Sunday, October 25, 2009

WEEK 26: 17 October - 23 October - Kumai to Belitung

Currently motoring on a two day two night sail heading for Malaysia. It is extremely hot and humid. Will cross the equator tomorrow and stop for an equator party and break open the champagne. It has been quite an odyssey!

DAY 178 - Saturday 17 October - Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo
A lazy start to the day and then a day of frenetic cleaning of the boat and a few repairs. We had hoped to have dinner at Mr B's but he was too tired after the wedding so it was a short walk up the street and sundowners on Whistle Down the Wind with Dave and Jean and passage planning for tomorrow.

DAY 179 - Sunday 18 October - Kumai to at sea (night one)
The call to prayer for the mosque started at 3.30am and then four other mosques joined in so we got up and left at 5am with Whistle, Wave Sweeper and Meridian. Had to avoid some fishing nets spread across the river and then again at the river mouth. Had a very good sail until 1am when the wind died entirely and we had to motor.

DAY 180 - Monday 19 October - at sea (night two)
All the yachts were still close together at day break. We spent quite some time trying to avoid big storms which we could see on the radar. We had one in front and one coming up the side so we put the sails up, the motor on and went like the clappers to get between both of them and out the other side - they contained lots of lightning. Avoided another squall and then caught the edge of one which dumped some rain on us. Crossed a really busy shipping lane but a good night.

DAY 181 - Tuesday 20 October - at sea - Belitung
02°33.269S 107°40.473E
Arrived around 9am and put the dinghy in and set up the sun shelter and just after 10 when Wave Sweeper and Whistle came in the wind came in from the north and we had a huge swell with waves and it was so rough we could not get off the boats! There were two yachts here when we arrived. This is the site of the final celebrations for the Sail Indonesia Rally and it is a really pretty spot with white sand beaches and large boulders to the west of the beach and out to sea - very pretty. At 4.30 we managed to get ashore for a walk and dinner at Roostys - one of the small cafes (shacks) built along the waterfront.
Miles: 285 Total: 4,573

DAY 182 - Wednesday 21 October - Belitung
Boats are starting to arrive - we had around 25. We have also realised that the locals also have their own festival on and there are people everywhere which is really great - that is its not all just for us but for the locals as well which is really nice. Organised fuel and beer and it poured down rain. Were introduced to the ghost - a bamboo contraption with a coconut for a head with a sheet over it. Two blokes went into a trance and the first one fought it. Obviously he really believed it as he fought really hard but it beat him. They carried him to the side and it took him ages to come around. The second bloke fought the ghost and he won. Personally, I thought it looked ridiculous but it was very real to the people. Walked down the beach being greeted all the way along. There is a rock formation in front of the beach which looks like a buik or old citroen. There is a fishing competition on so there are heaps of boats in - the first prize is 20 million rupees and second prize 15 million so there are two officials on each boat and there are a lot of contenders. The horn went off and they all left. Had dinner again at Roosty's. He gave us some pempe to taste and so we ordered some as well but he refused payment. Had an early night.

DAY 183 - Thursday 22 October - Belitung
Were told the tour bus was leaving at 8, 8.30, and 9am so we picked the middle ground and went ashore at 8.15. We were all presented with some colourful coolly hats and under police escort with sirens blazing taken to a bugi fishing village which had stilted platforms over the water behind their houses drying fish. The whole village shore was taken up by these slightly smelly jetties. We went to a resort, to the local market where we stocked up with pineapples, mangos, pawpaw and vegies etc., then for a beautifully prepared lunch with heaps of wonderful food and then to the museum which had some sort of a sad zoo attached. We were then raced back to where our boats are for traditional music and entertainment which started out with some very graceful men dancers on their 'horses'. Paul and I were chosen to be the front end of two dragons and we had to hold a wooden dragon head and snap its mouth open and closed and the witch doctor was cracking a whip near our ankles! The heads were extremely heavy and we didn't really know what we were supposed to be doing so just ran around snapping and apparently the crowd found it very amusing!! After that the men danced some more and then it started to get really weird as they all started falling down in trances and started behaving like animals - one ate glass, one ripped a coconut to shreds with his teeth and then a banana tree and they were drinking out of a bowl and falling down. One tried to run up a tree then one wanted to eat the fluorescent light globe and one was whipped and another hit by a stick then their bodies would go stiff and they would fall down and have to be bought out of it - sometimes it took quite some time to bring them around. It got a bit too weird for us so we left and had drinks on the boat.

