Indonesia, such a huge country with amazing marine diversity. Thousands of archipelagos with treasures inside. Forget about jewels, diamonds, or gold. The real treasures lay under the sea, full with corals and animals that should be protected for the next generation, for the future. Still coming from Spermonde archipelago in west coast of Makassar, in a small island named Cangke Island, here I experienced a very special moment during traveling. What a life.
Forty years ago, Cangke probably was only a small abandoned island. Until a man called Daeng Abu, isolated himself in this island. He suffers leprosy, a contagious disease. He was not accepted in the environment. Miracle does exist, so does true love although it's hard to believe. Maidah, Daeng Abu's wife always accompany Daeng Abu faithfully no matter what condition his husband faced, Maidah always take care his husband. They still live together until now. Such a miracle how a leper can survive until now in a small island with nothing on it. Daeng Abu built everything from nothing. He planted all the trees, he built the peer, built small huts. I can't imagine how they got fresh water and how they eat. Daeng Abu and his wife become inspiration. More people coming to meet this humble couple. This noble guy was awarded for protecting environment.
Cangke Island is a typical small island with white sand beach. I'm a huge fan of underwater, I love snorkeling and free diving. The reason I really wanted to go to Cangke was because my free diver fellas told me that Cangke Island is the best so far in Spermonde Archipelago. As soon as I got to the island, I took my goggle and fin, ready to explore. My friends weren't lie. Best part is on the left side of the peer up to the east. On the right side of the peer, huge table corals are everywhere. Not just one, there are plenty of them! Visibility is okay, not too bad. Mostly hard corals but there are soft corals in some part. Current is normal, not very strong although in some point you can feel the cold current meets the warm current. Range from the water surface to the corals during the high tide is about 2 meters but when it's low tide, the range is only few inches from the surface. Beware not to harm the corals and sea urchins.
How to get there?
As what we did normally to the other islands in Spermonde Archipelago, we rent boat starting from Paotere Harbor. Around 2.5 hours to reach Cangke Island. Boat price is Rp 1,000,000 for round trip, including one night stay in the island. The boat can fit to 30 person. You have to bring your own food to the island. There are huts on the island where you can use for sleep. I know it's difficult to collect many people to share the cost. Couchsurfing can be helpful or contact Cakra (085342226061) normally he goes to island every weekend and also he can bargain the boat cheaper. I paid Rp 70,000 for one night camp with 20 people in total =)