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Published: October 12th 2010
Puppies, puppies everywhere
Our welcoming committee in Indonesia
A marathon entry - my apol0gies, but hopefully it's worth your time and the bother! Finally we have an internet connection which will allow for an upload, fingers crossed that's an accurate statement. Photos from the past two months are downsized and ready to go, but I may have to wait until we reach Phuket before displaying them because the connection has dropped several times since writing these few sentences. Here goes, finger's crossed, Marnie's adventures - Darwin to Langkawi ..............
24 July 2010. 08.30 sailed from Fannie Bay, Darwin after three weeks in the Northern Territory in the direction of Kupang, Indonesia. We left well in advance of the 11am race start for the Sail Indonesia Rally participants, which was not being organized by sailors, and had over 100 vessels crossing a start line. Our thoughts were that it could be a little chaotic, and anyway, once up and about in the mornings, coffee in hand, we like to make a start on a passage.
Half the fleet were heading for Banda, our half to Kupang, West Timor - a 470 mile sail in the Timor Sea. Good to be on our way! A short note here to say
that despite high spirits about departure our good sailing friend Cay on Anchee III, who we’d met one year before, died whilst we were awaiting departure from Darwin. He had telephoned us at 12.30am on the 12th to advise that he thought he was having a heart attack. Walter raised the alert, but it took 48 minutes for help to arrive at his boat in Frances Bay near the town, and he didn’t survive. Had we been closer we could have assisted, but we assumed that in a first world city the paramedics would be located in the city itself not 40 minutes north.
25/7 - Pilot whales and dolphin dancing in our lee, always a delight. Caught a fabulous tuna before the wind picked up to 20 knots on the stern which works fine with the genniker. Passed oil wells owned by Australia.
26/7 - Caught several fish in the shoals 120 miles off the coast but threw them back because of their size.
27- 31 July- Arrived Kupang late morning. 25-30 knots of wind off the bow on our final approach, which was surprising as Indonesia is known as an area for motoring mainly due to strong currents
and little wind. 10th boat in as many vessels had left on the 23rd. The usual customs and health inspectors aboard for the paperwork clearance then ashore for immigration paperwork and a look around town. Getting to use the Marnie stamp a great deal as they love the official stamp of a boat despite it being meaningless. First impression is the filth on the streets - plastic everywhere in the form of bags and bottles. Six mosques visible from the boat and the charm of the early morning call to prayer! Very friendly people and a young smiling population of about 300,000 people. Kupang is the capital of East Nusa Tengarra Province and has been an important port and trading point during its time of occupation by the Portugese and Dutch, during colonial times. Famous for its sandalwood. Anchorage location 10.10S 123.35E. 3 days of events arranged for the cruisers including tours, gala dinner, a visit to an orphanage and reservoir built by the Japanese as an apology for their occupation during WWII. The beach boys who kindly carry the cruisers dinghies ashore and watch over them charge about $3 daily and are a happy and helpful group of young
men. The French actor Gerard
Depardieu is here aboard his yacht Squall - we met the Captain, Richard, a few weeks ago in Darwin and they were awaiting the arrival of the owner. The locals and visitors alike travel in bemo’s which are small minibuses with two facing benches allowing about 12 passengers, at a squeeze, to ride along with the stereo on full blast to their desired destination. They constantly beep their horns to attract customers.
1 August - A strong current all night, then on the last 22 miles to our next stop, Alor, the strongest of tides occurred in the north/south stretch. Our boat speed was 7 knots but speed over the ground (SOG) down to 2.2 knots at worst causing the journey to take much longer than anticipated. A downpour of rain on arrival with thunder and lightning plus the overflowing of all the rubbish accumulated in the town of Bulukah into the bay. We literally sat there surrounded by yet more plastic trash - astonishing and very worrying as well as a sorry sight.
2nd - Explore the town and practiced the greetings in Indonesian (Bahasa). None of the shops or restaurants sold anything we
A fishing nation
This was the school run
wanted to purchase but the place is a hive of activity with everyone from the age of 10 upwards zapping around on scooters and often 3-4 on board. A beautiful fjord and stunning mountaineous backdrop. We were anchored along with 14 other boats on the rally in a designated area of yellow flags on floating bamboo stands next to the busy commercial port. The Sail Indonesia Rally organisers arrived and decorated an area with flags and set up the welcoming committee and dinghy dock, which made life much easier.