DAY 184 - Friday 23 October - Belitung
Peter wrote his speech for the dinner tonight, the swimming competition was on complete with police sirens and heaps of music from the beach and heaps of people around. Saw customs, quarantine etc and checked out of the country for the 26th - that was as much as he would give us - they all seem to think it only takes a day to do 600 miles to Singapore!! Had a lovely day - were intending to go for a snorkel but just ran out of time. Watched a chinese lion dance - extremely good, parachutists, model planes and so much going on. We were also interviewed by pairs of students who had set questions to ask us in English for their school homework - was really quite funny. And of course they all want to have their photos taken with us! We sat behind the officials on a stage for the dinner and were entertained and then they had the speeches and then it was Peter's turn to thank Indonesia and her people. His speech was excellent and fellow yachties gave him a standing ovation and all came up later and said thanks thats exactly what we wanted to say so that all went very well and the local people loved it too. After dinner it was our turn to do the entertainment so with Geoff as our organist we all got up and starting singing sea shanties very badly!! The Regent and some other officials came up on to the stage and also joined in so I think we were forgiven for the lack of talent and then there was dancing and all the sailors were dancing with the locals and it turned into a very good night and a fitting finish to the rally.

Love to all
Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

WEEK 25: 10 October - 16 October - Kumai

I must apologise for the length of this week's diary but I have shortened it as best I can!!! We are currently on our way from Kumai to Belitung (two days and two nights) and all is well.

DAY 171 - Saturday 10 October - Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo
02°44.44S 111°43.94E
It was very shallow coming up the Kumai River and we followed waypoints to get us in. Passed a couple of barges being pulled by tugs and we saw one that would have had a tow rope at least ½ km long. The shallowest part was 1.5m under the keel. We passed one of the big Indonesian boats fully laden who was stuck on the bottom but it was an incoming tide. Anchored in the middle of the fleet with heaps of distance between other boats off the town of Kumai which is a very busy port. There are quite a few big drab buildings, windowless with just little holes in the sides and apparently they are for the swallows. They make their nests in the buildings and then they are harvested (the nests, not the birds!) and exported to China for birds nest soup.

DAY 172 - Sunday 11 October - Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo
We were invited to a boat race by the Regent of the area so all piled on a bus and it turned out it was the Regent's birthday and this boat race is an annual event. We were given a gift pack each with a t-shirt, bracelet, local honey and quinine stick. We all had to put our Sail Indonesia t-shirts on and we were shown to the VIP tent for a great view of the river. First though we were welcomed with a dance by the dayack people. Their clothes were made of bark from the trees. The race started but it wasn't really a race, it was heaps of boats, large and small beautifully decorated and the people on them had beautiful costumes, dancing etc. It was a magnificent sight. We were given a snack pack on the bus, another at the race and then we were invited to the Regent's house for an impromptu lunch. The official residence was beautiful. We sat through a speech by the Regent explaining that they have free health, free education etc (one of the few places). There were young people from the English Conversation Club to interpret for us. Came back and Neptune II called us up to tell us our boat touched the cat Miss Jody and was fended off by their boatboy. We were miles away from Miss Jody and were amazed that we could move that far so we moved down the river right out the back. The river has wind and tide and boats go every which way. We booked our trip up the river with Mr B and were shown a boat which we didn't like so Jean and I jumped on the back of a motorbike to go and look at another boat which was bigger, newer and better so we took that one. It cost 2,700,00rp per couple ($324) - captain, cook, guide and assistant plus all meals and a boat boy on our boat to watch over it. Not bad hey!!! Poured rain for about an hour - washed the boat.

