S/V Tiger Lilly

Rig heavy, reef early, and pray often; for God does not assure us an easy passage, but He does promise a safe anchorage...

03 November 2016 | Singapore, Southeast Asia
02 October 2016 | Kumai River, Borneo
24 August 2016 | Rindja Island, Indonesia
22 July 2016 | Fannie Bay, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
14 June 2016 | Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia
13 June 2016 | Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia
11 June 2016 | Burnette Heads, Queensland, Australia
07 June 2016 | Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
11 May 2016 | Colmsie, Brisbane River, Queensland, Australia
23 December 2015 | Brisbane, Australia
13 August 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
07 August 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
23 July 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
12 April 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
11 February 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
25 January 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
24 September 2014 | BORA BORA, French Polynesia
23 September 2014 | Bora Bora
20 August 2014 | Teahupoo, Tahiti Iti
07 July 2014 | Iles Gambier, French Polynesia

TIGER LILLY - SINGAPORE IS SPECTACULAR!

03 November 2016 | Singapore, Southeast Asia
Tom & Lilly
We just returned to TIGER LILLY after a four day tour in Singapore - and it was a most enjoyable experience.

LILLY SEZ: We had a GREAT time seeing the sights, meeting the people, eating in restaurants, sleeping in a real bed, enjoying the comfort of air conditioning, and just playing tourist! I liked seeing that Singapore has a population of energetic young athletic people exercising - or at least they were dressed in Lycra and looking the part. There were actually a few roadies in town zig-zagging their bicycles through the busy streets of the Central Business District - but starting and stopping every couple of blocks at the traffic signals must be very frustrating.

TOM REPLIES: I certainly did enjoy our visit to Singapore - one of the great seaports of the world, and visiting this unique city-state was on my Bucket List. But Lilly, we are NOT rosy-skinned, rolley-polley flippin tourists, we are seamen on shore-leave! Every five years or so it is probably beneficial to leave the boat for a short period, and have it reaffirmed that I NEVER WANT TO LIVE ASHORE! It was so good to return to TIGER LILLY and get out of that damned air conditioning... And oh by the way, the MAMILS in Singapore (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) - look just about the same as those in the States...

LILLY SEZ: Tom-Tom wants to die on the boat, but he comes from long-lived genes, and the chances are pretty good that I will be selecting HIS rest home! I really do love the wide open spaces of the Great American Desert, and I can see us retiring to the dry heat of New Mexico once we swallow the anchor! Hey Maria - be sure to keep his AC on HIGH, I am off to the pool!
And so it goes friends - the Ying and Yang of marital bliss aboard TIGER LILLY...

Singapore is a First World city-state at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, and it is home to some 5.5 millions of people - packed (stacked?) into only 269 square miles; and over 20% of the land area has been reclaimed from the sea. Singapore's icon is the Merlion which is half lion (an animal not indigenous to the region - but it certainly does represent Singapore's strong business acumen), and half fish, which reflects the island's initial habitation as a fishing village. The evolution of this small island in just a few hundred years from a native fishing village scratching out an existence surrounded by a swamp and impenetrable jungle, to a Malay Kingdom ruled by a wealthy and powerful Sultan, to a crown jewel in the mighty British Empire, to today's First World city-state is quite extraordinary - and unique in the history of the world.

WHAT WE THOUGHT OF SINGAPORE:

CLEAN - This huge city is swept up, picked-up, and painted-out; when we rode a transit bus through the outlying communities, they were just as clean and squared-away. Of course, the cost of this order is some loss of personal liberty. You may recall the incident a few years ago when an American teenager earned himself a canning for spray-painting graffiti (which was notable by its absence during our visit). There was a lot of liberal hand-wringing regarding this youngster's fate back in the USA, but we supported it.

SAFE and ORDERLY - Anyone, man or woman, can safely walk the streets of Singapore at any time of the day or night - and the police keep a low (but very effective) profile.

HARMONY - The population of Singapore is multi-ethnic salad bowl, and it appears that race or color does not seem to be a common basis for discrimination: 3/4 of the population is Chinese (with most signs in both Chinese and English); Malay (up until 1965 Singapore was part of Malaysia, and today many Malaysians cross the border each day under special work visas), East Indian (anywhere in the world there are shops and merchants, East Indians are likely to be found running them), Arabs (millions of barrels of crude oil and refined products are transported through the Singapore Harbour each day), and various other cats & dogs and ex-pats of the international business community that make the money flow. These folks are all living together on a very small island, yet they seem to maintain their own special identity in places like China Town, Little India, and Arab Street. The remnants of the former British Colony are epitomized by the Victorian Raffles Hotel.
Tom-Tom the Sailor Man and his consort Tiger Lilly visited the Long Bar at Raffles to partake in virgin Singapore Slings, eat peanuts, and of course, to see and to be seen in this paragon of power and influence. As you can imagine, Tom-Tom was in the persona of Commodore Hornblower of the Royal Navy, reliving the Golden Age of colonialism; while Tiger Lilly accosted the nice Australian couple Howard & Gaynor at the next table, exchanged email addresses and pledged eternal Facebook fidelity. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves...

VIBRANT - Singapore is the busiest seaport in the world; it is the gateway between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is an international hub of finance and business. The office towers of the world's big banks define Singapore's downtown skyline, and this place absolutely BUZZES with capitalism. At the consumer level, tens of upscale malls seem to dominate the retail scene - the multi-level malls get the most stores on the smallest footprint (sans the usual acres and acres of asphalt parking lots); this seems to be the way to go in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world.

PROSPEROUS - With an average per capita income of $61,400 USD, Singaporeans enjoy a very high standard of living. However, just recently we read an article on the BBC site that ranked Singapore as having the highest cost-of-living in the world. Tourism is a $7 BILLION USD industry in this little country - absolutely amazing! We tried to contribute as little as possible to this statistic by staying in an Airbnb room (double bed, private shower & toilet, air conditioning, central location) for $63 USD per night - which we were quite happy with. How cool are we, using Airbnb and the Internet to get a good deal - thanks to Gen-Xer James of S/V Mahiti who provided adult supervision with the Internet and app download.

