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Archive for the 'INDONESIA 2007 … Asia' Category

`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 16 of 24 … `Komodo Dragon’ Visit.

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

Komodo Island … (Lat: 08º 30 S … Long: 119º 42 E)

Komodo Island … a MUST for wild life lovers as it’s the home of the wild Komodo Dragons.

KOMODO DRAGONS-INDONESIA '07 012

*** `ARNIE’ THE KOMODO DRAGON … ON THE RIGHT! ***

What to expect for your first sighting of a Dragon? I hadn’t assigned an expectation to the Dragon … I’d seen a few big lizards in the Northwest of Australia … at least 1.2 metres in length … and they were pretty dramatic.

KOMODO DRAGONS-INDONESIA '07 011

*** THIS WAS `SARAH’ THE SOOK KOMODO DRAGON … NOT TO BE TRIFLED WITH JUST THE SAME! ***

… you’re allowed to berth your dinghy … and guarding the Island at this point … was a Komodo dragon as big as I wanted to see that day. It’s a female and the legend goes she can be very cranky toward those she takes a dislike to.

We crept past and at a vigilant, hurried walking pace; made the one kilometre walk to the Administration Office … and camp for the Guides.

Our Komodo dragon education started before we were even allotted a Guide … there was a massive male Dragon right there at the cookhouse (for the guides). The males are physically much bigger than the females and this sucker was a gigantic male … looking to be at least three-and-a-half (3.5) metres long. Apparently they come to the cookhouse each morning looking for scraps thrown out by the Cook the night before. And he was there … waiting!

KOMODO DRAGONS-INDONESIA '07 027

*** `ARNIE!’ ***

The first Dragon had a very healthy respect for him, as he cowered back when `Arnold’ hissed and spat at him. `Arnold’ found a fish head skeleton, crunched it down and then acted out a range of ‘photo poses for us, with great profiles and lashing pink tongue movements. He had done this many times before.

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*** THE TREKKING ROUTE AROUND A SMALL PART OF THE ISLAND. ***

We did however, have an amusing guide … he had a good grasp of English and a great sense of humour.

Half way through our walk he proposed marriage to Rina to join him away from the rat-race of sailing.

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*** OUR VERY HAPPY GUIDE! ***

Rina didn’t leave Tom!

 

 

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*** RINA SOON AFTER THE MARRIAGE PROPOSAL! ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY-2007’ … 17 OF 24 … `Uncharted Island’ and `Drift Snorkelling’!

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

North of Komodo Island … 8th September ’07 … (Lat: 08º 29 S … 119º 33 E)

From Komodo Island (south) I plotted a course to the Island group, North Komodo Islands … a simple journey, almost due north. Half way to my destination …

IMG_0487 Deja Vu

*** DEJA VU III LOVING THE CONDITIONS THROUGH INDONESIA. ***

… I sensed something was wrong, as I had a substantial Island directly in my path … in about an hour, Déjà vu was going to be driven aground! Damn and damn! The situation soon became clear as the island in question was not plotted on my Chartplotter! Maybe, because I had discovered this `new’ Island … I could claim it as mine. There was nobody around with whom I could discuss the scenario … so I sailed around it and carried on. BUT, I haven’t forgotten it! This sort of discovery always plays on your mind when sailing at night … what if I had discovered this `new’ Island … at night? Very, very scary!

During this visit to Sabajo Kejil Island, I was introduced to the art of `Drift Snorkelling’

SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 024

*** A VIEW OF THE UNDERSIDE OF DJV’S DINGHY WHILST `DRIFTING’. ***

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*** MANTA RAY COUNTRY-WE HAD HOPED! ***

The unbreakable rule is: Never let go of the dinghy … as that could easily be the last you would see of it … plus, your own well-being falls into jeopardy!

MANTA RAY COUNTRY-9-09-07 028

*** TWO OF THE INTREPID SNORKLERS. NOTE THE CLARITY OF THE WATER ***

For someone like myself, alone, and not a good swimmer, it was ideal … and I found a great new world open for me in the snorkelling field. Some had seen Manta Rays in this area and a repeat of this sort of sighting was my ambition … and I had my under-water camera armed and ready. This was a great experience and the foundation of other similar occurrences.

