Thursday, August 27, 2009

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

1 comment:

Tom Knueppel said...

Remember what they say...cruising is fixing boats in exotic anchorages..

Keep your spirits up

Fair winds,

Tom and Kathy Knueppel