Location : Desa Jawai Laut, Kecamatan Jawai Selatan, Kabupaten Sambas, Kalimantan Barat, Indonesia.
Boy, am I glad to live to tell the tale of our trip to Belacan Island. Our friend Emy had organized the night before with her neighbour who lived across the street for his tiny wooden boat that looked like it could fall apart anytime soon. It was running on like a 3 horsepower pump engine.
There were nine of us altogether. It was leaking and water was rushing in under our weight. The 45min ride to the island seemed like 3 hours. I had to pray hard for us to arrive and to return to the mainland alive. It was the most stressful moment of the entire trip.
Emy’s mom, daughter, sister in law and niece tagged along because none of them had ever been to the island. I wondered if they were oblivious of the danger because they were too excited about the trip. Imagine a leaky boat without any life jacket!!
Unbeknown to me, Emy’s main intention to visit Pulau Belacan was to harvest one of her favourite food, the blue mussel or ‘beliung’ in the local Malay language. No surprise as she had been away from her village for too long working in different parts of Sarawak.
Soon as she arrived at the island she knew exactly what to do and how to catch these blue mussels in the murky water at chest height. She swept the mud under the water with her naked feet to feel where these sea creatures were lodged in the mud and sand. Each time she felt one under her feet, she would lower her outstretched arms to retrieve them. At the end of the catch she had quite a bagful and was happy to call it a day.
Soon as she arrived home she proceeded to the kitchen to boil the beliung. They were quite meaty given the size.
As for us, soon as we hit the beach we decided to scale Serayi hill. However, we failed to reach the summit as it was getting too dark.
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