ATTRACTIVE - Singapore has been planned and engineered to a tee, with seemingly seamless transition between living spaces, mass transit, working spaces, utilities (finally a Southeast Asian country where the tap water can be safely consumed), entertainment, and fantastic recreation facilities. We LOVE the modern and varied styles of Singapore's architecture, with the use of art, form, and color in their predominantly understated conservative neo-Asian style. (We just made up that term, but it seems to fit...)

CHILI CRAB EXTRAVAGANZA
In the tourist literature much is made of "Singapore's signature dish, the Chili Crab" and the town was plastered with attractive eye-level pictures of this colorful dish. After walking around town for two days and looking at dining scenes of the delectable chili crab, we came to the conclusion (sub-liminal suggestion?) that we could not live another moment without eating one.

LILLY SEZ: "WE?" I was resisting these expensive, difficult-to-eat, spider-like creatures quite nicely, thank you very much!

Through an oversight, we had inadvertently let our on-line subscription to the "Lonely Planet Restaurant Guide To The Orient" lapse. Of course, one would not expect our $63 USD per night hostel-like room to come with a concierge (and if it did, smart money would not listen to a $63 dollar concierge anyway); so we went into the Cheap Charlie Cruiser restaurant selection mode, and were pretty much on our own in un-surveyed waters - so to speak. Knowing that real estate in Singapore is dear, and reasoning that since the most expensive restaurants were located on the top floor of tall buildings - Tom-Tom cleverly focused low, and looked for a sea food restaurant in a basement. As luck would have it, we found such a place right next to the Singapore River - the Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. The first clue should have been the "market price" sticker on the menu next to the picture of the Chili Crab, but the lovely lady handing out the menus assured The Captain that her crabs were the best, and sweetest, in town; and besides she was so very pretty with long shiny black hair, lovely almond shaped eyes, a complexion that reminded one of cream in your coffee, and a tasteful red silk dress with a delicate neckline. We said, "What the heck - you only live once, let's eat her crabs!"

LILLY SEZ: That "delicate neckline" sported a pair of store-bought double-dees, which she skillfully, and seemingly accidentally, brushed against his forearm (being only about 4 feet tall), and Himself actually began drooling. It looks like I will be getting "lucky" tonight...

Little Miss Suzy Wong demurred with a practiced eye flutter and informed us that she was "so-sorry" we did not have reservations, but we could be immediately seated at one of their large round tables in their public room - so we accepted. We were shoe-horned into a dark back room where some nefarious looking characters were already seated. After perusing the pictorial menu, we decided that perhaps a single crab was not enough for the two of us - so we ordered a chili crab and a pepper crab; to enhance our dining pleasure through both diversity and volume.

LILLY SEZ: According to the conversation I inadvertently heard while Hot Shot was checking out the Chinese waitress and telling me sea-stories about some floating restaurant in Hong Kong (which happened 40 years ago) those "nefarious looking characters" were in fact medical doctors - surgeons to be exact...

While waiting for our dinners to arrive, who should be seated right next to us but THREE of the loveliest young Air Taiwan flight attendants a sailor ever did see! (Note: Unlike US based equal opportunity air lines which are dedicated to taking all the fun out of air travel by hiring grandmothers and homosexuals as flight attendants, Air Taiwan still goes by the tried and true hiring practice of selecting their girls on looks and age.) They were absolutely delightful "Hello Kitty" versions of the lady out front handing out the menus, and we had a most convivial dinner conversation with these charming young ladies.

LILLY SEZ: Ladies, it was just too pathetic for words, Grandpa missed his mouth and put a crab leg right in his ear as he attempted to inconspicuously look, smile, and eat at the same time... Luckily, the restaurant dressed him out with one of those ridiculous looking paper sea food bibs; which Miss Suzy Wong was only too happy to tie for him - while working her double-dees across his shoulder... I think that the average age of the young Taiwanese flight attendants was perhaps 19; and yes, they did all have genuine "Hello Kitty" cell phone covers, which of course they never once put down during the meal...

When the $203 SD ($150 USD) bill came Mister Man of the World, swallowed hard and cheerfully paid the bill - while trying to divert Tiger Lilly's attention from the credit card slip - which of course did not work.

LILLY SEZ: OK, been there, done that, and I didn't even get a chili crab tee shirt for $150 flippin dollars!

SINGAPORE's QUALITY OF LIFE and the roll of GOVERNMENT
As Americans travelling the world, we have seen first-hand several ways the United States could increase the quality of life of its citizens by adopting elements of other First World economies which are actually working - today. In the recent past we have reported to you on the wonderful culture that the Australians have created through a national medical care system, a practical minimum wage that a single person can live on, and government-funded post-secondary education. Australian students have access to low interest student loans which do not have to be paid back until their incomes rise well above $50,000 AD. Australian society benefits from a trained and educated young work force not financially burdened by student loans early in life. Likewise, during our visit to Singapore we witnessed the actual results of several government policy issues which SHOULD be a part of the national dialog in the United States during the current election cycle - but sadly are not. Here are some of the effects of government policy we observed first-hand during our short stay in Singapore:

Mass Transit - The bus and train system in Singapore moves millions of people each day in safety, comfort, and efficiency. Inefficient private vehicles are discouraged by a tax and quota system. This is the sort of government policy that can actually make a difference - in the short and medium term - to improve any urban environment now. While we were in Singapore we did not see a single teenager (or his daddy) out cruising the roads in a huge jacked-up, vee-eight powered, four-wheel-drive pickem-up truck...

National Medical Program - Medical care for its citizens is an integral part of Singapore's high standard of living, and it is a critical element in providing the energized workforce that this country needs to compete successfully with the larger countries of the Global Economy. Universal medical care is not only a quality of life issue - it makes good business sense by improving the labor force.