DAY 173 - Monday 12 October - up the Kumai River
Up early, and were picked up, along with David and Jean, by our klotok at 8am. They had put four chairs on for us as requested. Captain - Hoosley, Guide - Kasri, Cook - Taupik and assistant - Anna (male). We were immediately given tea and coffee in cups and saucers and a lovely bunch of bananas. We headed up the river and then off into a tributary. As we went up the river it got narrower and narrower. Peter spied a small brown crocodile and we saw a monkey. Then we spied our first orangutan in the wild. It was like a huge ginger blob in the tree then it moved and we saw the size of its hand - it was enormous! Further down we saw another one and some proboscus monkeys with the big bulbous noses and big bellies (the females noses are smaller). The river is extremely muddy apparently because of illegal goldmining up the river. We then went down another tributary and it was clear water and it got narrow and we were brushing the sides in places. Saw another crocodile with a long snout and two kingfishers (blue and orange) with a long red beak. We came to Camp Leakey and there were about 4 other klotoks there. We squeezed through the narrowest gap and then the captain turned a 50ft boat around in about a 51ft wide space and then back through the narrow gap & tied up next to another klotok - they can really manoeuvre their boats. Had a wonderful lunch - huge big prawny things, a vegetable dish, rice and fried chicken pieces followed by watermelon. Went to the ranger station and were greeted by Sampson (a male orangutan about 17 yrs old). Sampson has a bad hip as he has been attacked by Tom a couple of times. He put on quite a display posing and holding our hands. Dave finally got to see his gibbon. In fact it jumped from the roof to a tree just above us and Peter hit the deck as he thought it was going to land on him. We then walked a ways to the feeding platform and there were orangutans coming in from all directions. We could hear them and see the trees moving - there were small children ones, teenagers and mothers with babies and they were given milk on the platform. Then there was a commotion from the left and the guides said quick get out of the way its Tom (the King) and we all moved pretty quick. One of the poms commented when you see your guide run, you had better run too!!! Tom was absolutely huge. He went up the platform and all the other orangutans scattered. He then went down to the guides and they gave him a whole container of milk - he did share it with another orangutan though. Tom then leapt up a thin tree chasing one of the females. He then jumped on to another tree heading up and suddenly the whole tree (about 30m high and30-40cm thick) was coming down on us and we all scattered. Except Geoff who didn't quite know what was happening. I was telling him to move and then Dave said this way Geoff and he finally went towards Dave just as the tree landed where he had been standing. Tom made a huge racket as he went off because he didn't catch the female. When we were leaving there was Tom up a tree right beside the track. We prudently went around and then he got down and walked across the track into the trees. Back to the camp and Judy off Meridian was sitting with a female orangutan holding her wrist and the keepers were trying to get her off. Took a bit of persuasion but she finally let go. This orangutan is a known troublemaker and has bitten about 20 tourists!! They think she may have suffered trauma by a human before she came there. We came back to our klotok for sundowners and a beautiful meal awaited us - crumbed prawns, rice, spinach and tofu and fish in a beautiful sauce followed by watermelon. We pulled into the side of the river and tied up to some reeds and it poured rain all night with lots of lightning. The guys set up 4 mattresses in doubles, made the beds and put mosquito nets over both. And we had a shower. A really lovely day.

DAY 174 - Tuesday 13 October - up the Kumai River
Still raining - breakfast - banana pancakes, scrambled eggs and toast and watermelon. Went back to Camp Leakey around 10 when it stopped raining to see the information centre. Then Kasri took us for a walk through the jungle and pointed out the different trees and plants. Orangutans were hanging around the ranger station and also the jetty. Lunch - rice, vegetables, tofu and fish and mango. Sampson had been hanging around the boat and next thing he jumped on board the boat and grabbed something and took off with Kasri in hot pursuit. Sampson got the lid off and had a taste as he ran and dropped it real fast - it was soap. He went down to the river to wash his mouth out and he had it up his arm and was trying to wash it off and was blowing soapy bubbles. A little while later he jumped on the other klotok and grabbed a cup. We went back to the feeding platform where they were feeding bananas. Big Tom was already there (apparently we were really lucky as he doesn't always come in) and Princess and her baby came in. Princess was raised by one of the researchers and was taught to sign language and can open doors with keys and row a canoe! But since she had children she pretty much stays out in the jungle. Orangutans came from all directions again. Walked back down the other wharf where there were a heap of monkeys and one orangutan and child. The child was chasing the monkeys - very naughty! It was a really pretty spot and was where the klotoks used to tie up until 2002 when a British tourist was taken by a croc - now they don't use it. Back to the boat for banana fritters and watched the monkeys on the wharf. Watched a wild orangutan across the river in a high treetop build her nest for the night. They build a new nest every night by breaking the end branches in and there they sit high in the trees. Saw a heap of proboscus monkeys, a water monitor swimming (really big), a water snake and a cobra swimming across the river and a hornbill bird and a huge wild boar with 7 smaller boars. Went up the river and tied up to the reeds again. Dinner - big prawny things, fried chicken, vegetables, rice and pineapple.

