Home Up Feedback Table of Contents

Madura and the 'Pirates'


North Coast of Madura Island

Back Next

During our passage from Belitung to Bali Dave D. started to read Joshua Slocum's Around the World Alone.   He had just finished the portion about Slocum's encounters with the pirates in the Straight of Magellan as we approached Madura.  Madura is an island that is famous for its fierce warlike pirates.  The term Boogieman is derived from the old name of the Madura pirates who had wild hair and a reputation for torturing their captives.   Piracy is still practiced on the occasional yacht passing through the Surabaya straight.

We were sailing east along the north coast of Madura about 3 miles offshore trying to find shelter from the SE swell.   During Dave T.'s twilight watch a set of navigation lights appeared on the horizon about 5 miles behind us.  At the end of his watch they were still there at about the same relative position.  As part of the standard watch handover he pointed them out to me.  The lights held their relative position to us throughout my 3 hour watch and I mentioned this to Dave D. when he came on watch.

Well, Dave was sitting there in the dark at 3 in the morning all by himself with only his imagination and this set of lights for company.   Before long he became convinced that this must be a pirate vessel that was stalking us waiting for just the right moment to pounce.  Just before sunrise, another ship appeared behind the "pirate" boat.  This one was brightly lit and moving quickly.  Surely this must be the mother pirate ship coming in the kill. 

In an effort to be prepared Dave dug out the flare and the boat hook to fend of the blighters. Just incase that did not deter them, he had his mask and fins ready so he could dive over the side and swim for shore.

Dion at the helm.jpg (7060 bytes)

Dave D. after a rough night fending off the pirates of Madura.

Too his great disappointment, and relief, the "mothership" cruised right on by just as the sun was coming up.  In the light of day it was obvious that the "mothership" was a cruise ship heading for Bali and the "pirate boat" was a fishing trawler that happened to be doing the same 5 knots we were in the same direction. 

No pirates this trip.

Back Next


Home ] Up ]

Send email to tkohrs@dragonstoy.com with questions or comments about this web site.
Last modified: February 01, 2009