3rd - As we usually like to do, hired a scooter for the day in order to get out of the town and see the really beautiful countryside. Snorkelled on the NW reef about 90 minutes out of town and met a lot of children on the way - all of whom wave and say “Hello Mister” with grinning faces.
4th - Worked on boat jobs and ordered to move by the harbour master as a commercial vessel couldn’t exit easily with us positioned as we were, having swung round 180 degrees from usual position. Gala dinner/speeches at the Governor’s House together with dancing and singing which was most pleasant.
- We left ahead of the Rally flock for Pantar, the adjacent island just 37 mies away to the west. Found a really cool location near the town of Blangmerang at location 08.22S 124.06E in a lagoon with active volcanoes on two sides. Surrounded by mangroves so the water was brown rather than clear but it was free of plastic. Fish farms in abundance in this part of the world which can make it difficult to navigate and makes that only possible during good lighting.
6th - Tigs arrived in Virginia Beach three years ago today - an auspicious day and the start of our world cruising adventures. Used our CMap track to exit the lagoon on a reciprocal course from yesterday, as there is a great deal of reef in this area, much of which isn’t visible until 10 feet away. In search of some clear water to swim in - fingers crossed. Insufficient internet coverage using local SIM card and modem with aerial mounted on the mizzen mast, for us to make contact with the outside world since arriving in Indonesia, other than sailmail over the high frequency radio. A mosque is located in every village and town
we pass and a number of catholic churches in Kupang which is 90% christian. The villages are generally tidy and well maintained with basic accommodation of bamboo and woven banana leaves which make for a picturesque setting, and a covered platform in each garden where they take their siesta after working in their gardens. Paddies fields of rice, sweetcorn, tabacco, banana and palms in great numbers with goats, dogs and chickens everywhere you look. A westerly passage today, excellent sailing conditions - calm seas and 15 knots of wind. Adverse current as usual! Drinks with La Palapa (Roger and Carlie) and Airstream (Bill and Janet).
7th - Having reached a perfect snorkeling spot, we are staying for a while. Boat work in the morning (polishing the metal/sanding). Drinks with Heather and Mark on Larissa. Stunning backdrop with two smoking volcanoes nearby.
8th - 06.30 start, continuing past the island of Adonara to Flores with the possibilities of two anchorages to choose from. Pleasant scenery with volcanic landscape - relatively young as still high. Using the 101 Anchorages - a copy given to us on as a PDF so a little more info to work from than just guesswork from the
chart. Seas denuded of fish other than those of the 4” variety - so not catching meals. Dynamite has been used in these seas for fishing purposes causing devastation of coral in addition to the tsunami of 2004 which also caused untold damage. Indonesia also has an exploding population, with a great percentage being under the age of 20 - this will put enormous pressures on the food sources in future years. Anchorage No. 12 in our guide book is at 08.04.664S 122.50.737E and is the prettiest stop so far. Coffee with the guys aboard Catalyst, a vessel already at anchor when we arrived - they’re from Perth and are sailing their vessel back from Singapore - Andrew, Tania, Raleigh and Montana aboard a Ron Holland boat called Catalyst of Fal, Harwich. They had the unfortunate event of a pirate attack, failed due to quick thinking on behalf of Andrew, in Indonesian waters and Andrew nearly lost a finger when one of the flares malfunctioned.
9th - So tranquil and lovely here, we’ll stay for a while. There is a small fringing reef, a delightful village perched on the hillside, and a whole host of beautiful children coming to visit
us every day in their dugout canoes. Swam/snorkelled a lot, Catalyst for lunch aboard Marnie and dinner/drinks aboard Catalyst in the evening.
10th - A stack of pancakes for breakfast to start another perfect day. Went ashore and explored the village of T G Godong - about 300 inhabitants with a school which looks abandoned. Practising Bahasa with phrasebook in hand and clearly mispronounce a great number of words by the blank responses! Snorkelled in adjacent bay and back for cocktails aboard Catalyst. Quite the most stunning sunset for a long time.
11th - We arrived in Indonesia on 26 July and have social visa lasting 60 days, so may need to extend for a further 30 days in Medana Bay, Lombok or Bali. Drinks aboard Marnie with Larissa and Sisutl.
