On the trail of spice hunters in Indonesia

A coveted source of nutmeg, mace and cloves, the Spice Islands in east Indonesia's Maluku archipelago were once a place nations went to war for

I awoke after midnight to the light of the full moon shining like a beacon across the water and into my bedroom, swaying in the middle of the Banda Sea.

Outside, there were no boats or any land to be seen for hours as Rascal, a 30m phinisi yacht hand-crafted from teak and ironwood, slowly sailed 185kmh through the dark.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 07, 2019, with the headline 'On the trail of spice hunters in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe