Home LIFESTYLEADVENTURE Postcard from Indonesia’s Spice Islands

Postcard from Indonesia’s Spice Islands

by Fiona Harper

I’ve recently been exploring eastern Indonesia’s Spice Islands and Maluku Island groups. I was travelling onboard a traditional Indonesian sailboat, known as a phinisi, which is a timber-hulled gaff-rigged ketch. Ombak Putih has a crew of 15 Indonesian seafarers, guides and hospitality crew who kept our 12 passengers fed, hydrated and fully entertained over 12 days.

Following the ancient wake of 17th century spice traders

These images were captured to tell the story of our voyage as we followed in the wake of traders who landed on these shores as far back as the 16th century. The attraction was initially nutmeg, which only grew on one island – the small piece of land in the Banda Sea called Run Island (pronounced roon).

Alfred Wallace made his mark in the Spice Islands

We’re also following the trail of British natural historian Alfred Wallace (of the famed Wallace Line which distinguishes animal species east and west of the line) who had his epiphany about natural selection while suffering from malaria on Halmahera Island

We started our voyage in Ambon, travelled to Run Island and Banda Neira in the Banda Islands. Then we sailed northwards towards Sapura Island, Manipa Island, Balan Balan Island and Bacan Island. Crossing the Equator (my third time crossing by sea) north of the Guarici Archipelago  we sailed into Ternate where our voyage ended.

I travelled with Seatrek Sailing Adventures  who run sailing trips year round across Indonesia as far afield as West Papua from their base in Bali.

I hope you enjoy viewing these photos as much as I enjoyed making them.

If you’d like to see any of these images displayed on your own walls, please drop a comment below or contact me in the usual way – I can make it happen via my online store at mitribe.shop.

Fiona x

The stories behind the photographs

Capturing photographs from my travels around the world, I love the serendipity of heading out for an adventure to see what I may discover.

Boats and travelling across the sea is definitely where I feel most at home and I was thrilled to spend 12 glorious days sailing through eastern Indonesia. Find me a boatyard, a marina, an anchorage or a boat harbour and I can amuse myself for weeks, if not months.

The equipment I use

My main camera is a Canon 5DM4 with my go-to lens being a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 ( I absolutely LOVE this lens!). I also travel with a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L which works for wide-angle, and a 100-400mm which is great for wildlife.

Usually I travel with a Manfrotto tripod, though I also have a Manfrotto monopod which works well with the 100-400mm lens.

For calibrating my screens once I start the editing process I recommend either of these products:

Calibrate ColourChecker (sells for approx AUD250)

Datacolour SpyderX Pro (retails for approx AUD260)

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Travel Boating Lifestyle is managed by Fiona Harper

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land and waters on which we live, work and travel. As people who seek meaning and knowledge through storytelling, we recognise that the First Peoples of this land have been doing so for over 60,000 years. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.