12th - 06.30 start for Pulua Besar (north of the next rally venue) - reported as a good dive site. Motorsailed the 35 miles and enjoyed a washdown which was desperately needed. Pilot whales to entertain us enroute. Today is the hottest day in Indonesia - 96 degrees in the aft cabin with no breeze but sat out in the cockpit while we entertained Larissa and Sisustl and slept
in the cockpit too.
13th - 07.30 start for Maumere. You become aware of civilization about 15 miles away for the city as the debris starts building up in the water surrounding the boat. Sadly, whilst plastic is used for almost every application in the world, there are inadequate means of disposing with it in this country. Maumere has an area of housing on stiles in the sea - quite an attractive appearance from a distance. Went into town to buy veggies.
14th - A diesel run in the morning with about 30 onlookers. Very few RIB’s turn up at this fuel station and the gringo’s are a novelty. This fuel station was east of the town near the wharf and Sisutl had lent us 1-x2- litre jerrycans which enabled us to top up the tanks at 5000 rupiahs a litre. Leaving for Batu Bogu at 08.27.631S 121.56.672E - a stunning location with a surrounding reef for snorkeling and exploring. Still waters and an exceptionally clear night sky.
15th - Wash day so clothing hanging out on the lifelines drying as sanding and varnishing touchups on the caprail. Cocktails aboard Larissa. Jellyfish in abundance so swimming in the stinger suit
bought in Oz where you need them to protect against the box jellyfish which can inflict a fatal sting.
16th - 25 mile passage today and an early start so that we could arrive with the sun overhead. Jib flying for a while in 13 knot winds but flogging about most of the time as wind dies to 5. Passed Ende along the north coast of Flores where the next shindig (Sail Indo Rally event) will take place. We are keeping well ahead of the pack. CMap about 0.25nm off - it has us tracking over land to the north west of our actual position as it was in Fiji. 12 small dolphins joined us and danced in our lee - they have a pointed nose and small tail but are remarkably fast. 10’ tides so needing to anchor in at least 25’ to feel safe. This area is prone to swell as not well protected but nice enough for an overnighter. Todo Bay is a nice backdrop as very mountaineous.
17th - 6am start and 55 miles to go today to anchorage number 22 at Lingeh (location 08.16.473S 120.35.552E). 10-15 knots in am then usual decrease in wind and
motorsailing the majority of the way. On arrival, a welcome committee by a hoard of begging children in outriggers. Ideally we would have brought school books, pens, pencils and exercise books rather than balloons, crayons and colouring book but they are always delighted with whatever they receive. Fish hooks and line are popular with the men as well as the small solar lights we’ve used for trading.
18th Still in the Flores Sea and today a 54 miler to Labuan on the west coast of the island of Flores. Electronic charts over 1 mile adrift in this area. Close haul and 20 knots of wind as we arrived. Explored the small town and met up with the Finnish crew we had introduced to Cay in Darwin, the week before his heart attack. She is aboard a vessel called Scot Free.
19th - Woken at 6am by a mass exodus of boats from the harbour. We are surrounded by small islands dotted around behind us and the mainland in front. Traditional fishing vessels of all sizes and the usual tourist boats occupy this area and it’s busy all day long with coming and going. The water is very much cleaner than
it was in Alor and it appears there is a mass clean up in the town in preparation for Sail Indonesia’s arrival in 3 weeks. Small children have been encouraged to participate and are collecting up the plastic rubbish strewn around in the street. It might even look presentable by then!! Lunch at the Matahari Hotel and onto a bar called The Corner to check out the wifi, but it wasn’t working. Priscilla (Suzie and Tom) for drinks.
20th - perfect sleeping weather as less than 80 degrees overnight. Off to see the Komodo dragons on the island of Rincja today - the highlight of this area. Convergence in the anchorage (Randy and Sally Christine). This is the Bay of Crocodiles but we’re told the komodo’s picked them off so they’re no longer a hazard. This bay provides the entrance to the National Park.
21st - 7am dragon hunt with Priscilla - a 3km trail which allowed us to see female dragons protecting their nests (holes in the ground which they return to year after year to lay their eggs). The majority of dragons were to be seen around the kitchen area of the park headquarters. Our NP guide was
called Yatty and surprisingly spoke 7 languages to the extent that he could conduct the tour for people of those nationalities - no small feat for an Indonesian boy of 20.