DAY 175 - Wednesday 14 October - up Kumai River
Had breakfast - banana pancakes, scrambled egg and a big plate of mango (struggling to finish). Headed down the river to the second camp and went to the 9am feeding session but only three orangutans turned up which meant most of them were feeding and coping in the wild well. Saw a huge proboscus monkey launch himself out of a tall tree with all arms and legs extended and land in another lower tree - magic sight. Arrived at a village to kill some time and Kasri arranged for Jean and I to have a shower at the homestay as we had neglected to have a shower the previous evening and now the river water was too dirty. Had lunch - rice, fried chips, deep fried whole fish and prawns in a lovely sauce followed by mango. Peter and Dave watched a fish catching snake hang upside down from the jetty to catch fish. Went for a walk through the village then crossed the river to the third feeding station. This was a more swampy area with not so many big trees but more vines so the orangutans were swinging vine to vine. Watched a teenage orang-utan fall out of a tree - he missed the vine. Two adults and three teens came down but were more skittish so stuffed their mouths with bananas to take back up the tree to eat. Got back to the boat and Taupik had cooked us 26 banana fritters!!! We had a quiz and whoever lost had to eat a fritter!!!! (what a struggle!!!) We have never eaten so much!!! Headed back to the boats going past the palms in the dark to see the fire flies. It was like watching all the Christmas lights - so beautiful. And so ended our amazing three days and two nights up the Kumai River and in the jungles of Borneo. What an amazing wonderful trip.

DAY 176 - Thursday 15 October - Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo
Sail Indonesia celebrations were supposed to start today but we heard nothing and then we were given a three day programme. Caught a bemo to the supermarket and to the local market to stock up on fruit and vegetables. Peter organised fuel through Mr B which arrived an hour later - quiet night.

DAY 177 - Friday 16 October - Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo
Went in for the welcome dance with young ladies and men in national costume dancing and we had to dance with them too and were given a coconut with a straw and a snackpack. Dave and Jean went to Mr B's wife's sister's wedding held at Mr B's place - actually it was a marquee on one side of the road. The bride and groom have to sit out the front on a stage all day. Guests come in to eat and then go up and greet the bride and groom and then leave. At 12.30 we were taken by bus to the sultan's palace. The old one burnt down with all the treasures so they built another one which was a big wooden construction much like a big woolshed and of course no treasures. Then we watched a sticky rice cooking competition They use about 1 meter of bamboo with one end cut off, then line it with banana leave rolled up so it is hollow. They then stuff it with rice which has been soaked in cold water for 2 hours, then pour in coconut milk, put a stopper in the top made of banana leaf and then stand it up close to a hot fire for about an hour. Absolutely delicious. Then they had some big wooden spinning tops which was some type of a game and then to a rowing competition. There is a canoe and teams of two sit at each end facing out and they have to row against each other (much like a tug of war) until one crosses the line and wins - it is the best of three. Two of our guys had a go and lost, then Dave and Cool Bananas had a go and they won - they only rowed one though, not three. Went shopping and got back around 5.30 so we went to the wedding and had a lovely meal but the bride and groom had a break from 6 - 7 so we explained to Mr B we had to put the anchor light on. Dashed back and changed and asked Dave and Jean to get the bus to pick us up from the wedding. Went back to the wedding and ended up in the family line greeting and farewelling guests!!! Had our photo taken with the bride and groom. Kasri, Hoosley and Taupik were all there. A band started at 7 but there is no dancing and it is a dry town so there is no booze. The bus collected us and we thought we were going to see national dancing but actually went to see (Brett you will love this) FIRE FOOTBALL!!!! This is 5 a side soccer on a small field, the ball being a coconut with husk which has been soaked in kero and lit so it burns and flames up the whole time. The players cover their legs in ketchup and sand. It is also a dangerous spectator sport as the ball frequently runs into the crowd. Obviously there are no throwins although the goalie sometimes picked the ball up and threw it. Then 8 of our guys had a go with their shoes on except young Amber who had thongs on and soon lost them. She was all over the place and had a ball and the crowd loved it!! Even old Geoff had a go (he's 70!!). They reckoned it wasn't the fire that hurt but kicking the coconut as it was like kicking a brick!!!! Then it was time to call it a night.

