3 September 2017 - Medana Bay “Marina” Lombok
As we moved West along the coast, we first stopped at Bari Bay, a very small and poor fishing village. Although we didn’t go ashore, it seemed that all of the local children paddled out in dug-out canoes to greet us. We gave them peppermint candies, but they were too sweet. They asked for pens and pencils, and we gave them a container and they fought over them, at least the first bunch did. A few of the kids spoke a couple of words of English. I gave one boy an English language book on boating because he really wanted an English language book, even a dictionary. We also gave out hats, and T-shirts, but all of our clothing and shoes were much too big for them - even the adults. Here is Island Pearl II being swamped with kids at sunset in the anchorage.
The next stop was Labuan Bajo, at the gateway to the Komodo National Park. This was our first exposure to tourism in Indonesia. This is a big diving and tourist hub for Indonesia. I snorkelled under the boat for a few hours scrapping the hull and could barely see my rudder and keel with all the garbage floating in the water. Every two minutes a plastic bag floated by, freaking me out. Well, this might be a diving mecca, but I really wonder if the reefs are all that good with all the garbage. Its like having a garbage dump next to a nature preserve! There is even a major airport and a downtown strip like what you might find in Bali. Well, we haven’t been to Bali yet so maybe its hard to compare. We ate at a restaurant that served Mexican food! We took a taxi out to the local markets (the pesar) and bought lettuce, broccoli, green pepper and cauliflower - the first we’ve seen in months.
One afternoon, while still at LBJ, we took our boat to Rinja island, a part of the Komodo National Park. We had a very difficult time anchoring in the soft mud, particularly since the water was so deep (60 feet and more) and there was lots of garbage on the bottom. I think it took 8 tries before the anchor was set. On the seventh attempt our anchor got fouled on an old anchor and with the windlass I brought up a 100kg piece of steel (L shaped) which no doubt was somebody’s anchor or previous mooring. This is a view of our boat in the Rinja anchorage.
Early the next morning we went ashore and took the 0700 walking tour to see the Komodo dragons.
We saw lots of them. This one was just near the path.
The females lay their eggs in the July - August period, so we were able to see lots of Komodos, of all shapes and sizes. We even saw their source of food (buffalo) and snacks (monkeys). Our guide told us that there are more than 1,000 Komodo dragons living on Rinja Island, and that they are not fed by the park staff, but rather hunt and feed from the large herds of buffalo that live there. This is a mama Komodo dragon, working on her nest, a big hole in the ground.
How’s this for a photo? The tour guide carefully took a picture of a Komodo dragon, with us in the background. Yes, that is a living Komodo dragon, not a sculpted piece of plastic! Our guide was very skillful, and careful in taking the photo. These reptiles are dangerous and fierce.
Leaving Rinja, we headed West, skirting the Komodo National Park and anchoring at Teluk Gili Lawa on the North side of Komodo Island. After spending the night there, we anchored at Werra Bay. This is a nice shot of Werra Bay, a traditional fishing village.
We then left after only an hour to join Island Pearl II towards Medang Island. Medang was quiet, and well sheltered, and there was no sign of life except for a weak Internet signal through the GSM network.
Finally, on 28 August we arrived at Medana Bay “Marina”, Lombok Island. Although we didn’t stop there, we did drive by several McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King fast food restaurants - true signs of Western civilization. We did eat though at Nasi Goreng 69, an Indonesian Fast Food joint in the Epi Centre Mall.
One other noticeable change as we move West is that since there are more people, there are more mosques. On the island of Lombok, since there are 4 million people, there are thousands of mosques. Every morning we awake at 0500 with a cacophony of prayer calls coming from the dozen or so mosques that are within loudspeaker distance to our boat. Needless to say, I sleep with ear plugs in every night.
This store in the mall focussed on selling hijabs, and only hijabs.
One day we took a private tour of much of the Northern side of the island, East of our location and up into the mountain to see the village of Sembalunlawang. Up in the hills, since we were there early (0900-1030) in the day, the clouds hadn’t rolled in yet and we had beautiful vistas and clean air.
At seaside, the daily temperature range is 31C-23C and up in the village, it was more like 21C-13C - great temperatures for growing strawberries in the strong sunlight. These are strawberry fields, and they tasted wonderful.