22nd - pancakes aboard Priscilla. 10am start for the west coast anchorage of Sok Propa at 08.44.415S 119.37.586E where monkeys and deer were roaming the shore and turtles in the water. Amazing caves to explore and pretty nice reef.
23rd - Explored the caves and snorkeled - afternoon showered increased the humidity.
24th On our way to anchorage No. 45 Uwada Dasami on the south of Rindja. The two moorings were taken so we anchored near a bay with komodo dragons roaming the shoreline. Convergence arrived and had cocktails with them in the evening. Snorkelled on the one coralhead nearby which had a collection of orange and red corals I hadn’t seen before. The flood tide is east to west on the north and south of the islands whilst in the middle of the island groups it floods south to north. High tide was due at 11am according to nearest tide table predictions but had 4 knots of adverse current while snorkeling which made it difficult.
25th - snorkeling
around two coral heads which were outstanding. Abundance of reef fish and hard/soft corals. Cocktails aboard Poa Ina Roa with Kathy and Jerry to celebrate their 8th wedding anniversary.
26th - Took one of the moorings which was vacated as there are wild boars and many komodo dragons on the nearby shoreline. A few facts about these dragons - they have a life expectancy of 50 years, breed from the age of 8, need a sizeable meal every 3 weeks, have a deadly saliva which kills their prey over a matter of days/weeks, hunt in packs, can sprint at 18km/hr and are cold blooded like other reptiles so need to sun themselves each morning. When the eggs hatch the dragon is about 1’ long and immediately climbs the trees for protection as his mother or any other larger dragon will eat him as soon as look at him. They breed in July/Aug, lay the eggs in September and the mother remains near the nest for half of the incubation period. The eggs are leathery like a turtle’s. Reading the third book in the Millenium trilogy by Stieg Larsson called The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and highly recommend it.
Snorkelled and varnished.
27th - 08.00 departure for the south of Komodo Island where Manta Ray Alley attracts feeding manta’s, so hopeful of a viewing. We were lucky enough to see six and swam with them - huge wingspan of 10’. Spent the afternoon in blistering heat on the foredeck mending a tear in the jib initiated in the area which Doyle should have sewn a spreader patch, but failed to. Used our new Sailrite Sewing Machine we bought in Brisbane from Christine and Jaime on Morning Light.
28th - This is such a fabulous location of mountains and caves so great for explorations. A liveaboard dive boat dropped anchor nearby so we called by for coffee with the guests who were Russian.
29th - 02.00 flaked and anchor chain and set sail. Three quarter moon so visibility not too bad. We are on our way to Lombok with a 188 mile journey, which will take us about 27 hours at 7 knots and over 30 hours at 6. We want to make our arrival at Anchorage 60 in the morning so made this early departure. Sailed through the Sumba Straits, passed Sumbawa, which is 130 miles long and had
Maumere, a town on stilts
Even a mosque was to be found amongst these properties. There was plenty of room for the town to expand inland so unsure why these properties were built over water other than for the fishermen themselves.
an overnight passage - the first in a while!
30th - A lot of ship traffic in the early hours of the morning. Dropped the hook in the beautiful location of Ekas at 08.30am. Relaxed with a book all day then went ashore to the hotel Heaven on Earth for cocktails, only to be told they didn’t serve outside guests. Luckily we were invited by a resident to join him as his father was a sailor and he thought the house rules were stupid. This is a great surf spot with several left handers nearby.
31st - A marathon catch-up sleep following the overnight passage. Surf conditions getting better by the hour and only a matter of time before Walter steps on the board - although it’s been years since he did it regularly. Made chocolate ice cream/sauce.
1st September - Waves particularly spectacular today. Walter surfed for one hour yesterday and has bruised ribs so only an observer today. Location 08.53.802 116.26.671 - the most lovely place.
2nd - Swells to port and starboard and building to a worrying size, although we are in 20’ of water so pretty safe here. An oil slick deposited itself on the hull
so spent the morning in the water. Made bread today.
