In June 2013, Indonesian authorities listed Sangeang volcano as ‘high alert’ for a potential massive explosion. The government evacuated all inhabitants of the island, relocating them to the island of Sumbawa for protection. Everyone left except for the residents of a small coastal village on the north coast known as Bonto village. The longterm residents of Bonto village refused to leave they’re land and livestock behind. They were born on this land and decided that if they were going to die, it would be on this land too.
In May 2014, a major eruption occurred. An ash cloud rose to an altitude over 20km, covering the sky. Within the next following days, the ash cloud spread throughout the region and even reached the shores of Australia, forcing flights to be canceled and re-routed.
It is not clear how many of the residents of Bonto village died during this catastrophic explosion. Years later, families have started slowly moving back to Bonto village. It is now the last remaining village on the entirety of Sangeang island.
Sailing east from Bali en-route to Komodo, we often stop at Bonto village. The bay in front of the village offers some amazing muck diving. After a few dives, we head into the village to mingle with the remaining locals.
Women in the village still practice the art of traditional sarong making using a loin loom.
Gustav bought a sarong from an elderly women.
Fishing practices in the village are very basic.
There is an abundance of goats in the village. Over 150 goats and only 40 residents. The goats are used to milk and meat.
The village men head into the volcanic jungle where the collect some of the richest natural honey in Indonesia. We always buy a bottle.
The SY Raja Laut anchored infront of Bonto Village.