blog 09/24/12 Tough Three Weeks
leaving Bali on the 9th we have had one goal, we needed to get to Nongsa Marina and check out of Indonesia by the
28th. Our visas are expiring and we have chosen not to renew them. We
had one last play day in Bali when we hired a car and driver and went inland visiting woodworkers, artists and kite makers.
We ate lunch at a volcano vista, toured a coffee farm, visited Ubud and went to an ancient Monkey Temple.
The monkeys were numerous and more than a little intimidating. Before leaving, I did manage
to squeeze in a 60 minute “hot stone massage” for which I paid 97,800 rupiah or about US $9.80!
Upon departure, we switched to a delivery mode.
We expected it to be tough, and we were not surprised. We did a series of 1 or 2 night passages
giving ourselves an extra night of sleep between segments. We quickly realized
we needed to head further out to sea in an attempt to avoid the many small fishing vessels and all their trappings.
We were amazed by how far out these small boats go. Often no one slept on Georgia as it took both
of us to maneuver through the ship traffic and fishing boats, one person on the helm and the other glued to the radar.
We have been warned that many of the fishing boats run without lights, but we actually encountered a 600 foot cargo
ship with no navigational lights.We re-entered
civilization when we pulled into Nongsa Marina. The staff came out in a small boat and escorted us through
the channel while a host of deck hands were waiting to catch our lines. The resort has a beautiful pool
and a 24 hour restaurant. Of course, we already feel the twinge of real world prices as their proximity
to Singapore sets the tone. Our plan is to leave here on the 26th and make the 45 mile trip
to Singapore. Singapore is one of the busiest harbors in the world so winding our way through the ships
should be interesting. Where is Allyn Schafer when we need him!
Several of you have expressed concerns about the political and religious unrest here
in Indonesia. We have felt none of that and have only great things to say about the people we have encountered.
We have thoroughly enjoyed our two months here but it is time to move on.
S/V Georgia J Moored
at Nongsa Point Resort & Marina, Batam Island, Indonesia
|One of the Sacred Monkeys at the Temple
Kim’s Blog 9/4/12- Sad day on Georgia J
Today we said our sad farewells to Glenda. She has flown to Singapore to join Helena, a
boat headed for South Africa. Glenda crewed on Georgia J for 4 months. We will miss
her cheery attitude, sailing expertise and friendship. Most of all we dread doing all the work she has
been doing for us. We are sorry to see her go, but wish her fair winds as she continues her circumnavigation
|Glenda in Championship Top Spinning Contest-Lombok
Kim’s blog 9/3/12- In Bali
Entering Bali was cultural overload. The harbor channel was packed with speed boats, para-sails,
ferries, canoes and fishermen. The worst was an air mattress with two tourists strapped in, flying high
above a speed boat. Driving through the chaos was nerve racking. Indonesia clearly
needs more tort attorneys.
We are staying at Bali Marina.
We have water to wash the boat for the first time in three months. We have electricity and a restaurant
at the end of the dock. The marina is old and rickety, but has a certain charm. Best
of all, someone else is cleaning up the boat. Two guys have polished away six months of rust on every piece
of stainless steel and Georgia is shiny again. The total cost of 4 man days of excellent work was $126.
Unfortunately, we arrived a week late since they had just increased their prices by 50%. They will
be back to do the interior.
Bali is Hindu, not Muslim.
The calls to prayer have been replaced with loud party boats and jets. There is bacon on the menu
and Kuta, the big town, is party central.
Since our last
posting, we have made six stops on four different islands- Komodo, Sumbawa, Medang and Lombok. The anchorage
at Teluk (Bay) Batumonco on Komodo Island was our favorite Indonesian anchorage so far. The water was clear,
the bay was calm and the corals were incredibly diverse and beautiful. Glenda saw a shark, a turtle and
manta ray while snorkeling. Best of all, we had it all to ourselves.
The villages we visit are very similar. The people
are poor, the mosque speakers are loud and the plastic trash is everywhere. However, the people (particularly
the kids) are incredibly friendly. Despite the shortcomings, we have enjoyed every village we visited.
|Welcoming Committe on Sumbawa - very polite!
|One horsepower taxi on Lombok Island
|Our Anchorage on Komodo Island
Sharon’s Blog 08/25/12 Two Perfect Days
It is not every day that you can take in one of the seven natural wonders of the world,
but that is what Kim and I did. We decided to take a vacation from our vacation. Glenda
opted to spend the day Skyping with family and friends. In lieu of taking Georgia through some difficult
passes and the hassle of special permits, we took a private tour on a local boat to Rinca (Wren cha) Island to see the Komodo
dragons. Rinca is home to the largest population of the dragons, approximately 1300. The
males weigh around 180 lbs. and can live up to 50 years. Connor was disappointed to learn that they do
not breathe real fire, but they are deadly nonetheless. They carry 70 types of bacteria to kill their prey
and can eat a King Cobra with no ill effects. They are certainly not a very pretty creature.
