D-e-r-a-w-a-n, how can I say that? This place actually is not in my short-term trip planning list since Sania, one of my SBM cute friends, asked me to go to this island one year ago with her spirit words “bagus banget lho niiii, yukkk, budgetnya sekitar segini lah.. etc..etc..:D” (jadi kangen sania aaaa). At that time, I just said “oke oke sann, ayoo kesana” oh that’s such a cliché answer because it never crossed in my mind for two reasons, recalled first, that is too far from my hometown (I prefer to explore java island initially then next island), and second, I didn’t want to use my family’s money anymore, no-way for that expensive trip where you should buy the airplane ticket etc etc and in my age where I should have my own money.
Luckily, the place where you work is almost near that beautiful islandJ Then without thinking too much, planning, or kinds of preparation, me, arif and inkan impulsively in one night : bought airplane ticket to Tarakan and reserved derawan cheapest package from that city. We even not brought anything to protect our skin such a sunblock (because inkan said we can decrease the jellyfish population with that medicine). So three days later in Friday, we already in our speed boat from Tarakan, to take three hours journey to Derawan. In this session I really thanks to Antimo’s inventor, which made me have a dead sleep until our tour leader said Welcome to Derawan ladies and gentlemen! Enjoy your holiday!
One word for me, inkan and arif to describe this island: Ammazzinggg!. That blue sky, that turquoise beach, that bridge, that turtle, that… wait wait… maybe I should show you a short geographic description about this island before get back to the story based on Borneo Provincial Government data 😉
Derawan Island is located in Berau District, East Borneo, Indonesia. This island has very rich marine potentials characterized by the beauty of marine parks and marine biodiversity, as well as being green turtle conservation area which occupies the third position in the world. The island has been nominated to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2005.
As a tourist location, the island is now managed by PT. Bhumi Manimbora Interbuana since 1993 and has been equipped with cottages, restaurants, speed boat and other diving equipment, making it become one of the tourism mascot waters of East Borneo.
After we arrived at that island, we directly put our clothes in our room, took a prey and then jump into that beach for Snorkeling! (We couldn’t stand seeing that beautiful beach without swimming and exploring that unique kinds of fish:9). By the way, we really love our rooms because it has small dock in front of the door where we can sit together, laughing , etc etc.. while enjoying the amazing landscape around us:)
At that night, after we took our dinner, we took a walk, lie down on our private dock, tried to identify the constellations, enjoyed the super bright moon,and counted the thousand stars. The great moment was when we saw the three stars fallen above us and showed us the amazing fire performance:)
On Sunday, March 30th, we explored three famous island of Derawan, which are Sangalaki, Kakaban and Maratua. Firstly we went to Maratua island, where we saw the beautiful resort which (unfortunately) owned by another country (why, why oh why+_+). We took so many photos with mas Andra, her wife, and pak Eko, other members of Tarakan tour which became our new friends:D
Then, we went to the second island, Kakaban, where we swam with so many stingless jellyfish. All of us except me, really loved those jellyfish. Especially for Inkan, she really wanted to bring one of jellyfish to her home and called it ‘my baby jellyfish’ (oh I’m so tickled with jelly things).
In general, people feared to jellyfish because they have stings and fatal, but there are jellyfish that do not have stings. Ornate Cassiopeia is their name. Generally known by the name Stingless jellyfish.
This change is due to the natural evolution of life on the habitat of these jellyfish. Living in close environment make the jellyfish do not have threat from vertebrate. Therefore this type of jellyfish do not need stings to protect themselves.
Not only that, these jellyfish will also issue a colorful light when it was getting dark. This jellyfish swim upside down with tentacles facing upwards. This is because a closed environment, so that food in the water becomes limited. Therefore, the jellyfish do simbioses mutualism with algae. Algae need sunlight to produce food.
In the world, there are only two places which is the origin habitat of this type of jellyfish. Kakaban Island in Indonesia and Palau, Micronesia.-Stinglessjellyfish.com
Mas Andra wife was a good jellyfish catcher, she got those jellyfish easily and brought that to us. So in those 2 hours we snorkeled around that lake and took so many photos with jellyfish. (I really wish brought underwater camera+_+)
Because we’re hungry, we went up to the dock and took our lunch together with other tour members. The beauty of Kakaban beach encouraged me and Inkan to snorkeling around that island for the next two hours. One of the tour crews guided us in finding the nice spot above Kakaban’s trough where we saw many beautiful fishes (thank you so much pak:)
Sangalaki was the last destination of our Derawan islands tour. In here because other tour members (including Arif:P) had seasick, we just snorkeled in short time. It didn’t really matter when in that tight time we still saw so many pretty new fishes below us, such as Box fish, finding nemo’s fish, small stingray, etc, etc:D Before Maghrib prayer, we still had time to try the banana boat around Derawan Island, and laughed a lot when we falling to the sea together:)
At night because the sky was cloudy, we changed our ‘hunting star’ schedule became a ‘hunting delicious food’ schedule:9, we’re so hungry swimming all day long, and it couldn’t just covered by one time dinner:P So we walked around that island, got sunrise (really beautiful:):)) and finally met delicious ‘es kelapa’ and one random Bandung food which made me missing that city ‘cireng’!
It’s being a sad time for me, Inkan and Arif, when we entering the speed boat which brought us back to Tarakan after breakfast. You know, we really loved this island where you can saw few big turtles passed freely in front of your room (I’m wondering if one of them is my ‘aghnioss’ turtle which I release in Ujung Genteng, but it’s too far maybe:p) , the tremendous clean turquoise beach around you like your private swimming pool, a home for many unique fish species and coral reefs, a place where you can see a thousand stars above you in the island’s clear sky, its friendly peoples, its new friends, its delicious foods, etc.. etc.. and the most important was its many happy moments that happened in this island:)
So, thank you for Inkan and Arif, as my crazy travelling partner:p, mas Jimmie Jacob Black:p for being our good tour leader, mas peter as the best employee of the month;), the sweetest married couples that I ever met Mas Andra and her wife, for the fun photos and tarakan tour, mas wheko for being a nice friend:’), and all of nice peoples that I’ve met in Derawan Island tour:) We laughed a lot, eat a lot, swam a lot, took photos a lot, and spent three amazing days together:) thank you for made my short holiday:) One message for anyone who’ll come to this island is : as Indonesian people, please keep this island carefully, especially for its cleanliness, unless you don’t want to see the beauty of this island anymore in the next 10 years.
Hope we’ll met again someday in the next journey! Au revoir!
Your new admirer – Aghnia Amalia Septiany