Guest Worker Programs - Singapore has an effective guest worker program to obtain the needed demographics for their labor force, and prevent the country from being straddled with the liabilities and disadvantages of illegal immigration. People come from all over the world to work in Singapore - to their personal advantage - and then they return home. It's called a win-win...

Border Protection - Like Israel (after which the Singapore Government has chosen to pattern their defense forces) Singapore is a thriving secular country surrounded by large Muslim theocracies. They take their defense very seriously; and in fact, as we write this post we can hear the FA-18 Hornet fighter aircraft of the Singapore Air Force overhead on training exercises. They understand that they must be strong to maintain their national security (and to keep good relations with their neighbors) in an increasingly dangerous world.

Business Policy - Singapore is home to thousands of multi-national corporations because it is stable, and it provides a healthy and vibrant environment in which businesses can thrive. Business is not a dirty word in Singapore, and importantly, the fruits of business are used to provide Singaporeans a very high standard of living. It is all about balance in government policy...

Leadership - The vast majority of the Singaporeans we talked to are very proud of their country, and they all expressed a belief in the strength of character and the morality of their leadership. They did not all agree with all of the Government's policies, but there is a strong consensus endorsing the quality and the honesty of their leaders. It was refreshing for us to hear this confidence voiced by the citizens of Singapore.

WHAT's NEXT for the crew of TIGER LILLY?
The Sail Malaysia Rally is coming together to cruise up the west coast of the Malay Peninsula, and based on our very positive experience with the Sail Indonesia Rally we have decided to participate. We intend to settle-down for a year or so on the Malaysian island of Langkawi; this island, just south of the Thai-Malay border, is an international resort area, and a Duty Free Zone. We plan to do some much-needed boat maintenance, and to tour parts of Southeast Asia. Well, that's the plan, Stan!
Since our private helicopter is currently grounded for routine maintenance, we hooked some pics off Google Images and included them in this post so that you could get a bird's eye view of this spectacular place called SINGAPORE. Please don't call the Internet Police on us! Check out our Sail Blogs PHOTO GALLERY for some pictures of SPECTACULAR SINGAPORE!

Here's a thought for some of you adventurous souls: Next year, rather than visiting Disney World for the umpteenth time, or going to sit on your in-laws couch in Des Moines, why not consider an INTERNATIONAL vacation of a life time? Fly to Singapore (depressed oil prices have reduced air fares); then zip over to the Indonesian Archipelago to see the Komodo Dragons, take the ferry to the north shore of Bali to experience the Lovina Festival and their unique Hindu culture, and hop a fast-ferry to the Kumai River in southern Borneo to see the wonderful orangutans. Finally, fly back to Spectacular Singapore for a whorl-wind wind-up in a world class city. See TIGER LILLY's recent Face book posts for some unique possibilities to expand your horizons. Hey, at least think about it...

It is all part of the places we go, and the people we meet while cruising under sail in TIGER LILLY...
Tom and Lilly
S/V Tiger Lilly
Puteri Harbour, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

TIGER LILLY - BORNEO ORANGUTAN

02 October 2016 | Kumai River, Borneo
Tom & Lilly
We took a guided boat tour up the Sekonyer River to southern Borneo's Tanjung Puting National Park - the orangutan's were absolutely FANTASTIC! We saw orangutan - wild in the forest and at park feeding stations, gibbons - the acrobats of the jungle, proboscis monkeys - an entire troop of these Jimmy Durante look a-likes flew out of the tree tops and into the river as we passed them, and of course the ubiquitous macaques. We prefer to take TIGER LILLY up tropical rivers and explore on our own, but unfortunately foreign yachts are not allowed in the park; however, we likely saw much more with our guide Andi than we would have on our own. The three day tour aboard the Klotok Kelimutu (riverboat) with five other couples from the Sail Indonesia Rally will certainly go down as one of the highlights of TIGER LILLY'S world cruise.

TIGER LILLY - DRAGONS LIVE HERE!

24 August 2016 | Rindja Island, Indonesia
Tom & Lilly
The soft light of dawn bathed the cloven hills of Rindja Island in an amber glow as we picked our way through large lava boulders in a deep ravine. A remnant of the cool night breeze drifted down the hillside, and we followed our guide Sofina with attentiveness, and a subliminal expectation of adventure. We were here to see the Komodo Dragons; but these bolder-strewn hills, covered in a course, thick, thigh-high grass, are the habitat of a few other nasties as well. Javan spitting cobras favor the grassy knolls and wooded ravines. Emerald tree vipers tend to drape themselves on tree limbs; and the green death awaits the inattentive bush bird (or yachtie) who ventures too close. The bad-tempered white-lipped pit vipers, hopeful that a young Macaque monkey will scamper into striking range, lie in ambush amongst the grey boulders.

We were like fish out of water in this harsh and unforgiving environment, and our primary defense is Sofina's watchful eye and keen bush sense. (Poppa, Mum, stay close please.) He carries a well-worn two meter long forked stick to push against the shoulder of an aggressive dragon. Sofina, nearly toothless from a lifetime of chewing betel nut, told us before we left the Ranger Station that the Dragons have very poor eye sight, and their primary sensing organ is their long, forked tongue. Our guide, and protector, who has spent all of his 41 years living amongst the Dragons, thinks that as he presses the forked tongue-like stick against the shoulder of one of these huge reptiles that they sense that a really big Dragon must be attached to it, so they back off. That's the theory anyway: walk softly, but carry a big tongue! Visualize this: the only thing between you and hundreds of kilograms of bacteria-laden razor-toothed carnivorous lizard is a slight quiet-spoken man, whom you have just met, with a theory on animal behavior - and a 20mm diameter stick in his hand. Now that's an example of faith...

