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Archive for the 'Kupang … Indonesia' Category

`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 4 OF 24 … Mini Buses and Lots of Noise … 24th to 31st July 2007′.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

MINI BUSES OR, POCKET TAXIS … KUPANG, WEST TIMOR …

*** Please `double-click’ on images to enlarge!

 The Mini-buses are worth mentioning. Technology has enhanced the presence of the Mini-bus (a small 4 cylinder panel van … stripped out and re-furnished with a narrow bench seat down each side.) They act as a form of Public Bus Service …as, if you are required to go to the Markets, you catch a RED Bus … to the southern side of town, you catch a BLUE Bus etc. (they also have a Numbers attached) … I never did see a large Public Bus around the city … not to say they’re not there! The interesting features about this vehicle is:

* TYPICAL `MINI-BUS’ … LOUD AND BUSY! (Photo compliments meiyergani) *

(1) The young man standing in the open door waving and sprucing for business (they will stop anywhere … and the fee is a flat Rp 2,000 … about AU$0.30)

(2) The most notable feature of these vehicles are the very high powered horns … connected to a sophisticated series of circuit breakers that blow the horn at a rate of about 20 time per second … I could be corrected on this estimate, as it could be more! And of course there are an infinite variety of horn sounds … it’s very competitive … goes day and night … and is bloody noisy to the MAX! 

(3)  Plus, they are designed for small Indonesian frames … not the lanky, over weight Aussie!

* I THOUGHT YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN THIS `VERY SPECIAL’ SHOT? (Photo compliments of Melanie!) *

* AND ANOTHER! (Compliments of Melanie!) *

KUPANG-8

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 3 OF 24 … Kupang and Outskirts’ … 24th to 31st July 2007.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

MUSLIM MOSQUE NOISE … PLUS, ROOSTERS AND DOGS! … KUPANG, WEST TIMOR, INDONESIA …
The first shock to the senses are the `call to prayer’ by the Muslim Mosques … there were two in the centre of Kupang and very close to our anchorage. The first `call’ seems to be around 04:00 in the morning … and to make sure no one misses them they are broadcast via very powerful loudspeakers. The strange part of this procedure is … the `calls’ are in Arabic (I can imagine a Sound Studio in Mecca churning out these `calls’) … and I wonder how many Indonesian Muslims know a single word of Arabic.

* THIS IS FAIRLY TYPICAL OF AN INDONESIAN MOSQUE .. ALTHOUGH THIS ONE IS ON THE ISLAND OF `LEMBATA’, INDONESIA! *

This procedure is repeated five times through the day and night. They do manage to wake you up … every time … along with every rooster within five miles radius … plus, quite a few dogs!
Indonesia does not appear to have a rubbish disposal system … which explains the constant haze of smoke over the country. Rubbish is burnt anywhere and everywhere … the rubbish brought ashore by our fleet was sorted by a dedicated small group on the beach … (bottles seem good fare) and the balance burnt … on the beach. This occurs in all towns, on all islands and it would seem the entire country … hence the heavy smoke haze at all times!
The large gutters running to the sea only flow when it rains … but are half full of rubbish and plastic bags … I don’t want to be around during the first rains! You can only imagine what sort of sewage system exists?

* OPEN DRAINS ARE A `SAFETY’ (BEWARE AT NIGHT!) … AND A HEALTH HAZARD. DON’T SAIL THE AREA DURING FIRST RAINS! *

Buying … water, fuel and bulk provisions, such as a carton of Coke, is a unique experience. Once the dinghy is safely in place on the beach … and a fee of Rp 25,000 (about AU$3.50) is paid … a fair deal given the dinghy boys have the responsibility of hauling the dinghy from the water … carrying it up the beach … and guarding it all day … and removing rubbish and returning the dinghy to the water whatever time of the day/night you require it … you are able to expound on your re-stocking requirements and from somewhere comes a person able to provide the service required:

* THE `BEACH BOYS’ WAITING TO POSITION YOUR DINGHY AND SORT YOUR RUBBISH … KUPANG, INDONESIA *

o Rp 6,000 per litre of petrol (Au$0.80)
o Rp 15,000 (Au$2.00) per 20 litre bottle of filtered drinking water
o And Coca Cola comes at a reasonable price.
o Greens and fruit are available from local markets, which is not a service provided. Melanie was my girl for this type of dealing and was very good at it.