My destination took me to another passage between two Islands (Gili Lawa Darat … Lat: 08º 27 S … Long: 119º 34 E) where other yachties had reported; `Great sightings of Manta Rays whilst `drifting’ through the passage’. My plan was to anchor near the passage overnight and explore the possibility of drifting Déjà vu through, with me hanging on behind?!   I had time that afternoon to investigate the `drift-through’ idea … as there wasn’t an anchorage available for the night (two public moorings were taken by Charter boats … bastards!) And the area all round was a minefield of bommies and reeves!

On approaching the passage and letting Déjà vu drift, it quickly became obvious she would need to be under the control of a person-on-board … so I gave up the solo-drift idea … but didn’t give up the drift idea, at all!

MANTA RAY COUNTRY-9-09-07 039

*** IT WAS JUST GOOD-CLEAN-FUN! ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With just enough daylight left we motored to #48 Anchorage, two and a half miles away, to anchor safely for the night. There were about a dozen other Rally yachts at anchor.

So, with my mind still racing with the yacht-drift idea, I picked up the VHF radio mike and spoke to the Fleet in the anchorage: “Anyone interested in hearing the free-offer-of-a-lifetime please change to Channel 15!”

Instantly I had a procession of people come onto the channel … and I explained my plan of drifting through the passage looking for Manta Rays … with the drifter’s hanging from two loops of 16mm rope, behind Déjà vu … tomorrow morning!

I had thirteen starters and we were adjacent the passage at 10:00. We looped two manila ropes (knotted every metre) from the two hulls (one short and one long loop). My self-made edict was `Do not let go of the tow-lines, short of being devoured by a shark or manta ray’!

MANTA RAY COUNTRY-9-09-07 054

*** EASY TO EXIT THE WATER VIA DJV’S DIVE LADDER. ***

… I needed some forward pulling power source and I didn’t want to turn the motors on. Hence the raising of the jib … with a light breeze from behind it gave exactly the power we needed and I was able to steer the ship through the gap with the tide. Excellent!

However, we are dealing with human beings here and at the best they’re unpredictable and at the worst, not able to follow directions … unreliable.

A turtle was sighted and two swimmers let go of the tow lines!! Maybe they thought they were strong enough swimmers to catch up and re-attach to the towline … they weren’t by far!

So, I had the possibility of two drowning’s on my hands (that’s only a 20% loss rate) and when I cleared the passage on the deep ocean side I had to announce to the swimmers: “Motors coming on to rescue two idiot drifters!” And I started the motors, did a hard `U’ turn and took the ropes back over the drifting `twits’! I have a strong feeling they were glad to receive them.

SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 001

*** BEAUTIFUL CLEAR WATER WITH DJV’S RUDDER JUST VISIBLE. ***

Let’s do it again was the cry and I was keen to try it myself … so we decided to do it again at a passage one (1) mile closer to the anchorage. John, from `SV Island Sonata’… an American Catamaran, took the helm of Déjà vu and I did a drift, with underwater camera blazing away and had a wonderful time. Sorry, no Manta Rays!

We were back at the anchorage by lunch … we all had a great time … and I made a lot of new friends! A very successful, new experience.

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007 … 18 of 24 …`No Credit, No Money’ … So Die!

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 059

*** THIS WOMAN WAS AN OFFICER, I THINK. VERY FREINDLY! ***

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

BIMA … (1 of 4) … 10th September 2007 … (Lat: 08º 26 S …Long: 118º 42 E)

Bali: 221 nmiles … Singapore: 1076 nmiles

HERE I’M FEATURING SOME OF THE WOMEN OF BIMA, INDONESIA!

Bima was another major stocking-up town, only grimier than Labuon Bajo (just)!