As we diverted from the ravine and entered a dried creek bed, quite suddenly the sweet aroma of the dew-laden grass was displaced by the unmistakeable smell of death. It hung like a pall over the tropical scrub-bush. We had already seen the young "house lizards" which skirted the periphery of the ranger's quarters in anticipation of a hand-out; but we were eager to come into the presence of a full grown Komodo Dragon in his natural environment. As we stood atop a large bolder and peered down into a putrid depression of muck and black slime, just a few meters away a young "teenage" Dragon was ripping the decaying flesh off a very ripe water buffalo carcass. The stench was quite powerful, but we stood in awe and watched this holdover from the age of the dinosaurs tug and claw, rip and gulp, and utter deep guttural hissing epitaphs at the human invaders to his kingdom. The young Dragon occasionally stopped his feast to raise his head and "taste" us with his long pink forked tongue, and then returned to stripping the tough hide from the water buffalo. We were mesmerized buy the power of this young fellow. Nearly defenseless, we became very much aware that in this place we no longer enjoyed a perch at the top of the food chain; we were clearly on the menu...

Sofina told us in his broken English that old or sick buffalo will seek whatever water is available - and the Dragons instinctively know they are in a weakened state. (An obviously intelligent person, he had to communicate in his self-taught English, as we cannot speak Indonesian.) Our young Dragon seemed to assess the tall, bald, Sailor Man peering at him from atop the boulder. Perhaps that hitch in the old man's gate as he moved amongst the rocks foretold of a day - not far off - when he too would be ready to be taken... We watched for several minutes - this is exactly what we came to see; we wanted to experience the sight, sound, and smell of this wonder of the natural world. Just before we reluctantly departed, we noticed that the young Dragon seemed preoccupied, and was lifting his head and sensing the air behind us. Sofina told us that we must be very careful as we worked our way back along the creek bed; it is common for several Dragons to feed off a single carcass. If a Dragon comes down the narrow steep-sided creek bed, the traffic is only going one-way - his way! Sure enough, we were just out of the creek bed, and no more than perhaps 50 meters up the ravine, when we met the Grand-Daddy Dragon heading right for us on the trail - and we were between him and his next meal. Crossing his bow was not a good option, and after a bit of scrambling, we gave way and took up station on his starboard quarter; we would follow at a respectful distance and see how the situation played-out between Grand-Daddy and the Teenager.

By the time we had retraced our steps and returned to the buffalo carcass, the Teenager was making his exit and cresting the creek bank; only to have been replaced by a third Dragon, a mature adult, and he was now in sole possession of the buffalo. With his blunt head buried in the bloated abdominal cavity, his powerful legs and splayed claws anchored the heaving carcass as he ripped flesh and crushed bone. We watched in anticipation as Grand-Daddy approached the just slightly smaller adult Dragon. Safina was now keeping us well back; he warned that if the Dragons decide to settle this with a fight, they are capable of moving very fast for short distances, and there was no-telling what exit route the vanquished may take. The two bulky adversaries were head-to-head and shoulder-to-shoulder on top of the disputed buffalo carcass as they sized-up each other. They were braced-up on their powerful forefeet with splayed claws ready to do battle in an instant. However, after a bit of head shoving and grunting, they somehow came to the mutual decision that Grand-Daddy would take his meal later; and he ambled off, down the creek bed to his nap in the morning sun.

There is plenty to do and see at the Komodo National Park, a designated United Nations World Heritage Site. We anchored TIGER LILLY at five different places at Rindja and Komodo Islands - with each one prettier then the last. Rather than making day trips from Labuan Badjo, Flores, as do the tourists, like a turtle, we brought our home to the park and lived here day and night. By being here around the clock we had the opportunity to see Asian red deer, large flocks of bats, huge manta rays, brilliant blue backed kingfishers, sea turtles, Macaque monkeys, spinner dolphin, wild water buffalo, beautiful coral reefs for snorkeling, wild boar on the beach, and of course the iconic Komodo Dragons themselves.

LILLY sez: OH MY GOSH - we loved visiting Komodo National Park and seeing the Dragons! We hope that our experience has wetted your appetite for learning more about Indonesia - there is so much to see, and so many new things to learn here. For an enjoyable read, and lots of insightful information about this area of Southeast Asia, pick up a copy of Lawrence Blair's excellent book "RING OF FIRE". He and his brother Lorne spent years travelling extensively through Indonesia, living with the native people, and learning the ancient ways of these exotic islands. These modern-day adventurers cum academics lived with cannibals in the western mangroves of Irian Jaya, sailed with the Makassar Pirates of Celebes, made the first underwater films of the famed Banda Sea pearl divers, and delved into the spiritual nature of the Hindu Mystics of Bali. Their work was also the subject of a PBS video documentary of the same name. We enthusiastically recommend "RING OF FIRE" - this book has certainly brought an added dimension to TIGER LILLY's cruise through the Indonesian Archipelago.

We hope that one day you will have the opportunity to come and see this amazing place for yourself...
Warm regards,
Tom & Lilly
S/V Tiger Lilly
Gilli Banda, Indonesia

TIGER LILLY SAYS FAREWELL AUSTRALIA - HELLO INDONESIA!

22 July 2016 | Fannie Bay, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Tom & Lilly
Three weeks ago we were anchored off Airlie Beach, Queensland when we decided to sign up for the Sail Indonesia rally; today we are at Fannie Bay, Northern Territory and are ready in all respects to sail for Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. We will go into the Darwin Sailing Club this morning, clear Australian Customs and Immigration, and be on our way on the ebb tide this evening.

It took an intense 1500 mile passage to get here - we call it the CAPES - CORAL - CURRENT run up the Tropical Queensland coast, around Cape York and through the Torres Straits, and then across the top of Australia.

Without much of a break we went right to work in Darwin.
LILLY SEZ: You can sleep when you are dead Tom-Tom!
Our Pre-Sail List included: repairing the refrigeration control system, dumping and flushing the potable water tanks, scrubbing the underwater hull, applying for Indonesian visas, loading-out 4 months of provisions / stores / spare parts / fuel / potable water / consumables, and finally Southeast Asia inoculations for all hands.
LILLY SEZ: I feel like a pin cushion - but my shot-card is up to snuff!