As you can see it has been quite a time. We are missing our little Jackie mates more than we can say. Love to Rosie and Jessie.
Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

WEEK 24: 3 October - 9 October - Lovina Beach, Bali to at sea

DAY 164 - Saturday 3 October - Ubud, Bali
Had breakfast beside the rice paddy then jean and I headed out to see if we could find somewhere better to stay. I started getting hassled by a guy selling a newspaper so Jean ran up a driveway to get away. And amazingly behind the driveway were some wonderful bungalows with beautiful gardens and a pool. We managed to find a very nice room each and moved in. Went for a walk to Monkey Forest - hundreds of monkeys and temples and a beautiful river walk. A monkey tried to take Jean's drink bottle and she wouldn't let it so it jumped on her back - gave her an awful fright! In the evening we went to a show in a temple - 100 men chanting the background to a balinise story with balanise dancers. Then a man went into a trance and did some fire walking - very good night. Meridian, Wave Sweeper and Wind Chimes were also there and later at dinner we ran into Cilantro and Kristie!

DAY 165 - Sunday 4 October, Lovinga Beach, Bali
Tempted to stay another day as it is so peaceful in the bungalows - very busy street but peace and quiet behind it but we didn't want to get caught in the rain again so left after breakfast. Had a great run back - only had to ask directions once. Skirted around the volcano and down the mountain. A really great ride and back to Lovina Beach.

DAY 166 - Monday 5 October - Lovina Beach, Bali
A day of preparing for leaving - washing, fresh fruit & veg shopping at the local market and some meat shopping (not from the market!!!). Got the boat boy to bring us a couple of crates of beer and I found a dress and shirt to buy. Went to dinner with Jean and David and then ran into Kristie and Cilantro on the way back. They had just gotten back from Denpasar. Brian (Kristie) is waiting for a new autohelm from Raymarine and Cilantro will wait with them.

DAY 167 - Tuesday 6 October - Lovina Beach to at sea (night one)
Peter took the bike back and Cilantro bought over a little present for Jessie. We upanchored with Whistle at 2pm and headed for Rasse Island expecting to arrive early the next morning. As we left the wind got up and we had a great sail although the seas were really rough. We got up to 8.4 knots at one stage with two reefs in the main and the headsail half furled in! I went below to close the hatch and a wave hit us and I flew across the boat head first into the instrument panel - it hurt a lot but both the instrument panel and I survived!! During the night a big boat kept shining a spotlight on Whistle and us and we realised he was towing a great big barge - unlit. We prudently decided to let him pass so slowed down to let him go. As a result of our speedy passage we reached Rasse island at 2am instead of in daylight so we decided to keep going.

DAY 168 - Wednesday 7 October - at sea (night two)
We lost the wind about 2.30am and had to motor sail. The seas were flat and it was quite pleasant. There were lots of fish traps and boats around. I managed to read and make lunch - quite a pleasant day. The moon is full so visibility is quite good. Saw a big ship coming so changed course 30 degrees to starboard and passed him port to port. A big Indonesian fishing vessel also came along so I again changed course 30 degrees to do the same but when I looked through the binoculars I realised he had done the same so I quickly changed back 30 degrees to port and we passed starboard to starboard. It kept us quite busy through the night keeping an eye out for fishtraps and boats although it was probably more good luck than good management that we didn't hit any fishtraps!!!

