09 November 2013 | 01 13.739'S:130 43.827'E, Raja Ampat
08 November 2013 | 03 09'S:132 09'E, Somewhere in the Ceram Sea
07 November 2013 | 03 55.025'S:132 49.109'E, Somewhere in Papua
03 November 2013 | 05 39.632'S:132 37.789'E, Ohoilitir, Kei, Indonesia
01 November 2013 | 05 44.787'S:132 10.903'E, Kei Islands, Indonesia
28 October 2013 | 06 08'S:132 49'E, Arafura Sea
27 October 2013 | 07 51.5'S:134 37.5'E, Arafura Sea
26 October 2013 | 09 14.8'S:136 43.6'E, Arafura Sea
25 October 2013 | 09 47.451'S:139 30.681'E, Arafura Sea
24 October 2013 | 10 30.791'S:142 11.989'E, Good Bye South Pacific
23 October 2013 | 11 22'S:142 55'E, Inside the Great Barrier Reef
22 October 2013 | 14 05'S:144 01'E, Inside the Great Barrier Reef
21 October 2013 | 13 50'S:144 47'E, Coral Sea Approaching the Great Barrier Reef
20 October 2013 | 13 45'S:147 01'E, Coral Sea
19 October 2013 | 14 01'S:150 12'E, Coral Sea
18 October 2013 | 14 14'S:153 04'E, Coral Sea
17 October 2013 | 14 49'S:156 01'E, Coral Sea
16 October 2013 | 14 53'S:158 32'E, Coral Sea
15 October 2013 | 14 34'S:161 54.6'E, Coral Sea
14 October 2013 | 14 20.280'S:164 41.436'E, Coral Sea
A rough ride
19 January 2014 | 02 21.241'S:105 37.595'E, between Bangka and Sumatra
For the past several days we've been trying to get from Borneo to Batam, where we will check out of Indonesia and head to Singapore. Wind on the nose at 20-25kts and current ranging from 1 kt to 4kts against us, and averaging 1.5 to 2kts against us. Slow, uncomfortable progress. This is the downside of passing through Indonesia during the NW monsoon. Fortunately, for most of our 3 months here, it has just been calm, with occasional torrential down-pours. So, its actually been lovely. The last several days, have been a tough slog. We'll end up having to stop a couple hundred miles short of our goal of Batam. We need more fuel, and we may need to see about a visa extension as the weather doesn't look like it will change over the next week.
The picture is one of the people of the forest that we met last week in Kalimantan. Very up close and personal!
10 January 2014 | 02 44.5'S:111 43.9'E, Kumai, Kalimantan, Indonesia (Borneo)
We managed to get Morning Glory up the river to Kumai yesterday. We were immediately met by local fellows looking to arrange our klotok trip. A klotok is a small river boat that they use to take us deep into the winding winding rivers surrounded by jungle where we will find the people of the forest (orang utan), crocodiles and their favorite snack--proboscis monkeys, as well as many other creatures. It will be a three day 2 night trip on this mostly open boat, sleeping on cushions on the deck under mosquito netting. It will be a bit like a trip on the African Queen, only without the intrigue and the nice boat. But supposedly, based on the accounts of some friends, the food is to be fantastic.
Like most other places in remote parts of the world, its not always what you expect. Kumai is a bustling little town of about 10,000 people. It is full of heavy industry. Lots of ships and heavy equipment. I would say the amount of heavy equipment is disproportionate to the size of the population. But its not surprising because it is here for a narrow purpose of extracting natural resources. We are not sure, yet, what industries operate here, but we do know that palm oil is a big industry here. I love the name of the big barge in the photo. Add the word green, and everything seems good. Is it a reference to the environment? Or money? The biggest bills in Indonsia are 100,000Rp (about 8.5 bucks) -- and they are red. Maybe they just like to name their equipment after colors in the rainbow...
I should point out that I like heavy industry. I would love to have one of the huge barges they operate here. Some are self powered -- not just moved by tugs. When they anchor them at night they just push themselves up onto the mud. I wish we could do that with our boat. And then we'd have room for tennis couts, olympic size swimming pool, dirt bike track, perhaps a saturday market, a nice cafe. Hmmmmm.....perhaps not what they are intended for...
