Sunda Kelapa Port is still functioning as it had been since seven hundred years ago. It now accommodates only the wooden Phinisi ships, due to the relocation of the main harbor to Tanjong Priok, which was built in 19th century to keep up with the Suez Canal-induced maritime trade increase. It was this limitation that made the old port a relic of the past.
But the faces of the hopefuls and hopeless are intertwined on the decks of these typically archaic ship models. Their wooden hulls left an impression that these ships are unable to stand the test of time, nor able to handle the burden with which the modernity carries.
The exasperation on the ship crews faces reflected the atmosphere at the old port of Sunda Kelapa. The people and the ships have touched their limits, even though the work load shows only a small fraction to that of the modern port activities. Nevertheless, the old ways of seafaring and trade refuse to surrender to the surge of time in this north-end of Jakarta’s old section.