At one stop, our driver was eating his breakfast when a monkey darted out of the jungle and confronted him. The driver was trying to protect his food, but had his cell phone, wallet and car keys out in the open - a very bad idea. He left his breakfast and kept the other stuff - giving the monkey satisfaction.
Coming back from the mountains, we stopped off at a traditional village, where people are still living in the old ways - although with cell phones.
These boys were playing cards in the afternoon.
I’m still fascinated by the things I see people carrying on scooters, but I’m never quick enough to get a photo. Here’s a pretty common shot of a family of four heading somewhere.
For the most part, people stop at the traffic lights and remarkably, we’ve not seen any evidence of accidents.
It can take an hour or more by taxi to get anywhere, but having a metered cab for 6 hours still only costs about $40. As we drive into the big city, we’ve driven through the monkey forest about 5 times, seeing hundreds of monkeys lining the road like beggars, looking for handouts. Here they are at a roadside stop.
This is an out of sequence photo, but I’ve been meaning to put it in the blog. This is one of the many hundreds of squid boats that work the coast at night time, catching squid. They are typically brightly lit up, although they don’t display any legitimate navigation lights per se, and pose a real hazard to sailors navigating at night. We try to avoid travelling at night, for just that reason.
A few days before arriving in Lombok, our 8 year old Garmin Chart-plotter gave up, refusing to start. This has been our primary source of a GPS signal for the past 8 years. I ordered a new one on arrival, and it was delivered from Jakarta in 3 days - now that is service. It has now been installed and is working fine.
I don’t think I mentioned it yet, but the price of gasoline at the pumps is about $ 0.70 per litre, while diesel is $ 0.56 per litre. We can’t buy it at that price though, since its subsidized, and mostly pay $ 1.00 per litre for diesel.
One final thought, about bugs. Although there is the constant smell of burning grass or burning garbage (no such thing as municipal garbage collection or dumps), there is a noticeable lack of flying insects, no-see-ums or even mosquitoes. Although we don’t really go ashore at night, bugs were much more of a nuisance in Australia than they are here. They haven’t been a problem at all, yet.
To see previous log entries, just use the tabs at the top of this page.
SV Joana is once again listed for sale at this site with Sailboatlistings.com. I had to remove the link while we were in NZ and then again in Australia because the Custom's authorities demanded that the import tax be paid for any boat that was listed for sale. Our boat and home, is always "for sale", and we are always open to new "opportunities". The price is substantially below the actual built cost (over $500K for materials alone, not including any labour cost) in recognition of the fact that the hull and systems are getting older - although well maintained.
Countries Visited So Far with our boat, and detailed on these pages:
(Departed Canada: May 2009) (32 countries by boat so far)
Antigua: May 2011
Australia: November 2016 - July 2017
Bermuda: June - August 2009
Bonaire: February - April 2014
Bahamas: December 2009 - March 2010, December 2010 - February 2011
Barbados: March 2012
British Virgin Islands: May 2011
Colombia: October 2014 - December 2014
Cuba: March - May 2010
Curaçao: May 2014 - September 2014
Dominica: May 2011, April 2013
Dominican Republic: March - April 2011
Fiji: September/October 2015
French Polynesia (Marquesas, Tuamotos, Tahiti and the Society Islands): April-July 2015
Galapagos: March 2015
Grenada: June-November 2011
Guadeloupe: March 2013
Indonesia: July 2017 -
Martinique: March 2012, March 2013
New Zealand: November 2015 - November 2016
Niue: July/August 2015
Panama: December 2014 (San Blas Islands), (Portobello and Canal) January/February 2015
Puerto Rico: April 2011
St Lucia: May-June 2011, December 2011 - February 2012, December 2012 - February 2013
St Martin /Netherlands Antilles: May 2011
St Vincent and the Grenadines: June 2011, February 2012, December 2012, April-May 2013
Tobago: March-May 2012
Tonga: August 2015
Trinidad: May - December 2012, June - November 2013
USA: August - November 2009, June - November 2010
US Virgin Islands: May 2011
Venezuela: November 2013 - February 2014
Before we went cruising, we also "had a life" and did our fair share of visiting (or living in) other countries.
We've also been to a few other countries, but just not with our boat. (36 countries so far)
Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia Herzogevinia, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland), Vatican City.