3rd - An early swim before getting underway at 8am. Sorry to be leaving this anchorage as it’s so pretty, but due to be spoilt by a development by Koreans - as Walter and I often say, we’re about 20 years too late on this circumnavigation. A 10 miler to Gerupuk at 08.54.743 116.20.992 - a prosperous little town resulting from seaweed farming/processing which is exported to the Japanese. A huge number of cages strung with wire in order to snag the seaweed, which they harvest every 3 days. Zigzaged around on our approach which looked a little daunting as we approached but navigated our way through and anchored by the town. Went ashore and explored a little
4th - A damp start but had a new batch of coffee beans to grind for breakfast and that’s always a great start to the day - the aroma wafting to the aft cabin as I wake up! Rented a scooter and explored the locality and Kuta - a nearby resort town. A large number of pretty villages, all well maintained with an abundance of goats, cattle, dogs and cats with stumpy
tails - who knows what happens to the ¾ which is missing. The locals using pony and trap to get to market if they’re not proud owners of a scooter, which nearly everyone is!
5th - 3500m since Brisbane with an average of 30 miles a day! Not quite a snails pace but it seems I’ve walked almost as far in 24 hours! Another scooter day with the cost being $10 for the daily hire plus petrol which is available at regular intervals on the side of the road in 1 litre bottles for 50 cents. This area quite definitely a highlight of our time in Indonesia as the litter isn’t such an assault on the senses and they’re not ‘touristed out’.
6th - A 65 mile passage from South Lombok to Nusa Penida island near Bali. Favourable currents and a morning breeze which of course died but perked up again mid afternoon (15 knots). Arrived in the anchorage to see our friend Roger’s boat La Palapa but no sign of him aboard. Took a mooring but could tell that this is not our kind of place so probably won’t linger - it’s very touristy and busy and a sharp
And yet more refuelling
During 10 weeks in Indonesia, the majority of time is spent motoring as there is very little wind or if there is some it is on the nose! Typical
contrast with the beauty of South Lombok.
7th - Great overnight washdown, which is always welcome after a passage when salt covers the brightwork and metalwork. This is unavoidable but it’s a constant battle to keep the boat looking in fab condition as stainless steel in particular will start to rust with salt sitting on it. By mid morning we started considering alternative locations as the herds were arriving and playing on noisy banana boats and jet skis all around us. Gili Mali in North Lombok turned out to be our unplanned destination with adverse currents we arrived at 8pm - a new moon, overcast skies and ‘seat of the pants on instruments arrival, fingers crossed, wing and a prayer’. All this means that the CMap software by which we navigate wasn’t sufficiently accurate to be of much assistance and this area is reef fringed making it nerve-wracking even in good light.
8th - Moved to the adjacent Gili (island) Air to the east which has a perfectly protective reef. Misty and Peter aboard Tamouree for drinks. A beautiful backdrop of mountains over Lombok which attracts rain daily.
9th Taped off in preparation for sanding the cap rail, a 3
Komodo dragons sizing each other up...
shortly afterwards there was a skirmish and the alpha male was king for another day
hour job in temperatures in the lower 90’s. Swam regularly to keep cool. Here with 6 over Sail Indonesia vessels who are probably going to be moving to Medana Bay for the next Rally event, as we are for the traditional cultural flavour and visa extensions so that we can go to Kalimantan, or Borneo as we know it, next.
10/9 Sanded and swam all day long! Boats arrived throughout the day and all moorings were taken, plus a few boats anchored too, making it very tight in there. End of Ramadan so fireworks lightened the skies all night as celebrations started. This is a one month of fasting between sunrise to sunset and this means no water, which is hard for those doing manual labour.
11th - Varnished in the most perfect conditions - no wind and not too humid or hot. Walked around the island and had internet time, slow though it is.
12th - Sanded again between showers. The first session involves using 220 grit which is quite coarse and the second uses 320 grit which is much finer. Catherine and Pierre from Tea for dinner.
13th - Final varnishing and my best ever effort because of
The king komodo
Mostly the komodo will spend long periods of time immobile but we were fortunate enough to see plenty of action whilst on a mooring in Rindja
ideal conditions for the job. Instant gratification in this work, rarely found in many jobs I can think of and of course the compliments make it all worthwhile as the majority of boats out here on the high ocean have brightwork in varying states of disaster from peeling to bare! Visited Medana Bay Marina by dinghy to check out the moorings and moved Marnie there mid afternoon as it was clearly filling up fast (about 20 vessels).
