Gary and Libby Penney

12 October 2013
01 August 2013
21 June 2013
08 June 2013 | P. BELITUNG
04 June 2013
02 June 2013 | WEST JAVA SEA


12 October 2013
Tomorrow we leave Aquarius at Nongsa while we fly back to Australia for an extended break. We will not be back on the boat for around 12 months, although I will come back for a check on her condition every few months. We decided we need to get around to doing some renovations on our house at Buddina and the work needs us to be in place for several months. previous visits home have seen us running around like mad things with never enough time to make alterations - only repairs. So, we are looking forward to the challenges ahead. We also have a few visits to family and friends planned over the next few months, so we are looking forward to catching up with a lot of people at home. Hopefully some good blog posts downstream


09 October 2013

We finally left Batavia Marina, Jakarta, on Friday 28th September after 3 months of work on Aquarius. During the process of repairing and altering Aquarius, we owe much to the kind generosity and friendship extended to us by our friend Ery. Ery has an engineering business in Jakarta and helped us with all manner of engineering solutions to issues we had to put right on Aquarius. We will be forever in his debt. Thank you so much Ery.
We left Jakarta on a FRIDAY!!! Old superstitions run deep and it was with a little trepidation on my part that we did indeed depart on a Friday. However, the trip north to Batam was an absolute pleasure and by far the best sailing we have experienced on Aquarius. We averaged 4 knots for the 6 day passage with very, very little motoring required. For the most part we cruised at 5.5 knots and upward. The weather was very kind to us and we only had two squalls to entire passage. We arrived at Nongsa at 2200hrs on the 2nd of October. Our friends from the local community and the marina welcomed us back with a huge amount of friendship. A few days after our arrival, we visited Rezeki seafood Restaurant with our friends Lea (Crystal Blues) and Sue and Richard (Sea Bunny). Chilli crab, steamed ginger prawns and kalian in oyster sauce with garlic were sensational. Now to get aquarius bedded down and us prepped for our flight back to Oz.


03 September 2013

11 days on the hardstand is an effort anywhere in the world. Now add the fact that no-one speaks English language, no toilets, no piped water, up to 14 large wooden fishing boats all grinding fibreglass, paint, marine fouling etc, up to 20 knots of wind daily, temps in the mid 30 degrees centigrade, no shade other than that afforded by the boats' shadows. Daily dust storms whipping around the yard carrying fibreglass particles, paint sandings etc etc made life difficult. Our boat had quite a bit of electrolysis damage to the hull paint below the water line. This was courtesy of a short in the ais antenna earthing out to the hull via the rig. This meant removing most of the bottom paint and then re-painting with barrier, primer, top coat then the antifouling paint. Each coat obviously has a stipulated drying time, so the old adage of sitting watching paint dry was very apt. We contracted 3 guys to assist/do the bulk of the work. That made life easier and we got through the work with little trouble. The yard itself provided almost daily amusement with fires, atrocious workplace safety, and interesting work on refurbishing timber boats. Our boat was relaunched yesterday and from the waterline down looks amazing. Above the waterline is disgustingly filthy from the dust and rubbish that flew around the yard.


Photo: Aquarius dressed for Indonesian National Day

Today is Indonesian National Day. All week workers in the city of Jakarta have been dressing the Capital up for the occasion. The national colours of red and white a displayed everywhere; the fences surrounding public areas, national monuments, the entrances of public buildings are all draped with red and white bunting. Ships in the harbours and alongside the wharves all dressed in signal flags and an air of excitement has been building all week. The Indonesian population are, and rightly so, very proud of their great nation. This morning at precisely 1000 hours, all of the ships started blowing their horns to mark the day of Independence. Just after, a squadron of jet fighter aircraft flew over our boat headed for the centre of Jakarta - 12 modern aircraft in formation was a wonderful sight and significantly demonstrated the advances Indonesia has made over the years since colonial days. Libby and I dressed Aquarius last evening in preparation for the National day of our host country. Our little gesture was very well received by the staff and workers at the marina. Congratulations and best wishes to our Indonesian friends.


