Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pix of Indonesia/August '09

Here are a few pix of Indonesia and the adventure verbage follows on the next pages ...all about our time here.

After this we will post about our trip around Bali and we will get more photos on the net in Singapore. Internet is not readily available here and this is our first chance in 2 months.
Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Kicking back!

Heading West to Bali/August '09

We are having trouble raving about this country. Compared to our other cruising areas this one is more challenging and we are not particularly enthusiastic about it. The anchorages are deep and rolly; not conducive to rest. The food is cheap but mediocre although the beer is good. The land is hot, dry and parched with lots of dirt and dust to collect on the boat….and no rain for over 2 months so there is salt everywhere. Many villages are pitifully poor and needy and we would like to help more than we can. Some actually rate as Fourth World!

We really just passed time until we got to the island of Rinca, near Komoto, and saw the giant Komoto Dragons. That was something impressive to write about. They actually can swim and climb aboard boats if they smell meat. We couldn’t get off the dinghy onto land because they looked so fierce.

We began enjoying this country a bit more when we arrived in Lovina Beach, Bali. We could have just skipped everything up until here if we had it to do over again. Also, this Boat Rally is the worst organized event we have ever seen…actually entertaining in its inefficiency! They keep cancelling things and changing the rules and the organizers quit halfway through it. We had taken off on our own away from the crowd of boats, anyway. We are waiting to renew our visas now and are just killing time before we visit the island of Bali. We have heard good things so are looking forward to improvement in our outlook.

We guess someplace has to be our least favorite!!! After here we go to Borneo to see the Orangutans and then to Singapore before another rally in Malaysia and then on to Thailand.

WE ARE ACTUALLY HEADED HOME AFTER THAILAND! In January we will head around India, through the Red Sea to Turkey. We won’t be back in the US on CYAN for at least 2 years but we are headed that way.

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN

Trials In Indonesia/July 09

Maybe we jinxed ourselves by saying too often that things had been going too smoothly, but our luck all caught up with us on our way to Indonesia.

The first inconvenience happened when, in the middle of the night, on the short 250 mile passage, the head got completely blocked and we proceeded to disassemble it and treat it with phosphoric acid. Meanwhile, when we are both working in the head with sails reefed and pointing the boat to the wind for a smoother ride, a wave hits and a kettle of tea flies across the galley staining the rugs with creative brown designs. Then on another wave all Lynn's earrings in a Tupperware box, that has always been secure, hits at the right angle and the stateroom is peppered with jewelry, everywhere. We finally unblock the head after several hours of “bucket and chuck-it” as cruisers call it. All this, while the wind picks up to blowing 30 knots.

We finally reach Saumlaki, Indonesia where the 140 boats in the rally crowd into a deep anchorage. These local folks...40, an oversized village actually, have never seen so many westerners at one time. The people here are very welcoming and delightful folks...we can't say enough about their attractiveness. The officials do the best they can with the overwhelming number of vessels to go through quarantine, immigration, customs and harbormaster clearance. Beaurocracy is the game here and we must enjoy it!!!

Our next set of problems didn't really start until the second day where we are called on the radio to assure us that someone is out there saving our dinghy...WHAT DINGHY... we didn't know it was missing!!! The D ring we have hauled it by for thousands of miles gave way and it was taking off across the bay!!! Then we went on the arranged tour of villages to view the culture, dancing, singing and crafts. The marathon hour tour ended up lasting 9 hours on a bumpy bus with no restroom facilities and just one cup of water. The tour was wonderful but they hadn't prepared for this huge number of cruisers, amounting to over 200 in 5 busses on back roads.

Anyway, after we got back, at dusk, we find the dinghy had been pushed under the pier by the other 30 dinghies and it was crushed and full of water from high tide!!! We got towed back to the boat by helpful fellow cruisers only to find that our BOAT WAS MISSING...IT WAS GONE...ooops… look around...there it was ...over 300 feet north from where we left it. The anchor that had held fine for 2 days, somehow, proceeded to drag across the slimy mud and past a neighboring boat but not hitting it!!! We find out that 4 other cruisers in dinghies guided it safely and let out more chain to hold it securely. We pride ourselves in anchoring and we were mortified to be caught in such a mistake!!!

It was all a day from hell and mostly an affront to our dignity. We will learn from it all and not be complacent...if that was our mistake. The next morning we re-anchored with a wounded windlass [the motor thing that pulls up the chain]. Chuck spent the all day learning how to rebuild the waterlogged outboard motor while Lynn was in bed with chills from “Indo revenge” as also experienced by with other visitors here!!!

We finally got the motor fixed although the cover looks like it was run over by a truck!!! We also fixed the wiring on the windlass with help from other cruisers. Just another step in the great adventure but we have to say...we were tired, frustrated, embarrassed and humbled by all of it. The breakage could have been worse and more actually having to get parts sent into here. “Impossible but can be arranged”, as they say, expecting bribes.

It was not our best time on the boat so far!!! Still we leave to see other parts of Indonesia west of here and hopefully with better luck!!

Lynn and Chuck on CYAN