Darwin is completely different (but interesting) from the Queensland region we have grown to love. Darwin, and Australia's Northern Territory, has both the social culture and the topography of "Alabama meets New Mexico in the tropics"; but we were here in the voyage prep mode, and the town met all of our needs. Apparently, we are Queenslanders at heart!

It has been a hectic time getting ourselves and TIGER LILLY ready for an extended cruise, but it is done, and we are ready to sail. (Don't forget the toilet paper Lilly!) Super-Shopper Lilly and all of our stores and provisions are inside the life lines. However, the weather forecast for our passage across the Beagle Gulf is light and variable - very typical for this corner of Australia. We will have to work hard to keep TIGER LILLY's twenty tons moving; but hopefully the light air and easy seas will keep Lilly's mal-de-mer down...

LILLY SEZ: It is certainly a bitter sweet experience to depart this big beautiful Land Downunder called Australia. We will miss the wonderful Australian people who have warmly received us, and shown us so very many kindnesses. Australia is a beautiful country, and the Australian culture is the nicest we have experienced anywhere in the world. Anywhere. We encourage everyone - and especially Americans - to come and see a First World country where people of all colors and backgrounds seem to get along together. This country is a land of opportunity for the economically disadvantaged, and a guiding light for freedom in this part of the world. (Bernie described Australia pretty well during his recent presidential campaign when he described what America could become.)

But it is a sailor's lot to say farewell; moving forward is the style of cruising we prefer. Like delicate sea birds, always on the wing - we lead a dynamic lifestyle at the interface of sea and sky. Chasing the horizon is what we do...

The voyage up to Kupang is only about 500 miles, but culturally it is a world away from Australia. We are headed towards South East Asia and the largest (by population) Muslim country in the world; just when many people in the United States are talking about building walls... Sailors who have cruised the Indonesian Archipelago have wonderful stories and warm memories of the friendly Indonesian people and their many beautiful islands.

We are eager to be sailing into a new adventure. In general, our Indonesian cruising plan is to sail from Darwin to West Timor, then west across the Indonesian Archipelago some 500 miles to the mystical island of Bali (early September), northwest some 400 miles to the south coast of Borneo (to see the orangutan), and finally 500 miles west and across the Straits of Malacca to the bright lights of Singapore. In November and December we will cruise the west coast of the Malay Peninsula up to the Malaysian island of Langkawi - arriving in time for Christmas. We are excited about cruising the waters of Southeast Asia, and we will check in on Facebook as Internet access permits.

SEE YA! WE ARE OUTA HERE!
Tom & Lilly
S/V Tiger Lilly
Darwin, N.T. Australia

TIGER LILLY - SHE IS BACK!

14 June 2016 | Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia
Tom & Lilly
On Sunday TIGER LILLY was raided in the dark of the night by the Australian MOVIE COPS, and Lilly was taken into custody. They had read our FB post discussing movie swapping in the cruising fleet, and decided to make an example out of the Cheeky Yanks. I mistakenly predicted that they would bring her back in three days - but it only took two days (and one night) for her to wear them down. The MOVIE COP helo just deposited her back on the beach, and she is frantically waving and jumping up and down - still in her PJ's. But I must admit that the peace and quiet aboard TIGER LILLY is really kind of nice; and besides, the dinghy is secured for sea on the cabin top. Perhaps one of the other boats in the anchorage with a dinghy already in the water will fetch her... I just read in the online version of the Auckland Fishwrapper and Ambulance Chaser that the famous Kiwi producer/financier J. Scott Pryor is already writing the screen play and is putting together a Hollywood consortium to document the lasses heinous crimes against The Big Screen...
Here is a recap of the pirated movie situation that went down two nights ago aboard TIGER LILLY:

At about 0200 last night we heard the distinctive whomp-whomp of a helicopter - it had "MOVIE COPS" stenciled on the fuselage in reflective red paint. They came in nose down, fast and hard, landed on the beach here in Pancake Creek, Queensland, quickly inflated their pink Zodiac, and were coming up the side of TIGER LILLY before we knew what was happening. They were wearing sequined Elvis Suits, flamingo brooches, and Ray Bans. The senior agent, Inspector Clouseau, whipped out an iPhone with our FB pirate movie swapping post on it; and thusly confronted with the evidence of her criminal activity, Lilly quickly broke down and confessed. They had her in handcuffs and orange coveralls as quick as you can say "Bob's your uncle!" They tumbled her into their inflatable and disappeared into the dark. All over the anchorage splashes could be heard as fellow cruisers were jettisoning THEIR pirate movie hard drives and purloined soft back books. The clicking of keyboards was clearly audible across the water as the geek cruisers were frantically polishing their Apples. It was absolute mayhem. The last I saw of my Lilly was her tear-streaked face pressed against the window of the MOVIE COP helo as it lifted off; she was sobbing uncontrollably...

Well, it has been pretty quiet aboard TIGER LILLY; I am reading a 1993 Tom Clancy book with no cover on it, drinking coffee, and listening to 30 knots of wind whistle in the rigging.

I have a pretty good idea how this is going to play out. The last time something like this happened, they brought her back after 3 days - the cops just wanted some peace and quiet! As per usual, she had made Facebook friends with all the cop wives and their cop girlfriends, knew all of their extended family members (and some of THEIR extended families), and had invitations to a cop wedding, a cop barbecue, and the Police Academy graduation...

Apparently the law enforcement folks have cleared up all the shenanigans that Slithery Hillary and her friends at Goldman Sachs were involved in, and now they have plenty of time to focus on the really serious criminals...

