Harbor trip

From what I had seen of the harbor in west Cilacap, I knew there had to be a bigger harbor east. I decided to just walk east until I ran into boats and it worked out well for me. We stopped at the first, smaller harbor and Landon played in the cleanish dirt and admired a big excavator parked there. There were search and rescue recruits training down on the tiny piece of sand in the harbor below, so it was entertaining to watch them. They were working on flipping over rubber rafts to clear them of water. There were mostly boys with a few very small girls. I was shocked when they put three of these little girls on the raft and expected them to be able to flip it on their own. I don’t speak Indonesian, but I’m sure there were plenty of sexist jokes flying around as the girls struggled a lot to flip the raft over. Poor girls! Also, as in the picture below, there were lots of elementary/junior high age kids biking out onto the jetty. There was a barrier to traverse and I was alone with Landon and my stroller, so we did not venture out although I would with an extra set of hands to make sure we didn’t lose Landon at sea!

A boy and the excavator

After digging around in the dirt for a sufficient amount of time, Landon hopped back in the stroller and we explored the other side of this little harbor. There was a ship half built just staring right back at us, just like the guide described in Jakarta! That was cool to see after seeing the completed boats in action as domestic cargo ships.

Boat being built

While checking out this boat, we discovered that there was indeed another harbor, but we had to go back out to the road and go down the road some more to get to it. We went down the road a little and turned in. I thought the interior sidewalk would continue around so we could look at the boats up close, but no cigar. Lots of steep metal stairs and a bridge over a canal separated us from the main harbor. We could still watch people fish, and Landon’s favorite- watch small fishing boats come in from the ocean and zoom by the harbor on their way home. The small boats went under the bridge I just described and through a canal to park outside the back door of houses built along the canal. 
My favorite part about these boats in Indonesia is they are very colorful! With bright blues and greens and reds, they are very interesting to watch. Landon loved watching a crane lift heavy pieces of wood for another boat that was in the process of being built. We also watched a big boat dock, unload a full cargo of shellfish, and go away again. The harbor was very alive, and definitely not as polluted or dusty as the Jakarta port was! The saddest part was to see all the trash in the water! I guess when focusing on surviving and finding and eating food each day, it is hard to care about where the trash ends up. But seriously, most of it ends up in abandoned lots and in the ocean. How sad!
The harbor was just a little junky…
Landon and the harbor
As we watched small fishing boats zoom into the harbor and the canals, we also watched some teenagers fish. When we walked up, one boy was standing there with a catfish looking fish, taking a picture. He let Landon pet it before he put it in this puddle, pictured below, with the rest of the day’s catch. I didn’t quite catch what they were planning to do with them, but I thought it was interesting that these fish were staying alive in a shallow puddle. 
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we are headed back to Jakarta soon. Cilacap is small, but a lively town. I now understand the idea of a fishing village with a population of 1 million. It is possible, people! I enjoyed living so close to the beach that I could walk to water in 10 minutes. It would have been excellent if that water was clean and safe to play in, but hey, getting a taste of the island life and a totally different part of the world has been super cool.

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