Black Magic and Sea Snakes – part three

Third and concluding excerpt (read part one and two) from To the Brink, published April 2015:

Later that day, we paddled to the Muslim village of Pota. April and I recounted our experience to the village elders.

“Sihir!” one of them hissed. Witchcraft.

Black shaman, sea snakes and witchcraft were encountered by adventurer Jason Lewis and team on the Indonesian leg of Expedition 360

More than a hundred people were crowded around us, the faces of the women painted ghoulishly with the white paste Indonesians used for skin bleaching.[1] The atmosphere had been excitable as we set up camp: lots of laughter and whooping, and “Hello Meester! Hello Meesees!” When the elders arrived, the crowd regained its composure.

“Dukun santet,” said another elder. Black shaman. This was Haji, a smiling octogenarian in a blue shirt, purple lava-lava, and Peci, a black fez hat. “Indonesia beeple superstitious,” he continued. “You break promise in village? You make disrespect? They revenge with”—he nodded sagely and wagged a finger—dukun santet.

Continue reading

Black Magic and Sea Snakes – part one

In August of 2005, April and I found ourselves camping on an idyllic islet off the north coast of Flores, Indonesia, during a 7-month kayaking expedition from East Timor to Singapore. An experience that first night on the island left us badly shaken, and our skepticism of black magic and blind acceptance of Western scientific thought both in doubt. This is the first of a three-part excerpt from my upcoming book, To the Brink (published April 1, 2015).

April of Expedition 360 lights a fire on an islet north of Flores, Indonesia, which turned out to be infested with sea snakes

Continue reading