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 045

*** THIS ATTRACTIVE WOMEN WAS VERY MUSLIM … AND SELECTING HER CHICKEN AT THE `CHICKEN FACTORY’. ***

It was very difficult to find a decent restaurant to eat at … and I went down with `Bima Belly! Bugger it … I hate being unwell from such causes.

It was at Bima I discovered my Credit Cards wouldn’t give me cash. Let me give you some good advice … never, never try to travel in a country like this, without money … none of the locals care … just go away and die is the feeling you get from the Bank Johnnies! I harassed hell out of them, without success … and then harassed poor Melanie back in Australia, to try to sort the ANZ and State West Credit failures out … but the predicament occurred on a Friday and all were shut until Monday. The trick was to not leave Déjà vu … in that way I couldn’t spend money. I did have yachty friends who would help … but I’m a bit skwirmish about asking to borrow money!

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 021

*** SCHOOL KIDS OUTSIDE THEIR PLACE OF LEARNING! ***

There were good times though and the major event was the Banquet put on by the Governor of the Province (not that he attended).An amusing activity in this town/city was to see the activities of the road-workers applying white paint to the centre-lines of the major roads. More on this later.

BIMO-MARKETS-SEPT-2007-059.jpg

*** THIS LOOKED LIKE A MOTHER/DAUGHTER PAIR MANNING A STALL AT THE MARKETS. ***

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY-2007’ … 19 of 24 … `Chicken Killing Factory’. 11th September 2007

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

Bima, Indonesia … (2 of 4)

Bima has the best (most interesting) Markets … they sell everything from goats to armchairs …

 

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 022… and process some things on the spot. I came across a Goat Market and almost burst my sides laughing, watching a young guy trying to steer this very strong Buck goat down the street, to where-ever he wanted it to go. The goat took this kid for a trot all-around the Markets and I still wonder if the Kid got the goat home.

Another remarkable business was the `Chicken Killing Factory’! BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 045

I spent some time here as it wasn’t easy to work out the sequence of happenings. Eventually I had it all recorded on digital camera. The process went like this:

(1) The impeccably dressed Muslim women would enter the factory (no walls just a rusty tin roof) … and select a live chicken from a bundle tied up on the earth floor.

This choosing process included squeezing the legs and body to make sure there was something to eat under the feathers. (Indonesian chicken are all legs and little body)

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 033(2) Whilst waiting for the chicken processing, which probably took less than 10 minutes, the Muslim lady was seated in a `Waiting Room’ much as is provided in a Doctors Surgery, only not quite as clean.

(3) With the chicken chosen … the two slaughtermen took charge … opened the small lid of a bloody wooden box …

… stretched the chickens’ neck across the opening of the box (I imagine the chicken was facing Mecca at the time) and slit its throat … dropping it into the box before blood was flung everywhere.BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 038

(4) After a few minutes the chicken was removed from the box (I wondered where all the blood went) … lost its head and was placed into a large pot of boiling water.

(5) A few minutes later the lightly boiled chook was removed from the pot … lost its legs … and was dumped into a washing machine!

Now, this was a special kind of washing machine … it had 15-20, 100mm long, by 10mm thick, rubber legs, protruding through the outer surface, into the pot. The machine was switched on and it did a washing machine, agitating movement, back and forth, taking all feathers from the body. Quick, clean and thorough and I guessed, without bruising?

(6) The bald chicken now went to a table where another `skilled chicken processor’ cut it into pieces … then into a bag, with the legs … BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 041

… and back to the immaculate Muslim lady … who had already paid.

The whole process got my thumbs-up and co-operation from the Chicken slaughtermen is easy once you point a camera their way.

The Muslim lady wasn’t camera shy either!

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY-2007’ … 20 of 25 … `Bima’s Donkey Transport’ … 12th September 2007

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

BIMA, Indonesia … 3 of 5

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 007

*** `CENTRAL BIMA’. ***

Much of the local goods cartage is done by the donkeys, not just human transport. The donkeys look very healthy and I think most are loved by their reinsmen, but they work hard, day and night.