On our way to Borneo
07 January 2014 | 06 59.103'S:114 07.199'E, East end of Madura, Eastern end of Java, Indonesia
As is often the case, we quit blogging when we have better things to do. I think thats really the problem with blogging generally, people only do it when they don't really have anything better to do... So, the silence indicates that we had a great time in Bali. When we are posting a lot, we are really just bored, and making things up to entertain ourselves.
Ok, back to Bali for a moment.... There are many many sides to Bali, traditional and modern, rural areas and densely populated areas, nice and not so nice, etc. We enjoyed milkshakes, sushi, monkeys, monks, dancers, foot massages, volcanoes, Temples, civet coffee, regular Balinese coffee, crispy duck, smelly anchorages, heaps of refuse, thrilling scooter adventures, beautiful rices terraces, and views of volcanoes. Actually, that about covers it, so maybe we don't need to make further posts... We'll maybe we'll come back and make a few, at least so we can mark our anchorages on the map.
We left Bali the day before yesterday--Monday morning. We motored around the south tip of Bali and then up through the narrow passage between the western tip of Bali and Java. (note, the current can be wicked off the western end of Bali, we saw over 7 kts against us at times, which meant we dropped to 0kts at times--all this when right in the heavy traffic channel between Bali and Java at about 9pm...) Then on northward to the east end of the island of Madura. We had planned on pressing on to Kumai in Kalimantan, but we've all been suffering from colds, and the first overnight wiped us out. So we stopped at the east end of Madura to get some rest. Its amazing how quickly you can get out of the modern world in Indonesia. We were swarmed by boats again, and must have had 150 come by us for a close look yesterday. Many people invited us to the village, all waving and asking where we were from (despite our large American flag). Most of the vessels were fishing boats, an d many offered us fish. One even threw a couple on board for us. We would have gone into the village had we been feeling better.
The picture is of one of the many beautiful traditional sail powered fishing vessels. I love how they often strap on a few motors on the side. The motors are small gasoline motors -- about the size of a large lawn-mower motor. If they need more power, they just use more motors. There is is a long tube with a shaft inside that goes to the propeller. Needless to say, when the wind is good, up go the sails--just like us.
24 December 2013 | 08 30.473'S:116 01.389'E, Lombok, Indonesia
Merry Christmas everyone. As we are a fair number of hours ahead of most of you, its already Christmas day here in Indonesia. We are currently motoring around Lombok to find a good place to stay a few days. Weather has had us pinned down the last couple of days so we didn't make it to Bali as intended. Oh well, Lombok is beautiful, and we'll do our Christmas shopping after Christmas... We are in the middle of the rainy Monsoon now. So it is overcast and rainy with occasional torrential down pours. It looks like we may get a break from that weather for about a week or so, starting later today--largely because a hurricane forming south east of here may suck all the nasty weather into it. Which is great, as long as it stays SE of here...
The attached photo is a surprising rare picture that includes all four of us, plus our new Komodo friend--unfortuantely he is a bit blurry....wrong aperature setting, and I didn't want to walk around the dragon too many times to change it for our guide...
I like Monkeys
19 December 2013 | Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Here is a picture of one of the many Monkeys we saw. An excuse to put another anchorage marker on the map. We really like the moorings available in the park. Its not often you find such good strong equipment -- anywhere. A real comfort. People who haven't cruised on a boat much won't appreciate how much time and effort goes into minding the boat. The park service here has put in a large number of mooring all over the park, which you are free to grab on a first come first serve basis. They are cost free, other than your park admission. The park admission is not very expensive--but its very Indonesian, and very annoying. You have to buy a ticket for the boat which is 100,000 Rp (about 8 bucks), then one ticket for each person, 40,000 Rp each. Then you have to buy a ticket for each camera on board at 50,000 rp each (Its more Rp for professional gear, and more for video). Then you have to buy tickets to snorkel, separate tickets to scuba dive, separate tickets to walk on land, and tickets for local tax at some of the places you visit. Who knows what it all added up to, but it wasn't much--just confusing and annoying. The tickets are only good for three days, then you have to do it all over again!