DAY 169 - Thursday 8 October - at seat to Bowean Island
05°43.890S 112°40.139E
We arrived at Bowean Island at 9am. It is a beautiful island - really south sea stuff. We had lost Whistle through the night but they came in only half an hour behind us. Wavesweeper, Meridian, Wind Chimes and Brio all came in around 11.30. We anchored in 5m of water which is the shallowest we have been in for quite some time. We had a swim, read and slept for the rest of the day. Did some passage planning and sorted ourselves out with Whistle and then told the others what we were doing so they all thought it was a good plan.
Miles: 215 Total 4,101 nm

Day 170 - Friday 9 October - Bowean Island to at sea (night one)
Followed whistle out at 5.40am and the others followed us out. We must average 5 knots to get to the Kumai river by tomorrow afternoon. Seas were very sloppy. We motor sailed the first three hours or so while the others were happy to sail at less than 5 knots. Dave put his light jenniker like sail up and was doing well. We put our jenniker up and headed out on the best point of sail which took us 5 miles off course but we had a beautiful sail all day with the jenniker up and it was very comfortable. Pulled it down just before dark and motor sailed back towards our course which meant we had the seas at our backs which made the ride very comfortable. It was as bright as day out there as there were heaps of fishing boats all with huge rows of lights - we think they may be chasing squid. Peter saw another ship towing a huge unlit barge. Not a bad night.

This morning Sat 10th finds us heading towards Kumai in 11m of water which is very strange after all the deep water we have been in, We can see one sail behind us but cant see or hear any of the others. From here we head up the Kumai river which I suspect is going to get a whole lot shallower!!! Will let you know next time how that went.

Love to all.
Fair winds and calm seas
Dell and Peter

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

WEEK 23: 26 September - 2 October -Medana Bay, Lombok to Lovina Beach, Bali

Have added some photos into weeks 14, 15, 16 & 17 - work in progress I am afraid. Tuesday - leaving for overnighter heading to Kalimantan Borneo.

DAY 157 - Saturday 26 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island
We decided to catch a bemo (little van) to Sengiggi - motor bikes had gone up to 75,000rp, hawkers everywhere in your face. We walked out to the road to catch a bemo. A 'local' decided to help us and stopped one going in the opposite direction and it appeared they were going to turf the people out so we walked away from that one. We had bemos stop for us but the 'local' kept interfering in our negotiations and forcing the price up. We walked further down the road three times to get away from him. Peter and Dave finally negotiated 80,000 and the 'local' stuck his bib in again and it was suddenly 150,000. We went back to the marina and asked the man there to see if he could get us one. He got us one for 100,000 each way and they would wait for us. We told them to go off and earn some more money while they were waiting. We thought Sengiggi was very ordinary - people had said how good it was. Found a craft shop and finally saw the correct prices for stuff. Peter's 300,000 woven piece was 85,000 in the shop!!! So I bought a couple of things in there and it was so nice not to have to bargain. Had lunch and returned for the gala dinner. They put on a pretty good spread and then had speeches and a muslim band. Looked really funny seeing guys in white gowns doing rock band stuff.

DAY 158 - Sunday 27 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island to Ambat Road, Bali
08°19.940S 115°38.511E
Upanchored at 7am and headed out to cross the strait between Bali and Lombok. It was ok till we got around the Gili Islands. Peter put 2 reefs in the main. The seas were really really rough, the wind was blowing a gale, we were doing 7 knots and it was truly awful - really bad tipping (I hate tipping in rough seas!!!). Heaps of water over the top and then we broke the autohelm (new) so Peter had to hand steer the last couple of hours. We had to keep our eyes on a couple of big ships out there. Finally got in the lee of Bali Island but still the wind blew and it didn't stop until we got right into the little bay of Ambat Road. We anchored off the beach in 20m of water and hung back to 25m. Peter got the old autohelm out and was able to repair the new one with parts from the old one. We didn't go ashore but I wished we had as it was a pretty little village with pigs, dogs and chooks on the black beach, a couple playing with children, a couple learning to scuba dive and just generally people being busy. That night another yacht down from us dragged badly. We were calling him but he didn't answer. He went a couple of miles out before he realised. There are lots of fish traps around and the wind blew all night.

Miles: 30 Total 3,886
DAY 159 - Monday 28 September - Ambat Road, Bali to Lovina Beach, Bali
08°09.713S 115°01.109E
Left at 6am with wind still howling and headed out. As soon as we put the mainsail up we totally heeled over - very scary. Sailed out with huge wind and were hoiking along at 7 knots going around the coast of Bali. The scenery was wonderful and all the little spider boats were coming back in with their sails up and they looked like big colourful fish - there were hundreds of them. Got around a bit further and we totally lost the wind so then motored the rest of the day. Got in around 3.20pm and anchored with a heap of other boats. Lovina Beach is on the north coast of Bali with black beaches and not so touristy.