Mom & Pop cruisers take heed - they could come for your illegal movies and books too!
Tom & Lilly
S/V Tiger Lilly
Pancake Creek - still watching the wind blow
Queensland, Australia

TIGER LILLY - PANCAKES AT PANCAKE CREEK

13 June 2016 | Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia
Tom & Lilly
Lilly was having trouble creating the perfect pancake (or even a mediocre one), so she decided to try an Australian pancake premix that came in a one liter plastic bottle - just add water, shake, and pour into the pan. Who could screw this up? Except she never wears her reading glasses while cooking; but why would she - she never READS the flippin instructions or recipes! So she decided that she could "improve" and speed up the process by using BOILING water. (When the rest of us were in third grade chemistry class learning the properties of the elements and the relationship between energy and matter - Lilly was either in the swimming pool doing laps, or riding her horse "Homer"...) You guessed it, her pancakes immediately started rising and cooking in the bottle! As the sides of the capped-jug (now converted to a thin-walled pressure cooker sans relief valve) started to bulge out she cried for Tom-Tom to "COME QUICK!"

After uttering only a single expletive, he quickly assessed the situation as another life-threatening event created by the woman he loved - this was not the first time that one of Lilly's cooking experiences had gone south - and he quickly picked up a serrated steak knife and punctured the jug and relieved the pressure (creating only a small gouge in the galley counter-top and a minimal peripheral splatter of still bubbling batter). Thankfully, we can report that there was no personal injury or loss of life related to this incident... Tom-Tom then cut off the top of the pancake jug, and LILLY removed the "batter" with a putty knife and plopped it into her hot skillet. Among her many good qualities, Lilly is frugal to the extreme (is there any other kind?), and she insisted that we eat her pressure boiled/fried pancakes. The end product looked like hash browns, had the consistency of a silicone based sea slug, and tasted like, well, pancakes. So we ate 'em...

We are not making this up! We are anchored in Pancake Creek behind Bustard Head on the Queensland Coast. (Perhaps the inspiration for Lilly's cooking adventure?) It is blowing 25 to 30 knots out on the Great Barrier Reef, and is forecast to continue to do so for the next few days. We are snugged-down in a hidey-hole, working the Project List and "cooking"...