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 015

*** THE BACK-END OF THE HORSE-POWER’. ***

And it was a lot of fun, plus they were there to take us home.

This Gala night was the most extravagant to date … featuring a band of about 20 people and extremely talented (I think) and noisy.

 

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*** GORGEOUS DANCERS/SINGERS … GOVERNORS’ BANQUET. ***

They supported a troupe of about ten gorgeous dancing women … dressed in fabulous rich gold and red silks. Indonesia was showing us a wealthier life style the further we moved West.

The dinner was excellent … and security was high! I wouldn’t consider a visit after hours!

Never did see the Governor!

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 21 OF 25 … `Public Works … Lines Marking’ … 13TH September 2007

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

BIMA, Indonesia … (4 of 5)

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 009

*** THESE GUYS DID A DANGEROUS JOB AND THEY KNEW IT! ***

There was a group of young men employed to repaint the white lines on the main street. Forget about diverting the traffic, that’s not on …

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 012

*** THEY WERE WELL WRAPPED EVEN THOUGH THE TEMPERATURES WERE AROUND 38 DEGREES C. ***

… and there are trucks with the dirtiest exhausts I have ever seen, speeding past within inches of the `line-painters’!

But the painters are not stupid … despite the 38⁰ heat and 90% humidity; they wear black woollen balaclavas and white rimmed sunglasses … that keep the fumes out??

I just wondered how many `painters’ were squashed on average, every week … they couldn’t stay lucky for very long.

I had bought a Coke and was sitting on the steps of a shop watching this circus, when they spotted me and decided it was time for a break.

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 011

*** THEY WERE ALL HAPPY … BUT PUMPED-UP ON ADRENOLIN! ***

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 008

*** SAFE WORK PRACTICES DON’T EXIST HERE! ***

They allowed me to photograph them … then someone considered enough was enough and it was back to the paint brushes. They probably consider they’re privileged to have this dangerous work … in all probability, they are!

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 22 of 25 … Bima, Indonesia Market Place.

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

BIMA, Indonesia … 22nd September 2007 … 5 of 5

I’ve taken an executive decision and will make this presentation based on images alone. Somebody once said: “An image is worth a thousand words!” … or something like that.

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 048

*** `SMALL FISH ANYONE?’ ***

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*** `LARGE-ISH PRAWNS.’ ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*** `SHRIMPS BY THE BUCKET.’ ***

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*** `THE INFAMOUS GOAT MARKET.’ ***

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*** `LIVE CHICKENS WAITING TO DIE.’ ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BIMO MARKETS - SEPT 2007 058

*** HERE’S ONE DONKEY WHO DIDN’T LOOK TOO HAPPY?’ ***

 

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*** `FISH READY FOR THE PAN.’ ***

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*** `EGGS AND NUTS OF ALL SORTS.’ ***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*** `SELLING COCONUT JUICE (I THINK?) ***

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*** `FRUIT AND VEG!’ ***

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*** `FOR THOSE WHO LIKE THEIR FISH LARGE. ***

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PARTY ONBOARD DÉJÀ VU, IN `RESORT BAY’, LOMBOK, INDONESIA 24A OF 25

 

LOMBOK - INDO SEPT 2007 207

*** `PJ’ AND JOHN ***

There were about 10 yachts anchored in `Resort Bay’ and all were trying desperately to relax after the hectic sail across the northern shorelines of the countless Indonesian Islands. DJV invited all on board for a barbecue and a few drinks. They came and we enjoyed a great night of good food drink and comradeship.

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*** THE YOUNG AMERICAN ON THE LEFT WAS SAILING-AROUND-THE-WORLD … WITHOUT A MOTOR IN HIS YACHT?? ***

 

 

 

 

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*** THE `CHESTY’ LOOKING WOMAN IN WHITE WAS ALSO ON THE YACHT-WITHOUT-MOTOR. ***

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*** THE FLEET OF DINGHIES REQUIRED, FOR THE GROUP TO MEET ON DJV. ***

 

 

LOMBOK - INDO SEPT 2007 212

*** SHARON (L) AND BETTY ***

 

 

 

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA – 2007’ … 22 of 25 … `Inverter Failure’.

