on the road again
09 August 2012 | heading West toward Flores
Today marks 3 months ago that we sailed from Majuro with Sylvia and Noortje aboard. Since we departed Majuro we have traveled about 3, 157 nautical miles, so about a thousand miles/month average. It took 17 days from Honiara, Guadacanal to Tanimbar, Indonesia, with 3 anchored nights in the Louisiades and 3 anchored nights in the Torres Straits as well.
We left Saumlaki this morning around 10am with a washing machine full of somebody's wet sheets...good thing they weren't just laundered yesterday! We have a bunch of waypoints to stop and hop along the way, or not! We may go 2.5 days non stop to Maumere, Flores where they supposedly have a SeaWorld Resort. Or we will keep going an extra night to Komodo Island so we can do the national park for Wyatt's birthday. We are free to change our minds and blow like the wind...
Other things I didn't mention in the sights and sounds of Indonesia from our time in Saumlaki were the presence of uniforms! Just coming through the hotel the first time ashore there were dozens of camoflaged soldiers sitting around, because apparently there is a change of command in the head of the Army. Out on the street there were even more soldiers, and there were also dozens of police in plain army green uniforms. Then at the HarborMaster and ferry terminal the guards were all dressed in blues! It was quite impressive to say the least. Again it reminded me of Ensenada when the armored truck would come into the grocery store with their AK-47 rifles, and in Saumlaki the soldiers that were out on the street or sitting in the doorways along the sidewalk had their rifles propped up next to them or behind them very informally!
From what we read in the Sailing Asia guidebook and talking to the people helping us with formalities ashore, Saumlaki is rather unusual in that it's predominantly Christian. They're split East and West as Catholic and Protestant, and there's a handful of Muslims. Despite the Muslim minority, the wailing over a loud speaker made it seem otherwise, calling the faithful to prayer starting at 0530 and repeating 4 more times during the day. That definitely reminded us of the obnoxiously blaring speakers atop the newspaper deliverer's car in La Paz, or the water delivery truck's sing song tune playing endlessly...
And about that feeling of being a celebrity because you stand out so differently and the people wanting to touch the boys' heads and take pictures with them, we have to tell the boys not to let it go to their heads, ya know?! When you go to all these places where we're just treated like royalty for no reason other than you're a rarity, you have to put it into perspective, and we don't want the boys growing up to think that they really are celebrities! It may help them in the long run for instance, that they have courage to lead people, but it's a really weird dilemmna.
There was also a hawk that flew around the anchorage day and night, a really big, beautiful bird. I told the boys perhaps it was looking for the one that was caged, but Morgan says the caged bird was much smaller. I forgot to mention the last day of sailing when we were arriving there, there was a big increase in the amount of flying fish that were landing on deck. Dulce couldn't possibly keep up with eating all of them, and her coat is looking quite shiny and fluffy after all that fish oil. Dallas turns up her nose at flying fish or most fish for that matter. Another weird thing that happened was that we had dozens of small squid fling into the port side of the boat, a few even landed in the cockpit, others flew across the lifelines and over the cabintop to the other side, and it created a great big inky mess in most cases. Several had their heads blown off by the impact, some had their tentacles tangled in the lines on the deck and had to be unstuck, and others bled their inky carcasses into the gutter. I had to get out a scrub brush and the Comet to get it off. It seriously stains stuff!
So we are coasting right along with the wind on our stern, a pretty good ride, but not as much wind as reported or expected. I still haven't really recovered from the jetlag headaches but will go back to the watch routine tonight regardless! I was considering maybe doing 2-3 hours and repeating the shifts more often than going 4-5 hours which seems to be causing too much brain damage! Wish us luck!