14th - scootered around the north west of the island along the coast and inland - just lovely.
15th - scootered more because it’s such a gorgeous mode of transport and gets us out in the countryside meeting the Indonesians who rarely interface with Caucasians. Dinner at The Oberoi hotel as a treat.
16th - Another full day on the scooter. Torrential rain made us late for the Welcoming celebrations for the Gala evening at the marina as we had to take cover on a number of occasions and wait it out. Explored the mountains and saw a lot of monkeys grooming each other, which is always amusing.
17th - Sanded hatch coamings in the morning. Bought a case of Heineken for 250,000
rupiah for 24 - a change from the local beers. Di and Steve aboard Independent Freedom for champagne in the evening as they’d become grandparents for the first time that day, with the birth of a little girl.
18th - Cruisers moving onto Bali for the next rally event leaving the marina almost empty.
19th - Varnishing in the morning. Made ice cream in the afternoon to eat on arriving in Borneo to celebrate the passage and had haircuts on the beach, which causes amusement and a line of volunteers for a sniping.
20th - Ace, the owner of the marina visited for tea in the morning and then kindly took us into Mataram in the afternoon to see her school and export business. She founded the school when her children were small and it now has 140 students and 14 teachers - what an achievement. Onto the market to provision with fresh vegetables and fruit.
21st - 8am departure for Borneo about 425 miles. Calm conditions for bringing the dinghy onboard before leaving. A last minute swim as they’ll be plenty of inactivity for the next couple of days other than raising and setting sails. Resulting from this, I
do a little weight training exercise whilst on watch. My birthday and seeing the orangutans in the jungle my present - last year it was a visit to Tanna in Vanuatu to see an active volcano!
22nd - motorsailing all day long. Stormy night with massive thunder and lightning display.
23rd - Landfall 12 miles from the entrance of the Kumai river in 40’. Ready for a good sleep.
24th - 40 miles to the anchorage where we’ll pick up transport into the jungle. An interesting journey as the river edge is met by a massive encroaching jungle.
25th - Awoke before 5am with the excitement of seeing the orangutans in the national park of Tanjung Putin. We were collected early on a klotter, a local boat used for traversing the narrow waterways. The tributary took us towards Camp Leakey to the First Station where the permits are bought. Onto the Second Station and finally into the area where the riverboats are docked and passengers can make their way into the jungle. Sally Christine, Randy and Kent Harris from Convergence there to welcome us along with Siswi, a 33 year old orangutan sitting on the diock. For some reason she’d
This is a regular sight as the locals don't have fridges. You often smell them before you see them!
been feeling grumpy all day and had bitten someone earlier in the day. After the visitors centre we made our way through mosquito infested jungle to the feeding platform where 15 mothers with babes in arms were feasting on bananas as well as one adult male. Tutu and her one year old baby welcomed me on the boardwalk and as you’re not allowed to touch the wildlife I was surprised when she took hold of my hand and gave me a good sniffing. Her grip was firm and I felt uncertain about the event as they’re unpredictable until I relaxed into it afterall she wasn’t feeling threatened by my presence despite having her baby with her. I should tell you that she had a good nose pick and sneeze soon after so clearly didn’t think much of me! A leech attached himself to my big toe and was keen to stay despite Walter trying to prise him off. A candlelit dinner a few miles downstream in a gorgeous spot abundant with wildlife. Took cover shortly afterwards under our mozzie net as they started swarming.
26th - Onto Camp Two early for the 9am feeding and wanted to be there before
the ranger arrived with the bananas in order to see them arriving from afar. Wild orchids and azaleas in abundance on the foreshore along with orangutan nests high in trees. Jungle music beats in tune with the circadas and frogs and it is just the most magical of remote places. 70% of this area has been deforested by ‘slash and burn’ techniques in order to grow palms for their fruit which is pressed and sold as oil costing the orangutans their natural environment and putting them under a lot of pressure. The feeding stations offer additional sustenance should foraging become difficult in their ever decreasing forest but they only visit if they’re hungry rather than being dependent. The dominant male showed up and made his presence known by displaying anger than the food was pretty well depleted, but he had arrived late and the girls had cleaned up. He beat tree trunks together and ranted for sometime. The final feeding was at Camp One so arrived by 3pm. A lot of different monkeys, gibbons, kingfishers and hornbills to observe as we made our way slowly down the waterway. What a show we watched at the last feed of the day
A pleasure in tropical temperatures
- the King of Orangutans made a noisy entry and munched his way through a large stack of bananas, joined occasionally by females and babies. One female was examined thoroughly and explicitly before being allowed to eat which was a sight to behold - feeling rather voyeuristic as we were eaten to death by huge numbers of mozzies. Back to Marnie late afternoon. What an experience and the best birthday present imaginable.