DAY 160 - Tuesday 29 September - Lovina Beach, Bali
Decided to get the jump on getting our visas so went with 10 others to the Immigration office - we were told we would get our passports straight back. We had to fill in myriads of paper work and sat in the hope of getting our passports back. By 2pm it became obvious that this wasn't going to happen and the fingerprint machine was broken so we left and caught a bemo to town, walked through the market, had lunch and came back. We enquired about motor bikes and when we found one for 30,000rp ($3.80) a day including insurance we grabbed it.
DAY 161 - Wednesday 30 September - Lovina Beach, Bali
Paid for our visas but no sign of our passports. Took the bike out for a ride so Peter could get used to it - semi automatic - gears but no clutch. Went past a big temple with men out the front playing cymbals and zylophones with hammers. Listened for a while then went to the hot spa pools. Didn't have our swimmers but had a look. We got a telephone call telling us to go to immigration so we thought we were getting our passports back. But no, we just had to get our photo taken and have all our fingers on both hands fingerprinted. Went to a Balanise restaurant for dinner. Two little girls about 3 and 8 did a dance - so cute. Then a girl about 12 and then a man with a very scary bad spirit mask on - he was very scary. He came down and talked to us after - a very jolly man. It has been very windy.

DAY 162 - Thursday 1 October - Lovina Beach, Bali
Peter cleared out with customs and still no passports. A day of not very much really!

DAY 163 - Friday 2 October - Lovina Beach, Bali
Happy Anniversary Amy and Pete Happy Birthday Ann
Went in for a Sail Indonesia/Malaysia 9am meeting and got our passports back. Dave and Jean (Whistle) got a bike and we headed off on a minor road which deteriorated into potholes with a bit of bitumen. The roads were very steep and it was overcast. Our bike struggled and on a very steep bit we couldn't get up and I went to get off and we slid backwards as the brakes wouldn't hold. Peter burned his leg on the exhaust but managed to get the bike sideways and stop it. David and jean didn't know which way to go so Dave braked and also started sliding bacckwards so he put the bike down. Jean jumped off but momentum carried her backwards. When I looked back the bike was on the ground and jean was on her back in the gutter - gave me an awful fright!! All ok though. We got a bit lost and then we lost Dave and Jean and it took us about half an hour to find each other again. Started pouring rain - we got totally soaked and absolutely freezing. We had gone from dripping with the heat in the morning to shivering with the cold in the afternoon. Missed the water temple as it was raining so hard and then we were running out of time so went straight to Ubud. Jean & I walked the street trying to find somewhere to stay. All the nice places were full and of the rest they either had a good bathroom and crap bedroom or vice versa. We finally found a not too bad place next to a rice field. Very busy touristy street out the front and rice paddy out the back!

Fair winds and calm seas
Dell and Peter

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

WEEK 22: 20 September - 25 September - NW Lombok to Medana B ay, Lombok

DAY 151 - Sunday 20 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island
08°21.703S 116°07.784E
Upanchored at 7am, no wind so motored against a 1.5 knot current. Arrived at 3.30pm. All the buoys were taken - there were only about 15 so we anchored out the back close to the reef. All along the way across Lombok there were heaps of people on the beaches as it is the end of Ramadan and people were celebrating. A couple of boats came out to wave at us. Ramadan end is like our Christmas and New Year.
Miles: 40 total 3,856

DAY 152 - Monday 21 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island
Went for a walk and realised we were getting away from the beach so cut through a cornfield along a path - greeted by a worker and little heads popped up all over the place! Found another path, the others saw a snake - got lost, walked through little huts, fields, paddock with cows and what we think is a cashew tree. Finally came back to the road and found a resort which had 6 bungalow style rooms about 100m apart. We were shown two of the rooms - big 4 poster beds, a shower in the private garden courtyard (also had a huge bathroom) - really lovely. Had a couple of beers beside the most beautiful pool in a lovely garden setting.