Bima, Indonesia … 23rd September 2007

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

I had a major electrical failure at Bima … the 1800 watt `Inverter’ decided to chuck-it-in (stop working).. 

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*** REPLACEMENT INVERTOR PURCHASED IN SINGAPORE. ***

An inverter is a very smart little electrical gadget that converts 12 volt DC battery power … to 240 volt AC household power, which then allows Yachties (or, caravaners) to run most household electrical appliances. My computer runs on 240 volts and this meant I was off-the-air with Sailmail … meaning I couldn’t communicate with daughters, relations and friends.

Except … I still had the great little Honda generator (which has an inbuilt inverter and will charge the computer directly) I bought in Brisbane!

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*** 1 KVA HONDA GENERATOR (WITH 1000 WATT INVERTER). MY STANDIN FOR CHARGING BATTERIES. ***

Further down the track another generous yachty friend (Bryan from SV Second Wind) loaned me his inverter and I could charge the computer from the ships batteries again. He’s a good man!

ooOoo

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 24 of 25 … Lombok to Bali

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

Lovina, Bali … 22nd September 2007 (Lat: 08º 09 S … Long: 115º 01 E)

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*** `SV PIPING SHRIKE’ HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME IN THE RIGHT CONDITIONS! HARK, IS THAT A FOR’ARD HATCH OPEN? ***

On leaving Lombok, we expected a pleasant 50+ nmile sail to the NE corner of Bali … provided the winds were right and the tides gave us a chance!

You hear of tidal currents of up to 10 knots around Bali, but today wasn’t the day for them.

The wind was a good 15-20 knot SW’er … Déjà vu loved it and was going well … until about 14:00 hours. The winds just, lightened off, to 6-10 knots … too weak to lift my girl! So, come sunset I was motor/sailing for shallows almost on the NE corner of Bali. The night at anchor was acceptable, but a little too rollie to be comfortable.

Next morning was magnificent, with a 15 knot southerly blowing up along the island and we took off for Lovina … the most northern, major town on Bali.

LOMBOK - INDO SEPT 2007 017

*** THESE FISHING PLATFORMS ARE SPRINKLED ALONG THE COASTLINES OF THE INDONESIAN ARCHEPELIGO. SOME HAVE FISHERMEN LIVING ON THEM. ***

About three miles north we took a 90º turn to Port and were on the final 14 nmile leg to Lovina. This was a good day … another thread-in-the-tapestry of the Sail Indonesia Rally … and I decided I could handle at least three jobs this morning, simultaneously:

(1) Have breakfast.

(2) Direct sail and navigation operations.

(3) Hard boil six eggs for consumption at future lunches.

Breakfast was a cinch with Weetbix, muesli and fruit … the yacht was sailing well … destination plotted on the Chart plotter and Déjà vu was steered by the wonderful auto pilot … and the eggs were being warmed in a saucepan with water covering them.

The breeze was 15 knots broadside on, a beam reach; with flat water due to the wind coming off Bali Island … the Cat loves a beam-reach! So I had breakfast on the for’deck away from the hassle of controls and other things … a real break!

With breakfast done, the only thing that caught my attention was the bad smell coming off the Island.

Bali, like the rest of Indonesia, has a poor system of rubbish disposal, it seemed … and now it was being burnt … and I was downwind of the smell.

Time to return to the galley with dirty dishes … and to the mess which had formed by six eggs boiling dry … and exploding … and then burning black in the saucepan!

BALI - SEPT '07 039

*** LOVINA BAY … THE ONLY BAY, NEAR CIVILIZATION, LARGE ENOUGH TO TAKE OUR FLEET OF 110 YACHTS. ***

 

I couldn’t believe it … what a mess and what a smell! It took weeks to get the smell out and I’m so pleased I didn’t have anyone on board who would be forced to share the disaster.

ooOOoo

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