27th - A day of boatwork getting straight for our next passage.
28th - Fuel delivery by Adi. The largest amount of water and filth we’ve seen in fuel to date and luckily the filter dealt with that but it was time consuming in the midday heat. Left for our check-out marina at Nongsa Point, Pulau Batam. Extraordinary storms overnight all around and quite a downpour.
29th A quiet day of motorsailing, if that’s possible! A notable increase in the amount of ship traffic as we approach the Singapore Straits.
30th - From the Java Sea into the South China Sea early in the morning. A grey day with high humidity and temperatures in the upper 90’s during the day. It would seem we’re back in the doldrums
Another beautiful child
Indonesia has the fourth largest population in the world and a high percentage are under the age of 20.
as it’s as flat as a lake! 09.30 crossed the equator and swam around the boat in celebration. We are officially back in the northern hemisphere. Passed dozens of tugboats towing coal and rainforest wood piled high - the demand must be great. Daily fuel pumping session from the portside tank to the day tank.
1st October - Arrived at the marina, an immaculate and new facility which was such a change from the majority of facilities in Indonesia. Fuelled up and moved to a slip.
2nd - Washed cushion covers and gave Marnie a good washdown. Swam in the hotel complex pool which was a treat. Bonnie and Nick aboard Rise and Shine for cocktails.
3rd - Took the 45 minute ferry to Singpore for a ‘city break’. Staying at The Hotel Elizabeth off Orchard Road where several miles of retail shopping centres are located - the high end brands are huge here. Fab sushi for dinner after touring the various districts within the city.
4th - An early visit to the Singapore Zoo - a wonderful experience. Sushi again as we’re catching up on a raw fish deficiency.
5th - We bought Starbucks mugs as we do when
visiting cities around the world as I’m a fan of their vanilla latte and we have quite a collection now! Tributes being made to the former President’s 90 year old wife who has just died, a lady educated at Cambridge University along with her husband. Saw all the tourist sights - the Singapore Flyer being the new signature construction and the Colonnial centre housing the famous Raffles hotel. 5 million people inhabit this small island at the foot of Malaysia of which 75% are of Chinese descent. A lot of land has been reclaimed from the sea resulting from the demand for land to build housing during a population explosion. The new constructions are 50 storey skyscrapers which are architecturally quite attractive. What a clean and tidy city even after the Formula One motorrace has just taken over the entire place - evidence of this was lighting and barricades still in place.
6th - A day of swimming and relaxing between laundry duties!
7th - Departure for Langkawi, a passage of 3 days at 6 knots an hour. Smoggy over Singapore as we passed, resulting from the polluted industrial area to the west. We passed well over 160 ships in
the first 3 hours and another 200 at least by lunchtime. Grey skies and plastic strewn seas. Now in the Malacca Straits between Malaysia and Indonesia.
8th - A huge amount of traffic to monitor including small fishing boats, not all of which display lights, which is helpful. I did a trash watch to see how many pieces of plastic and Styrofoam we passed within a five minute period each hour - alarming results which were reduced as we headed north.
9th - Water quality improvements although the tideline always houses a whole array of stuff. A swell building.
10th - An auspicious day - 10.10.10 and 5 months to the day when we left Brisbane and this leg began. We have covered 5150 miles since then. Arrived in Langkawi at 4am and anchored near the entrance to Kuah - the capital city. A few hours of beauty sleep then into the anchorage to clear customs/immigration. After days of light wind, we had 20 knots of wind on the bow, which of course is impossible to sail and slowed us down somewhat! Looked around Langkawi Yacht Club which is the marina near the city centre but won’t be leaving Marnie
there as it’s like a graveyard for vessles in a state of neglect.
11th - Hired a scooter and explored the island and other marina possibilities at Telago Harbour and on Rebak Island.
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