Island hopping

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June 24th 2012
Published: July 20th 2013
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We have island hopped our way from the singapore straits to the sunda straits and are berthed in Jakarta on the island of Java. We arranged it so that we had just last night being an overnighter; the rest 50 mile jaunts. One night was spend anchored in 90' of water as the choice was that or shallow reef and with 10' tides that was an easy decision. We have a young guy called Boyet joining us in two weeks to make the south Indian ocean crossing and beyond, if it works out, so will need to be around for his arrival. We have probably a good two weeks worth of jobs to prepare for the passage to Durban as the rigging needs attention - too loose and it's tricky getting it just right, varnishing exterior two coats, windlass to mend, explore possibilities of why the engine is overheating when its getting its regular oil and water tlc checks, belts to find and install etc etc - list too long to convey the frustrations it will cause resulting from bruised knuckles and the ensuing burst of expletives!

Should we wait for the boat boy to arrive before tackling it all or make a start? Certainly I like the idea of having help with sanding all the fiddly areas such as handrails before the final coat of varnish, that is until Mauritius. Boyet did some day work for us in Boat Lagoon, Thailand and has good work ethic but is not fluent in English so we will need to know for certain he's understood instructions before leaving him to do things unaccompanied. I have looked up sailing terms in his language, Tagalog, but theres nothing, so we rely on the international sign language yet again.

Having chatted with a guy in nongsa point marina, batam who'd had a lot of cancer on his arms and head, he told me that he stratched most of it off having taken a large dose of pain relief beforehand. As if we are not already fairly careful, these comments make you extra wary of spending too much time lazing around reading books in hammocks while catching a few rays, but several dermatologists have told me that it's the first 20 years of sun exposure which count the most. If therefore you were brought up in the UK you can afford to be less cautious later on, although use at least a factor 30 at all times, which I do most of the time, wear a hat ... which I do some of the time. Cancer doesn't run in my family but that shouldn't make one frivolous!

Looking forward to seeing the bird market in Jakarta and the unesco ancient shrine which was discovered after hundreds of years of undergrowth had covered it - sounds something like Bobodor but probably way off the mark on this!

Looking forward to checking out the Carrefour which is near the marina and if anything like the ones in Europe and Tahiti will be a treat - just to visit to see the brands we recognize - sad I know. A decent salad has been craved for days so fingers crossed for (a) it being within walking or cycling distance so I can walk the aisles on a whim and (b) isn't a total disappointment!


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