Tom & Lilly
S/V Tiger Lilly
anchored in Pancake Creek
Queensland, Australia

As you can see, it is a little cool today in Pancake Creek. (For almost six years Tom-Tom has tried / begged / finagled / pleaded with Lilly to make his breakfast in the buff - and this absolutely HEINOUS outfit is what he gets...) P.S. We threw a leftover pancake over the side, and a passing CROC threw it back! As Jackie Gleeson would say, " What a revoltin development this is..." (Or was that William Bendix...?)
Vessel Name: Tiger Lilly
Vessel Make/Model: 1977 CSY44 walkover hull #55
Hailing Port: Green Cove Springs
Crew: Lilly and Tom Service
About:
Lilly is a retired business woman, and was previously a professional athlete. As one of America's first professional female triathletes, she was a pioneer in woman's sports. [...]
Extra:
Our kids: From 1987 to 1991 Tom circumnavigated the world with his family. Daughters Dawn and Jennifer were ages 11 & 13 when they departed on a 4 year, 40 country / island group, Trade Wind voyage around the world, and 15 & 17 when they returned to St. Petersburg, FL. During his high school [...]
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Tiger Lilly's Photos - Suriname
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Lilly came upon this fellow as we were walking along a country lane.  His name is Ricky, and he is a self-proclaimed "Bush Doctor." As a herbalist, he was in the bush collecting the various plants he needs to practice his trade.
Suriname gained independence from the Dutch in the mid-70
The boat traffic on the Suriname River reflects their Southeast Asian heritage.  This is a family fishing boat - we love the way they design, build, and colorfully paint their vessels.
This anchorage is off the Hotel Torarica, just SW of the MAS pilot station dock.  It is reported by the local folks in Domburg that the authorities will move you on if you stay in Paramaribo too long - apparently the President
The restored historic district of Paramaribo is quite nice, and well worth a visit - this is the back side of the Fort Zeelandia complex.
The colorful fishing fleet at the town dock in Paramaribo.  It is easy to see the Southeast Asian influence on the country of Suriname both afloat and ashore.
The wreck of the German ship GOSLAR is right in the center of the Paramaribo Harbour.  She was sunk during WWII.
The commercial docks at Paramaribo are always busy - almost all of the manufactured goods found in Suriname are imported.  The blue-hulled ship in the foreground is loading retrograde shipping containers to return to the Netherlands, and the grey-hulled ship astern is bringing in large steel fabrications for the new oil refinery being built just up-river from Paramaribo.  The Suriname River is well buoyed and dredged to accommodate these large ocean going vessels - making navigation on the river straightforward and easy. When in doubt follow the buoys and not the electronic charts / GPS as the river bottom changes often.  The Suriname Customs Office is located here in the Commercial Port, but the Immigration Police told us that it was not necessary for a yacht staying for less than 90 days to clear Customs, so we didn
A trim little schooner, in need of some TLC, lying at her berth on the Suriname River.
Our Suriname destination, and the official anchorage for yachts on the Suriname River, the Domburg Landing.  Domburg is located some 8 miles upstream from the Paramaribo Harbour Bridge.
With 7 to 8 feet of tide on the river at Domburg, landing and launching Grace the dinghy was always a challenge.  The current runs hard at the landing, and we got our exercise rowing between Tiger Lilly and the landing.  Future cruisers will greatly benefit from the floating dinghy dock Huib is installing at his new Harbour Resort Domburg.
The Domburg Landing is an easy place for the public to get access to the river, and quite popular with the local people.  This fellow is washing out some gold ore he collected elsewhere in hopes of finding a bit of the shiny stuff.
Each area of South America we have visited since leaving the Caribbean has had its own style of river boat.  These long slim ferry boats are easily driven by only 6 or 8 horsepower outboard motors - they are quite efficient, and surprisingly fast.  The construction is heavy and strong, but the long waterlines make them easily driven.
The tropical sun in the Guianas is HOT, and like the locals, Madam Lilly usually walks with her umbrella for protection from both the sun and the rain.  Much of the landscape, as do many of the people, reminded us of Southeast Asia.  In fact, it would not have looked out of place to see an elephant carrying a teak log down the road - but of course that never happened.
Our friend Huib Oskam the Dutchman.  Huib is in the process of building the Harbour Resort Domburg, a new marina adjacent to the Domburg Landing with floating docks, a restaurant, and all the amenities that cruisers need.  The seawall was finished while we were there, the floating dock was next on his agenda, and he expects to have the entire project completed by New Years - but he will likely beat that target.  Suriname has many Dutch businessmen, and typically their work ethic, standards, and service are first-world all the way - and they are predictably frustrated on a daily basis while trying to maintain high standards while operating in a Third-World country.  Huib is a friendly and energetic fellow - and a very successful international businessman.  He speaks about 6 different languages, and unlike many businessmen he understands what sailboat cruisers need and can afford.  We think that his marina will make the Domburg Landing an affordable and desirable destination for yachts.  His floating dinghy dock will make access so much easier than the current situation with the rocky beach and 2 to 3 meters of tide.
The delivery of 200 cubic meters of sand-fill to bring the new marina lot up to grade.  Everything Huib is doing is absolutely first class.
Waiting for the bus to Paramaribo at Domburg Landing.  If you don
We enjoyed the bus ride to and from town - and it was economical at 2.5 SRD (about $0.77USD) per person per way.  The last bus leaves town about 1700, and takes almost an hour to get back to Domburg.
Navigating the streets of Paramaribo with map in hand was a challenge - the Dutch street names are long and cumbersome, and they all sound the same when a friendly local citizen (speaking Surinamese Dutch of course) attempted to give us directions.  After about a month (just about the time we had to leave), we became comfortable with navigating the streets of Paramaribo.  To get to the Foreign Police (the first step in a three-part process of clearing immigration) get off the Domburg "PDP" bus at the end of the line on Maagdenstraat, walk about 3 blocks west to Steenbakkerlistraat, take a left and walk down the row of waiting busses and board a #8 bus, and tell the driver you want to get off at the Foreign Immigration Police Station on Mr.Jaggernathlarchmonstraat out on the western edge of the city.  Nothing to it, once you get past the tongue- twisters!
A landmark in the city center is the stately and colorful Sainte-Peter and Sainte-Paul Kathedraal.  This large wooden structure, and active Catholic Church, is in the process of being restored by the European Union.  With the EU rebuilding the churches of the world
The interior of Sainte-Peter and Sainte-Paul Kathedraal is gorgeous; multiple layers of old paint have been removed, and the sanctuary has been restored to a warm natural wood finish.
The entrance to Fort Zeelandia in the Old Historic District.
Shortly after Lilly snapped this picture of the town market, the entire place erupted in shouts and jeers - apparently the Maroon ladies (descendants of African slaves who escaped to the bush with their African beliefs intact) did not take kindly to having their spirits captured in the little box she held in her hand.  Sorry ladies, we had no idea.
Our friend Max is a European trained professional chef.  Max lives in a riverfront home adjacent to our anchorage in Domburg, and he operates the La cuisine restaurant on Tourtonnelaan Street in Paramaribo.  Just down the street from La cuisine is the Tourtonnelaan TULIP - a very nice European style grocery store with many American products; so stop and meet Max on the way.  To have lunch with Max walk over to Sainte-Peter and Sainte-Paul Kathedraal, then head NW (away from the river) on Henck Aaronstraat (named after the American baseball player) for two blocks, then turn right on to Tourtonnelaan Street and walk for about 5 minutes - La cuisine is on the right at Kgninginnstraat.  Max is one of those grand fellows who lights up a room when he smiles with his eyes, and we really enjoyed his company - tell him Tiger Lilly sent you.
Although this is a new building, constructed in concrete, it has the design of a 100 year-old wood frame hotel.  Paramaribo has gone to great lengths, and quite some cost, to retain the charm of its old-world Dutch Colonial architecture.
Max gave us a great walking tour of the old section of Paramaribo - this is the restored city well.  Max told us that his mother and grandmother got the water for their family at this well almost every day of his youth.