02 August 2013

We have just arrived back in Jakarta from a 'flying' trip to Singapore to apply for, and collect, a 60 day social visa for Indonesia. The process is very streamlined and quite painless as far as the administration. You need to leave yourself 3 full days in Singapore to allow for the process. Before leaving for Singapore, we downloaded the required application forms so that we wouldn't have to muck around filling them in in-situ. Copy and paste this link to download your application form:
We also obtained a sponsor letter from our agent Mr Raymond Lesmana, who also acted as our agent for obtaining our cruising permit CAIT. When submitting the application, you are required to provide your passport, a copy of your passport on an A4 page, one passport size recent colour photograph, your sponsor letter, and a copy of your CAIT. The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore is located at 7 Chatsworth Rd and the hours for submitting visa applications are 9.00am - 12.00pm mon-fri. When you submit your application you are required to pay a fee of SG$65.00. Allow 2 days for processing and collection time for your passport with the new visa pasted in are 3.00pm - 5.00pm mon-fri.


01 August 2013
We did a quick 3 day trip to Singapore to obtain our new 60 day social visa. For those interested in obtaining one, see the previous blog. Before we left Jakarta, I had been in contact with a friend back in Oz who is coming up this way to visit another friend of ours. I thought we might be able to meet up in Singapore, but this was not going to happen as our travel dates didn't mesh. However, he did tell us that a good friend of ours, who we hadn't seen for years, was visiting her daughter in Singapore over the time we were going to be in town. Jackie Ayres and her husband Dave and their family were in Butterworth Malaysia with the RAAF when we were there in 1979-80. One year we both took our families on a joint holiday for a couple of weeks to Phuket in Thailand.
Before leaving for Singapore, we got in contact with Melissa, Jackie's daughter in Singapore, and made contact and plans to meet up once we had arrived. We had often talked to Melissa in Townsville in the past when she was living there, but hadn't had the opportunity to meet up with Jackie again. We really were looking forward to the reunion.
Libby and I caught a taxi to Melissa and her husband Michael's house prior to walking to a nearby restaurant for lunch. I guess we have all grown a bit older, but as is often the case with good friends, the conversation took off as if we had only seen each other the day before. that set the pace for the rest of the afternoon. No pauses or breaks in the conversation that ranged from our past memories together, our lives since, and our hopes and plans for the future. Lunch was at the 'Wine Connection' located just down the road and was delightful. After lunch Melissa and Jackie gave us a tour of the condominium complex where Melissa and her family live. Wow is an understatement. The rooftop gives 360 degree views of downtown Singapore, pools decorate the complex, and the landscaping is amazing. Later in the afternoon after coffee, Melissa and Michael's 4 children arrived home from school. They are a delight!! Hopefully we can catch up with them on our next visit to Singapore and get to know them better. We left Melissa and Jackie about 5.00pm and we promise it won't be another 30 years between meets.
Libby and I decided to walk back to our hotel in Chinatown. We wandered along the river and came to a lovely establishment called The brewwerkz. A little boutique brewery and heh, it was happy hour!! A pit stop with a couple of pints and then on our way again. We continued to wander and finally got back to the hotel around 7.00pm. We had to do some quick Skype-ing back to Oz and then out again in search of food. last visit I had promised to take her to a little area off North Bridge Rd where we had found a small food court area that looked promising. That's where we headed. the spot has outdoor tables and several food vendors. The people eating there were all chinese and the noise was incredible. The boys had been putting away a few coldies by the time we arrived and they were all very happy by then and raucous laughter was the dominant sound. Most of them were in their later years and so it was a really happy and enjoyable spot to be sitting. The food as we hoped was superb and the beer was ice-cold. What more could we want?? We decided an early night would be good as we had a lot of tasks the next morning.
As expected, next day was out of control with me running all over Singapore in search of boat parts and Libby doing her thing in Chinatown. 3.00pm saw as back at the Indonesian Embassy to collect our passports and visas, a couple of hours shopping, then to the airport to catch our flight back to Jakarta. A very busy but totally enjoyable trip
Vessel Name: AQUARIUS
Vessel Make/Model: ROBERTS OFFSHORE 38
About: We have lived aboard Aquarius since November 1998 and our children describe us as true 'Sea Gypsies'. We love our boat and enjoy the nomadic lifestyle it provides.
HOW WE STARTED We bought Aquarius in 1997 after several years of trying to decide what sort of yacht we wanted and, most importantly, what sort we could afford. Our dream for many years had been to buy a yacht with the intention of sailing it around the world. After many sailing trips on OP's [...]
AQUARIUS's Photos - Main
Photos ofand around Nongsa Point Marina on Pulau Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia
9 Photos
Created 12 March 2013