* MELANIE LED THE CHARGE TO THE ROADSIDE EATERIES … AND NOBODY DIED! *

I must admit I would have been very reticent about eating from roadside vendors barrows had not Melanie been there to bully me into doing so … in fact, the probability would have been non-existent. But, she was and we did … and the food was very tasty, cheap and did not upset my stomach.

* THE CHEF IS A PERFORMER IN HIS OWN RIGHT! *

Kupang-7
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* THE GORGEOUS YOUNG PEOPLE GIVING AN EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AT `TEDDYS BAR’, KUPANG *

Sorry … I’ve wandered into the non-positive area of our visit … but, it is what we see and therefore, a subject of discussion! The biggest danger to motoring with your yacht motors … and we do a lot because of the lack of reliable winds … are the plastic bags in the water. One bag around a water intake can cost you a motor from over-heating … therefore; the problem is constant and real.
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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 2 OF 24 … City of Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia … 24th to 31st July 2007.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

POSITION: 10˚ 09 E … 123˚ 34 S

* OUR FIRST SITING OF INDONESIAN CIVILISATION … FISHING BOATS SOUTH OF `KUPANG’ *

There was no doubt in my mind … we had arrived in a 3rd World country. 

The first and most important obstacle to overcome was the clearing of Customs … Quarantine and Immigration. Déjà vu was most fortunate, as we were anchored closest to Teddy’s Bar, where all Officialdom pivoted … and with the yellow `Quarantine’ tea towel flag (complements Arianne’s sensational purchasing and stitching talents at Darwin) we were the first, for that day, to be inspected and cleared.You hear alarming stories about these visits and I have to admit to feeling a great deal of trepidation at having about six uniformed people aboard Déjà vu … but it was a really painless exercise. I think, made easier by Melanie’s’ presence … and her wonderfully inept knot on the attachment of our fender to Déjà vu, exercised in the heat of having the Official dinghy come alongside. The initiative was commendable and would have been mildly impressive, had the fender not fallen off and floated away.  

One of the Officials tapped me on the arm and pointed at the fender when it was about 10 metres away … this prompted me to have to untie and lower our dinghy (which was very securely attached, due to our International journey) and on retrieving the fender all Officials seemed to get the humorous message of me `belting Melanie in the mouth’, after they had left!  

* FRIENDLY YOUNG PEOPLE INTERESTED IN VIEWING THEIR OWN IMAGES ON THE DIGITAL CAMERA! *

That incident certainly lessened the tension of our meeting!

They were very clear about the possibility of me having a gun or narcotics onboard …

“Any Gun?” … “NO!”

“Any Narcotics?” … “NO!”

Apart from that all inspections below deck, were done in company with me and there was never a hint of the need to `bribe’! So all went well … and following their departure … I belted Melanie on the mouth … (Just kidding!)

* IT COULD BE MELANIE SEARCHING FOR THE `FENDER’?? *

Other yachts inspected after Déjà vu were asked for Whisky … so, maybe they were just warming up with us? 

 

* SUNSET ON OUR FIRST DAY IN `KUPANG’, WEST TIMOR, INDONESIA! *

We did lose our Passports to the Immigration Agent and this was mildly alarming … however, two days later we were interviewed again by Immigration and retrieved them … following a payment of Rp 200,000 (about AU$27.00)It would be very easy to write negatively about Indonesia … and I will before I’ve finished … but I’ll dwell on the positive side of things first:

The people generally and the young kids in particular, are very friendly and happy. You is constantly bombarded with the greeting … “Hello Mister!” And always with a smile. If you were to point a camera at a group of kids, there would immediately be a jostle, almost a wrestling match, for position within the group. Then, the trick was to show the group their image on the screen of the camera … and this is when you must protect your property, as the kids think nothing of grabbing the camera and twisting it to see themselves. It’s all good fun and you learns quickly how to manage the mob. Best to perform this trick with 2-3 kids, rather than a large group.

