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