14 December 2013 | Komodo National Park, Indonesia
better than Fargo
I'm going back and inserting a couple of posts for places that we've been the last few weeks. The Komodo area was fantastic. We spent a few days scuba diving--which was fantastic, though not as great as our diving in Raja Ampat while staying at Pulau Pef. The scenery is quite stunning, and the wildlife even better. We saw lots of monkeys, Komodo dragons, water buffalo, Timor deer, and a variety of interesting birds. Its still fairly untouched. One of the main access points is through the town of Labuan Bajo, which has really only sprung up in the last couple of months. It was a nice change for us since we were able to get a few things we hadn't seen in many months. And a few people spoke English, which, while not required, certainly makes things easier...
Cold weather sucks
06 December 2013 | 08 31.113'S:119 52.065'E, Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia
Last night we anchored near Labuan Bajo on the west end of Flores. It was a rough night of sleep. We had to put covers on. The temp got down to 78.8f (26c) last night. And I've been forced to wear a t-shirt! And the water temp is down to 87. Miserable. Thats what we get for moving south to 8.5d south I suppose. And yesterday we didn't find the monkeys we were looking for. Life sucks.
Ok, enough whining. Lets focus on the positives. We are right on the edge of the Komodo national park. Today we'll go into town, re-provision a bit. Maybe find someone to do laundry (hopefully they won't dry it over their campfire like they did in Banda -- all of my clothes still smell like campfire smoke). Perhaps visit a dive shop for some info on dive sites in the area--they are supposed to be great. And in a couple of days we'll sail into the park and check out the wildlife. There is supposed to be a lot of interesting stuff in addition to the Komodo Dragons. Maybe we'll find monkeys. I like monkeys.
P.S. the pic is of one of our anchorages in Papua. The left side of the waterfall was covered in purple and white orchids.
05 December 2013 | 08 23.583'S:120 02.972'E, Flores Sea
Last night we anchored in a great little anchorage. Its completely hidden from view when offshore, with an island more or less blocking the view of the bay. As you pass through the channel between the island and the mainland you see that there is a village on the island, that is completely on stilts. And the bay itself if very picturesque with green jungle covered mountains, and a couple of beaches. There is no development in site other than the stilt village, and a few small fishing boats going in and out.
The water is really warm here -- the thermometer say 92.6 degrees!
Last night may have been the most impressive bioluminescence we've seen. Looking into the water around the boat was much like looking up at the stars. Little twinkling things everywhere--soupy with them. When we stuck a deck brush in the water and swished it around it absolutely lit up. If you've seen the "life of pi" its actually much like that. A bit more dramatic in the movie, but sometimes it is really not much of an exaggeration.
04 December 2013 | 07 57'S:120 49'E, Flores Sea
The number of different "Seas" in Indonesia is amazing. So far we've sailed in the Arafura Sea, the Banda Sea, the Ceram Sea, perhaps the Halmahera Sea, and now the Flores Sea. There are many others.
Not much to report today. Every now and then we get a little bit of internet access as we pass an island with a cell tower. Right now we are looking at huge billowing cumulus clouds--the kind that develop thunderstorms and lightning like we saw last night. Lots of lightning in the sky. Mostly the storms are isolated -- and typically slow moving. We monitor them on radar and try to avoid them.
03 December 2013 | 07 16.0'S:122 11.7'E, Bone Rate, Indonesia
Its another hot one on the Banda Sea in Indonesia. Not quite as hot as yesterday. Today its only 94 in the cabin and 98 outside. There is no wind, and its still humid, of course, since we are still pretty damn near the equator.
We've been keeping cool by stopping the boat for an hour each afternoon to swim. We haven't done this much in the past as its a bit eerie to swim around the boat in the middle of nowhere with no land in sight. The water is perfectly beautiful, deep deep blue, clear, very warm, and the thermometer reads 89.7 today. Fortunately that is cooler that the 98 degree air.
No squid attacks today...... that we know of..... though they do seem to be lurking. While we are in anywhere from a couple thousand to fifteen thousand feet of water, our depth guage sometimes reads somehwere between 20 and 40 feet for a few minutes at a time....