* MELANIE WITH HER `LOCAL’ CLAN OF FOLLOWERS! *

 This first segment of the Sail Indonesia Rally 2007 was very well organised … by Indonesian standards … (must remain positive) and the Local Authorities had gone to a GREAT deal of trouble and expense to entertain our Group … and to expose us to the Retail side of the community … you presume, to allow us to deposit as many Rupees as possible into the local business purses.

The Rally is supported by The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Indonesia … and is a very serious effort to promote tourism to the world.

* (NAME TO COME) … THE MALE HALF OF THE TEAM TO SPEARHEAD OUR FLEETS MOVEMENT THROUGH INDONESIA! ** (NAME TO COME) … THE GOOD LOOKING HALF OF THE TEAM SMOOTHING OUR MOVEMENTS THROUGH `OFFICIALDOM’ IN INDONESIA! *

 Therefore, it would seem a large investment (by Indonesian standards) has gone towards this promotion. The success and popularity of the Rally is shown by the original maximum limit on entries of 100 yachts, being increased to 120 … and the second `wave’ of 20 yachts being released to sail one week later. The organisers are able to control numbers quite easily … as without a letter called a CAIT (Clearance Approval for Indonesian Territory) … an approval by the Indonesian Government allowing a yacht to cruise Indonesia for 60 days … a yacht would not dare enter Indonesian waters. 

* (NAME TO COME) … THE GOOD LOOKING HALF OF THE TEAM SMOOTHING OUR MOVEMENTS THROUGH `OFFICIALDOM’ IN INDONESIA! *

For the CAIT to be legal it must be signed by:

o The Department of Foreign Affairs

o The Department of Defense and Security

o Directorate General of Sea Communications

o A Manager of Operations

This is a VERY serious business! To obtain this CAIT you pay AU$450.00 to the organisers in Darwin, who have the connections to obtain the CAIT’s quickly and with the minimum fuss … even then it takes five (5) weeks to arrange.

You are only allowed to Tour Indonesia for 90 days in total with the original Visa time approval only given for 60 days … to obtain this additional 30 days, an extension must be obtained whilst in Bali … via an Agent. I am still not certain what the total cost of this will be … but, it did smack of a cute way to extract extra funds from the Yachties! 

Whilst in Kupang, separate `Gala Dinners’ were arranged by the `Mayor’ and the `Governor’ … neither of whom were present. A highlight of both functions was the presentation of beautifully woven sashes/scarfs, with the Mayor adding a good quality book on Kupang. The functions were well organised and entertainment in the form of local Folk Dancing, excellent in quality.

* IT WAS A POPULAR CEREMONY TO PRESENT `CAPTAINS’ OF THE VAROUS YACHTS, WITH A LOCALLY WOVEN SCARF! *

You must be prepared for a constant frontal assault of teenagers, usually girls, wanting to practice their English. Not many had even a basic knowledge, whereas, others were very proficient and usually turned out to be English Teachers. 

* THIS WAS A VERY `BIG’ DAY FOR ALL PARTIES … AND COMMUNICATION WAS WELCOMED! *

Another `free’ Tourism Day was a bus trip to a remote village … and onto a `Play-field’ cut in the forest. This could have been a great day but for the state of the roads. Our bus felt as though it had STEEL wheels and NO suspension. By any Australian standards the roads were impassable … but these Bus Drivers hadn’t been told that!

The celebration at the destination, was very interesting, again pivoting around local dancing … and a fine lunch was served. The lunch comprised barbecued fish and beef … with rice and some vegetable … it was just a shame there wasn’t quite enough to feed our horde.  

* A FULL BODY OF BEEF … BEING CUT TO BARBECUE SIZE … IN THE TREE-TOPS? *

The process of the barbecued beef was an eye-opening hoot. About 10 metres from the serving table, a raft of bamboo had been built about three (3) metres above ground level, between two trees. On this raft had been placed a full grown body of beef … freshly killed you must suppose … with young men cutting strips of flesh from the body and handing them down to the `barbecuers’. From the barbecue the strips were transferred to the serving table and onto our plates. Ingenious really … no refrigeration and all contained within a 10 metres square of activity. Only `God’ and the organisers know how they managed to get the body of beef up onto the platform in the tree … and why they needed to?