Formerly the headquarters of the Dutch West Indian Company, which established and colonized Dutch Guiana, this mansion is now the ceremonial headquarters of the President of Suriname.  Use you zoom-in and check out the beautiful frieze of the Dutch West India Company insignia in the mansion
Fressca
David of S/V Eileen of Avoca is an Italian single-hander who is in the process of planning a marina at Sainte-Laurent du Maroni in French Guiana.  David will lead a flotilla of cruisers south from Store Bay, Tobago in early September 2013 to cruise to the Essequibo River in Guyana and the Maroni River in French Guiana.  He is very familiar with all three of the Guianas, and we expect he will be instrumental in opening the northeast coast of South America to cruising sailors.
We took a two-day mini-cruise up the Suriname River to see what we could see.  About 6 miles upstream from Domburg is the little riverfront settlement of Waterland.  We enjoyed a walk-about in the countryside, and followed the footpath along one of the canals back into the farms.
At Waterland a resort marina has been under construction for the past 8 years (these guys could use a little bit of Huib
The guest cabins at the Waterland resort and marina are in the Indonesian style with an attractive sway-back roof line.  The grounds are being landscaped by the same fellow who did the rehabilitation of the Royal Zoological Gardens in Amsterdam, and will be quite lovely when completed.
The Dutch are quite clever engineers; in the 18th Century they dug canals with slave labor, and drained the low-lying mangrove swamps with these gates, still functional today.  At low tide the gates are opened to allow the land to drain, and then closed to keep the water out when the tide rises.  The chain hoist shows recent use, but unfortunately we never saw anyone operating the sluice gate.
This old self-propelled suction dredge is used to keep the river channels open for commercial traffic.  Although she was old, this dredge was in great material condition.
This is the bauxite truck bridge on the Suriname River; and the end of the navigable river for Tiger Lilly as the bridge clearance is only 15 feet at high tide.  These large dump trucks raise quite a dust cloud as they traverse the bridge so stay well clear - unless you prefer a barn-red colored boat.
Each evening the Dutchmen and the Yachties would gather for social hour and sundowners at Domburg Landing.  Well, if truth be told, they start well before sundown, and stay for longer than an hour.  We thoroughly enjoyed these sessions, and we met a lot of new friends here.  The men from the Four Bothers Fishery just down the street would usually take a beer or two here, and they have a reputation of helping out yachties in need of repair services.  The big man at the end of the table is Huib, the fellow building a marina at the Domburg landing.
Clement and Amber of S/V Chaveta are a delightful young French couple planning on cruising to the United States.  Tom is giving them a chart-talk from our iPad2 on the east coast of North America.
We especially enjoyed watching the Capuchin monkeys on the Rio Pikien.  Do you suppose this fellow
One of the local homes bordering on the drainage canal in Domburg.  As we walked up the road folks would usually lean out a window, wave, and call welcome - nice place.
The wild heliconia flower looks almost artificial it is so colorful and vibrant.  These plants grow most everywhere in Suriname.
De Bush Doctor (self-described) whom Lilly encountered on a walk-about in the environs of Domburg.  This fellow is trained to use natural plants to cure common illness - a mixture of African and Indonesian medicine.  (Tom sez: Are you SURE he doesn
These big "elephant ear" plants are all along the drainage canals.  Here Lilly is checking to see if any Fer de lance or Anaconda snakes are in the bush.  Can
Just outside of Domburg is a delightful little roadside Indonesian restaurant called Mitt Shiv.  We had lunch here a couple of times and enjoyed it - the portions are large and the prices are reasonable, just the way we like it.  Apparently they have kept their prices low by saving on floor tiling; the cook had a broad smile for us even though she stands all day on a concrete block in flip-flops!
Ricky de Bush Doctor took a wrong swipe one day with his cutlass, and his right thumb and two fingers ended up on the ground.  But in spite of his handicap, he has a very cheerful and positive outlook.  We enjoyed talking with him.
Each year there is a major open-water swimming race from Domburg to Paramaribo, a distance of about ten miles.  The early morning start (0745 this year to align with the ebb tide) is off a barge in the river, and is a big event at Domburg Landing.  The winner takes home $1000USD, and Lilly was swimming down memory lane with them - Tom could hardly keep her in the boat.
These local swimmers were loosening up and getting ready for the long swim to Paramaribo.
And they are off!  The finish line is 10 miles down-stream on the Paramaribo riverfront.
Each year on 1 July Suriname celebrates their National Day of Unity and Freedom called KETI KOTI - the breaking of the chains.  We were fortunate to be in Domburg for this colorful holiday of celebration.
These Amerindian ladies chanted and drummed for the KETI KOTI celebrants.
The fellow on the right was the organizer and MC of the Domburg KETI KOTI.  The lady on the left made her dress from a special material celebrating 150 years since slavery was abolished in the Netherlands and the Dutch colonies.
It is a good thing that Lilly took this colorful fellow
This darling little girl was sporting a special outfit her mother made for KETI KOTI.  Check out that purse!
This lady was the senior matron of the KETI KOTI events.
The Hari Krishna celebrated at KETI KOTI in style with dancing, handouts, and their message of hope.  Somehow we never envisioned the young fellows who used to pan-handle in the airport as growing into middle-age, but apparently some of them made it.
In 1863 when slavery was abolished in the Netherlands and Dutch colonies, the African slaves understandably refused to continue working the fields for their previous masters - paid or not.  The Dutch West Indian Company
Like kids anywhere, these three were having lots of fun - and making a mess of the lovely KETI KOTI costumes their Moms made for them.
Mr. Sapto Sopawiro is a teacher of Javanese culture at the Anton de Kom University in Paramaribo, and a member of Suriname
The custom anchor chain roller we had fabricated 27 years ago wore out while we were in Guyana, and the repair of this important piece of equipment was at the top of our To-Do List when we arrived in Suriname.  Just up the road from the Domburg Landing is the Four Brothers Fishery, and the owner
These huge shade trees dominate historic Domburg Landing.  During colonial times they lined the lane from the Domburg Landing to a Colonial Dutch plantation house just across the road - which is now a soccer field.  The whole character of the Domburg Landing is established by the color, shade, and comfort provided by these stately "Old Grandfathers."  Domburg Landing is a popular place for friends and families to meet and enjoy their river on the weekends.
There are many small communities along the Suriname River accessible only by boat.  These colorful passenger ferries come and go all day long from the Domburg Landing, loading and discharging passengers and freight.
The men of Suriname take particular delight in their pet songbirds, taking them along in the course of their day where ever they may go.  There are convenient poles and hooks most everywhere to accommodate these lovely little birds.  This happy fellow is balancing two cages as he peddles his bicycle down to Domburg Landing.  This gentle past-time and popular hobby says a lot about the character and demeanor to the Surinamese people - it is an enjoyable place.
Our friend Max, a graduate of culinary arts school in the Netherlands and a European chef of some 50 years experience, made a special good-bye meal for the crew of Tiger Lilly, and served it on the veranda of his riverfront home in Domburg.  Max made us a fabulous meal of fish, shrimp, crab, lamb chops, and chicken kebobs with all the fixings.  Lilly brought her hot German sour dough bread to top it off.
Never a dull moment aboard Tiger Lilly - this is the mess we found wrapped around our anchor when we raised it to get underway for French Guiana.  Somehow, we had snagged an old boat mooring lying on the bottom of the river bed.  This mess was still attached to a permanent anchor (typically a large piece of concrete) by a heavy steel cable.  The current was running hard on the ebb (we had anticipated using that current to help us down the river), and we had to be very careful not to foul our own propeller, or drift back and hit a Canadian cruising boat astern of us once clear.  First we cut ourselves free of the concrete mooring anchor with a hacksaw, and then we motored out into the center of the river to clear the mess off the anchor.  This process took over two hours and we lost the ebb, so we just motored a few miles down-river and anchored for the night - and licked our wounds.
The tropical sunsets on the peaceful Suriname River were typically colorful, brilliant, and beautiful - as is most of this country.  We thoroughly enjoyed the people and the land of Suriname, and hope that you will get a chance to visit one day.
 
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