Two Months Gone By
26 September 2013 | 07 20'S:114 29'E, Enroute from Bali to Kumai, Kelimantan
We arrived in Indonesia 8 weeks ago, and have visited dozens of anchorages and several incredible islands. The Sail Indonesia Rally 2013 just completed the visit to the island of Bali, where Sea Child was anchored for about a week. We visited Ubud, the artsy village above Kuta with its compact streets and bundles of tourists all crowding around the scenic palace and across town, the monkey forest where wild monkeys scavenge for food from the tourists. We had to watch our sunglasses and pockets, and as Eric crouched down to take a look at a monkey, it became aggressive and went for his wedding ring and took a bite out of his finger. The monkeys at the monkey forest are protected and worshipped by the Balinese people.
We were so blessed to have the kids visit for a too short 6 days in early September. Sea Child was full, minus Brittany who stayed back on Maui, and while we were able to hike Rinca Island in Komodo National Park and search for komodo dragons, we felt incomplete without her with us. Carter returned to Maui shortly after arriving, but before he left, we took the family to the welcome ceremony at Labuan Bajo. There, we were regaled by the local dancers, speeches from the local regency heads and tourism officials. A week after this welcome ceremony, the President of Indonesia arrived in Labuan Bajo for the Sail Komodo Sail Pass, a parade of sorts by various nation war vessels and the Sail Indonesia Rally boats were asked to sail past as well. As Americans, we understood the security measures that the Indonesian police force adopted during the preparations leading up to the Sail Pass. There were Navy Seals in numerous RIBs taking notes on every vessel at anchor, and several rally boats were searched as well. On Sea Child, we were invited to visit a local maritime school and with other rally participants we were given a formal escort to the school, where a festive native dance show awaited us along with a traditional lunch. We visited the school for about an hour, then invited the students out to Sea Child for a quick hour lesson on an ocean-going catamaran. We had about 24 people on board, students and faculty, and they were truly thankful at the opportunity to ask us questions and learn more about what Sea Child is capable of doing on the sea. Many of the students had never been on board any type of boat, so as we opened up about what we do, we could only wonder what they may think about crossing an ocean themselves, let alone if they would ever have the opportunity to do so in their lifetime.
We are currently on a sail from Bali to Kelimantan Island (Borneo) about 300 NM away. We will sail through the night to reach the Kumai river anchorage and make arrangements to take a river cruise up to see the orangutans. Hopefully they will be a little nicer than those pesky Ubud monkeys. The rally fleet is splitting again, with several dozen heading up to Kumai, and others heading to the largest temple in all of Indonesia on the island of Java. Our visas have been extended another 30 days, a process that took about a week in Bali, and its hard for us to believe that we have been in Indonesia for 8 weeks now. Sea Child will be leaving the rally a few weeks early, and head up to Pangkor, Malaysia.