The Colors of Tual, Indonesia


On the Tual side of the archipelago of Kei Islands these homes–and a mosque–were painted to honor a visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photograph © Jeffrey Cardenas

In the Kei Islands of Dullah and Kecil a narrow wooden bridge seperates the cities of Tual and Langgur. One side is Muslim, the other side is Christian. Together they are one Indonesia.

Centuries ago, the islands were located on a key maritime route of the spice trade which extended from the Moluccas southwards towards the Lesser Sunda Islands and Java. By 1610, the Dutch East India Company had become the dominant power and Indonesian elders were replaced by Europeans.

During the Second World War, Japanese soldiers landed in the islands. The Dutch were unable–some say unwilling–to defend Indonesia, and two days after Hirohito surrendered in 1945, Indonesia began a bloody war of Independence with the Netherlands to gain their sovereignty.

Tomorrow marks Indonesia’s Day of Independence.

Tual Indonesian Girl

A young Muslim girl wearing a hijab meets Flying Fish docking at the Tual Coast Guard wharf. Photograph © Jeffrey Cardenas


For upcoming passages when I have no cell or WiFi signal, I have activated a satellite tracking link that shows the daily position, current weather, and includes a few personal thoughts from the daily log of Flying Fish. I will not be able to respond to messages via satellite but I love the idea that you are sailing along with me. If you would like to follow the daily progress of Flying Fish into Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean via satellite you can click this link: 

Please subscribe at the bottom of this page so that you don’t miss a new post, and consider sharing this post with others who might enjoy following the voyage of Flying Fish.

To see where Flying Fish has sailed in the past year click here:

Text and Photography © Jeffrey Cardenas 2019

12 thoughts on “The Colors of Tual, Indonesia

    • I am still haunted by the flotilla of squid boats I encountered at night en route to Indonesia. I will post daylight images of the boats when I can. That night I felt like Capt. Nemo being entangled by tentacles of nets and I didn’t break out the Nikons (unfortunately) to document it 🙂


  1. So nice to know you in this era when technology makes it possible to share wonders of the planet almost instantly. The giant clams (in one of your daily satellite posts) are astounding!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Renard, Thank you for your compliment on the photograph.
      I have been in Indonesia for about six weeks now and I am constantly astounded at the open arms and welcoming reception that I, as a Christian, receive from the Muslim population. I am not naive to fact that there is religious strife elsewhere in the world, including the United States. It just seems that here people accept that there are many paths that lead to one God.


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