DAY 153 - Tuesday 21 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island
Took a car tour with Dave & Jean (Whistle). Left at 8am and were supposed to be going to places we wanted to and stopping at a restaurant on the way back for dinner. Went to the monkey forest and some very fat monkeys came down and took peanuts very gently from our hands. Jean was feeding a mother with a tiny baby and while she was distracted another monkey came and stole her bag and raced up a tree and sat and ate from the packet! Next we went to a Hindu/Muslim temple which is the only temple in the world where five religions meet. This place was not on our list. We had to give "donations" in two separate places and the guide's English was very poor. I found it boring but Peter quite enjoyed it. Then we went to the water palace which was on our list then to a weaving village (not on our list). We were told that the girls start weaving at the age of 7. They weave for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week and cant get married unless they can weave. Peter bought a piece for 300,000rp. Then we went to the pottery place and to the supermarket for shopping. Our driver and guide started complaining that they were on overtime. We didn't get to stop at a restaurant and got back at 6 and they demanded an extra 100,000 for overtime. Other people left at 8 and got back at 7 and there was no overtime!! Felt a bit ripped off!!
DAY 154 - Wednesday 22 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island
This was fuel day, water day - filling all the tanks and washing day. Had a massage (mediocre) and a haircut - short. Cilantro and Kristie 1 finally caught up with us - so quiet celebrations. Finally got our passports back but the visa only goes to 18 October and that is not long enough.

DAY 155 - Thursday 23 September - Medana Bay, Lombok Island
Caught a bemo to the market with Helly and Whistle. The bemo that stopped was going in the opposite direction but turned around and the two poor girls in it had to go all the way back before they could get on their way again - we hate it when we put other people out like that so paid their fare for them. Market was closed (it was a morning market and we were late) so walked round town, had lunch in a rumah makan - curry and sate only and it was goat. Caught a ben hur back - little wagon pulled by a little horse. Peter disappeared for an hour and when he finally turned up he said he had been over behind the toilets (!) having a massage by three women. Had his feet scraped and a great massage - much better than mine by all accounts! Anyway he was very pleased with himself. Cancelled our glass bottom boat trip for tomorrow as the price had doubled!!! Sail Indonesia celebrations started today and there are suddenly people everywhere, hawkers shoving stuff under your nose, police, customs and obviously increased prices - we really don't like that side of things and it is the first time we have had to put up with it since Ambon. We were all herded up the beach and had to walk down between girls in lovely costumes throwing rice and rose petals over us and young men all dressed up. Sat through some speeches then there was some traditional dancing and some fighting, nibblies and free beer. Interesting night.

DAY 156 - Friday 24 September - Medana Bay,Lombok Island
Ordered three motor scooters for 8am but only 2 showed up so we had to wait an hour for another one - 50,000rp for the day ($6.30 + $1.20 for fuel). Got on our way about 9.15 - Helly, Whistle and us. Took a while to get the hang of it but then it was just like old times! Doug used to be a postman so Jean told him he didn't have to stop at every house!! It took us about 2 hours, stopping to ask directions along the way and finally arrived at the walk way to the waterfalls. They tried to convince us to have a guide but we declined. We followed a path to the first waterfall which was beautiful. Falling out of jungle with mist everywhere. Followed a track to the second waterfall and we had to walk across the river - rapids- scramble over some rocks and back across the fast flowing river then followed the track till we came to the second waterfall. It was gorgeous. One big one and a series of other falls each side falling from jungle with jungle all over the cliff face with water falling in front and behind of it and spray everywhere. We all jumped in the pool fully clothed - shoes and all and it was very windy (caused by the waterfall) and quite cold - Doug reckoned it was blowing 40 knots!!! We walked back over the conduit bridge - very high with big gaps to step across which carried all the water from the mountain to the paddy fields below. They have a series of sluice gates to direct the flow of the water. The water then went through a tunnel which goes through the mountain with very fast flowing water almost up to our knees - so in we go - pitch black - water flowing, cant see - hanging on to the sides, crouched so you didn't hit your head. It went for a very long way with little windows in the mountain here and there to let a little light in - so you can see the bats!? Anyway we all finally came out the other side - it was the most amazing thing. Doug said it was the most unnatural natural thing he had ever done! We had a late lunch at a restaurant next door to the entry which had the most amazing views and the food was fabulous. Took us 1 ½ hrs to get back dodging bikes, trucks, people and potholes and it was the most awesome day!!!

Sorry this is late people - will try to do better!!
Much Love
Fair Winds and Calm Seas
Dell and Peter

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