Our ranger carried a big stick, which fortunately he did not have to use.
After returning from our hike through the park, the crew greeted us with banana smoothies and a lavish Indonesian
lunch. After lunch, the captain brought out a mat and pillows so we could nap on our return.
We realize that true hospitality is not dependent upon a common language. We stopped for a leisurely
snorkel which topped off a perfect day.
The ride to Rinca was
so gorgeous we changed our plans and decided to sail to Komodo Island. We found a beautiful, secluded cove
which turned out to be one of the best anchorages we have ever had. The water was a crystal clear
aqua blue and the coral was stunning. We all decided we had snorkeled enough when Glenda saw a 5.5 foot
S/V Georgia J Anchored
in Saygar Bay, Sumbawa Island
|God's Ugliest Creature
|Our boat was the big one- The Rainbow Star
|Guide, Captain & 2 crew - just for us
Sharon’s Blog 08/20/12- Island Hopping through Indonesia
We apologize to those of you who have been clamoring for blog postings. The internet here is
not as reliable as we are used to. Georgia J has been moving at her typical quick pace. We
have left the mass of Rally boats, but are finding like-minded participants wherever we go. Since leaving
Kupang, we have visited two moderately sized towns, two Moslem fishing villages, a Sea World “resort”
(but no Shamu), an island inhabited only by monkeys, and what I would describe as an Indonesian
beach town. We have encountered some of the toughest anchoring challenges we have ever encountered.
The anchorages go from extremely deep to coral reef with little warning. In one spot, we anchored
so close to shore, we could almost touch it and almost did before the night was over! This has created
some poor sleeping conditions for the crew, especially Captain Kim. Thank goodness for our ability to set
We have thoroughly enjoyed exploring the Indonesian
culture and the people. Glenda, armed with a 90 cent pocket dictionary, has become our official translator.
We all really like the food, but are now quite wary of the sauces so hot they will take your breath away.
Indonesians are very big on snack food, but it is almost impossible to find anything not covered in sugar.
Glenda and I spent a wonderful afternoon in an outdoor food market bringing home several new varieties of fruits and
some yummy street food. We figured we were pretty safe as the street food was being cooked in boiling hot
oil. Riding in a “Bemo” is a cultural experience not to be missed. Bemos
are a cross between buses and taxis. It is amazing to see how many people can be jammed into these vans.
They are painted bright colors, play jarringly loud music and weave in and out of traffic at high speeds.
Of course, they are very cheap. In fact, everything is credibly cheap. Some recent
examples are- a long Bemo ride US 50₵ per person, haircut and shampoo $2.00, and dinner for three $4.42.
Without question, our greatest pleasure has been the overwhelmingly
warm welcome we have received everywhere we go. The children call out, “hey, mister”, a term
used for all three of us. We are now convinced that children all over the world like to give “high
fives”, as they clamor around us in groups to touch our hands. A thirty minute
walk to through town can easily result in 100 greetings and shouts of “halo.” Whenever we ask
for help, people do their very best to help out the “bules”, as they call us tourists. One
woman put her three kids off the motor bike she was riding, leaving them with Glenda and me, and took Kim on a fast ride to
show him where the restaurant we were looking for was. One of the highlights was attending
a school costume parade and festival. One of the speakers even mentioned the special guests from other
countries. We think he was talking about us as everyone turned around to smile at us.
Each stop has been unique offering us very different experiences. We
are looking forward to our remaining stops.
s/v Georgia J, anchored at Labuan Bajo, Flores Island
|Udin & Wandi visited us alone in their canoe
|Jake is studying to be an English teacher
|Glenda conducts English classes on Georgia J
|Riung School Parade
|Some Language is Universal
Kim’s blog 8/5/12: Our last few days in Kupang were great.
We hired a guide and with a very nice car to tour Kupang. We fed the cave monkeys, saw wooden fishing
boats built, visited a water fall and toured the outdoor market. The highlight of the day was visiting
workshop of Mr. Pah where sansados were being built by hand. The sansado is a beautiful musical instrument.
Mr. Pah and his son performed for our little group of six for over an hour. The sad part of the
day was the market- incredibly poor and dirty. Where ever we went, little kids called out “Hey Mister”
or “Bule" (tourist) and gave us the high five. We could not have been more exotic if we had
come from Mars. Our share of the total cost for the day was under $100 including car, driver, guide, entrance
fees, lunch, one hand made sansado, hand woven textiles, spices from the market, snacks and tip.
We are on our way across the Sewa Sea. Next stop is the Island of Lembata.
|Baby Cave Monkey
|Mr Pah plays Sasando
|Hamming with Mr Pah
|Best Street in the Market
|The market did have very fresh meats for sale