This was a long, long day, not finishing until 22:00 that night … and another had been planned for the following day … but, not for this boy! Melanie went along with many others and from reports; the roads were worse … but worth the experience! 

* MELANIE (L) … LLOYD (C) … AND LOCAL FRIENDLY POLICEMAN! ** FRIENDLY ROAD-SIDE VENDOR. (Photo compliments of Melanie) *

* I WOULDN’T LIKE TO MEET THIS CHAP IN A JUNGLE! *

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Kupang-6

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SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007 … 1 of 24 … Melanie and my first International Sailing Journey … `20th to 24th July 2007′.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

I’m sure Melanie had some trepidation about this 462 nmiles (855Kilometres) … 80 hour trip … as it was a long way … she had no long distance sailing experience … and it was an International journey!  

* `Deja vu’ well on her way to Kupang, Indonesia! *

My only trepidation was the `Kid’ could be spoiled for sailing if she were to be given a fright in any way! No worries! She flew through the experience … and on arrival I said … “How easy was that, not a worry!” And Melanie agreed, that wasn’t all that hard … true!

 

Our first night out was the most interesting, with approximatley 100 yachts around, all lit in their own way … a Fairy Light setting. The second night … there were only 10 lights to be seen … and the third night there were none … we were all alone!

o Where had they all gone?

o Were we heading to the same island?

o Was our navigation system sending us in the wrong direction?  

* Unknown to us yet … but soon to become good friends … Jan and Geoff of `SV Arnak’! *

The answer is fairly simple … each yacht has its own angle to the wind, to sail … and this splits up a fleet quickly … and some were power launch’s and didn’t need to worry about the wind at all (Just put the Chart Plotter/Auto-Pilot cursor on Kupang, Timor and hit the `GoTo’ button!.) Then take into account the sailing and navigational habits of the 100 Skippers and the BIG variable raises its head. We were all going to the same place, but doing it our own way!

 

On the 23rd of July, I celebrated my 68th Birthday with Melanie … who was then Chief Chef and instrumental in preparing a GREAT Dinner of scallops and other things … plus, we broke the Golden Rule and had a glass of White wine each. (The Golden Rule is: “You must not take in alcohol during a passage” … should things go wrong a clear head is essential!)

 

* Fellow Fleet Member unknown … looks great under spinnaker! *

Apart from the vicious 90˚ wind shifts along the way, the only visual `thing’ of interest were the two mid-ocean Indonesian oil rigs with gas flames burning away madly.Melanie and I adopted a shift routine I had read about, used by the Argentinean Navy (when there are only two crew involved.) The first shift for each crew is six hours … second, four hours and the third is two hours. An interesting experiment for us, but it worked well.

My only real worry was arriving in Kupang after nightfall. Well, we almost achieved this, but not quite. There were many obstacles encountered during the final 15 nmiles … hundreds of floats, presumably attached to nets, or some other fishing item. Huts built on floating rafts and well out from the land … and fishing boats themselves unlit at night. For the final leg to our anchorage, both Melanie and I had a flame-thrower searchlight each … and we made very good use of them. No problems … take it slowly, and light the way. Once within sight of the fleet already at anchor, we were home.

 

* Who needs a hook … they just fly aboard! *

On anchoring adjacent to Teddy’s Bar, Kupang, we had sailed 462 nmiles (855 kilometres) …in 80 hours … averaging 5.8 knots … and motored for 9 hours. 

* THEY JUST FLY ABOARD AND CAN’T GET OFF! *

  

 

 

 

 

* The landing beach at Teddys Bar … Kupang, Indonesia *

* THE `BEACH BOYS’ SWARM ONTO THE DINGHIES AND LIFT THEM UP THE BEACH! *

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kupang-5

ooOoo

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