Sangihe Festival

event was the preparation of a record number of DIFFERENT recipes that included sagu. The man on the left is confirming the presence of all 259 different dishes - some photos of which follow...

The Sagu

table preceeded lunch and hundreds attended the event...and were given lunch!

Sagu Cubes

Sagu Smoothy

Sagu Pizza?!

Sagu Sesame Cookies...

and 255 other delightful treats

Man Takasabar

speaks excellent English. A former mine worker, he's now starting a homestay and catering business. Look him up if you get to Sangihe...we tried some of his dishes and they were fabulous

This Old House...

was surprisingly well preserved and attractive considering the climate


is known for its bamboo "brass" instruments. Ths is one family who makes the instruments for sale.


is strictly with hand tools and patience. A bamboo saxophone will set you back about 600,000 rupiahs, which sounds like a lot unless you consider it's about 50 bucks.

The Clarinet

was particularly interesting with lots of detailed conduits for air which presumably helped to enrich the sound

Even an Unfinished

saxophone was a work of art

A Tuba

weighed a wee bit too much to carry without the support to rest on your back...Luc of Sloepmouche tries it out


of Sidewinder got the family in hysterics by hamming it up with the clarinet

And then it had to end...

most of the cruisers who attended the closing dinner, ceremony and rock concert (!) dressed up in their best Indonesian batik...

And then it had to end...

The MC,Sonny, a gregarious physics teacher named Victor and a young fan pose with Philip, whose blue eyes and grey hair invoked frequent requests for photos. We had difficulty getting to the dinghy this night.


roamed the crowds with books and insisted we sign them...I think it was assigned to them in school.

Just Another Fun-Loving

Indonesian kid anxious to wish us good was difficult for us to leave Sangihe's amazing people.

And Then

we returned on our way back to the Philippines

Our First Trip

ashore and who should we meet but Jeffy, who joined us for lunch in local "pedang" restaurant


what a treat. The waiter will keep on bringing food and if you touch the plate, you buy it. We ate heartily even if we were weary from our passage.

An Afternoon Squall

did not diminish our enthusiasm at being back in Sangihe (Helena photo)


streets can be chaotic. Mikrolets - the blue vans - will take you anywhere in greater Tahuna for 3000 rupiah (about $0.25) and are an efficient means of transport. Scooters are everywhere and can be rented for about $5 per day, plus fuel of course. Newer cars are frequently the property of the government and used by officials for business. Philip and Deavid of the local tourist office stroll down one of Tahuna's streets on a busy weekday morning.

No Music Zone

This sign in the entrance way to a mosque warned against music. Ironic really, as the mosque loudly blasts a call to prayer for 15 minutes, 5 times a day, starting at 0430!

No Malls Here

Small clothing stores line the streets in Sangihe. Styles vary widely but we prefer the unique look of Indonesian batik.


are the family car to many and it is not uncommon to see three or four astride and underway. This little boy wasn't interested in us as he waited for his father, but rather his tablet.

Sangihe Sunset

Les took this stunning photo of a local canoe (foreground) with s/v Lorelei in the background. Volcanic ash in the air from nearby Siau has a lot to do with the sky's redness .


market is abuzz six days per week, with boats coming from all over the island group. This driver was taking a snooze next to his purchases.


is a smelly fruit with a great taste, or so they say. Eddy is certainly enjoying this Sangihean treat.

More Interesting Food

Quail and (perhaps?) megapode eggs for sale in an upscale local grocery store

A Favorite Snack

is avocado and chocolate. Hmmmm. (Helena photo)

Pusunge Hill

overlooks Tahuna and the bay. We visited with Jeffry to check out the facilities being prepared for over one hundred paragliders who would jump off and fly over the bay and land in town. Notice the tiny boats - Carina is the farthest to the left.

A Warm Tropical Deluge

at sunset makes the photo look somewhat like a painting. Lorelei is the ketch and Downtime the catamaran.

Paragliding Today?

A competition brought over 100 enthusiasts and some in our group were eager for a tandem ride. With Deavid of the Tourism Dept. and Philip are Eddy & Glenda from Helena and Peter and Deborah from Downtime

The Weather However

did not cooperate. Here the instructor and lead jumper confers with a contestant . The day was eventually called when squall clouds moved in.


seem photo crazy...and are very very friendly. What a joy. (Helena photo)

Glenda & Leslie

visited a local high school ably assisted by Deavid from the tourist office. This was the students in the English language class they visited first. After this formal photo, they were pulled into numerous "selfies" taken with smart phones. What great kids. (Following photos courtesy Glenda)

Each Student

was asked to educate us about themselves; in English of course.

This Brilliant

and poised young woman was our student host.

The Second Class

was science where we met once again, Victor, the physics teacher we'd met at the festival many weeks before. These students asked excellent questions, in English, primarily related to biology. We were very impressed.