Sept. 28 - Kumai, Kalimantan, Borneo

Actually Kalimantan and Borneo are two different countries. Borneo belonging to Malaysia; Kalimantan is part of Indonesia.
Position: 02deg44.382S/111deg44.022E It's hot, muggy, and I'd like a beer....We've had to motor about 8 hours to get up river to the town of Kumai. The water is brown and depth is impossible to ascertain without a depth sounder. As we turned the last bend of the river and got a visual on the town, a jet roared overhead and a city of commercial boats, loading docks and a few wood mills greeted us. No wonder the orangatans are endangered. Tour guide operators buzzed around us in speed boats, obviously looking to score more business. We'll be taking a 2 day, 1 night tour with Ann & Chris of sv Silver Girl, and we're also looking at exploring the town a bit and topping off with diesel. There's cell coverage and internet, and an ATM is now available in town...progress, of sorts.
Pic: The huge concrete buildings make it look like a big city...but they're really 'swallow hotels' for a huge export: birds nests...for 'bird nest soup'.

Sept. 24 - Enroute to Borneo!

We've decided to go to the Orangatan Sanctuary at the Tanjung Puting National Park in Kalimantan, Borneo. This area covers about 1175 square miles and in a UNESCO BIOSPHERE PRESERVE. Departing Lombok, there are two lovely islands along the way to anchor at, each about 140-150 miles distance, breaking up the journey into three individual overnight passages. How convenient! The first anchorage was at Ra-As Island, position 07deg07minS/114deg30minE. This is an exceptionally well protected, beautiful spot. The second island was Bawean, at 05deg43.8minS/112deg40.2minE. Again, another beautiful place, but exposed to NW winds. Our routine has been to raise anchor at 0600 and get underway for a long day and night. We're in the Java Sea now; how exotic is that?! If there's enough wind, we sail; much of the time is spent motoring in winds less than 8 knots. Once again, currents are strong and course adjustments need to be made. Night cruising is challenging, with unmarked fishing buoys, multiple fishing boats of many descriptions, tug and barge tows, freighters, and other hazards to navigation. Many of the boats and floats do not use lights, and when they do, more often than not, it's a blinking red, blue and green light giving a strobe effect. Psychedelic. We're in company with two other boats, both Australian, Christine Ann, and Silver Girl. We've taken a lay day here in Bawean and are catching up on rest and chores and will leave tomorrow for the Kumai River, in Borneo. When I think Borneo, (haven't you been thinking "Borneo" today?) I get this National Geographic picture in my mind of wild things; we'll see what the reality is in a couple of days.

Sept 18 - A tour aound Bali

We hired a private driver for the day and toured part of the island. We didn't know much about Bali before our arrival, but used the internet and the Lonely Planet Guide, as well as talking to some locals here in Ubud, to determine what areas might be of interest. Leaving at 0900, our first stop was the Hindu Temple of Goa Gajah, the Elephant Caves. Built in the 9th century, there are carvings at the entrance that are thought to ward off evil spirits. Next was the 11th century temple of Gunung Kawi. There are ten shrines cut into the rock face, each about 20' high. After, we went to Tirtha Empul, the Holy Water Temple. The Balinese people go here for purification rites. Many legends exist about all these temples, all dating back more than a thousand years. We then took a break and had coffee at a local coffee plantation (Madu Pertiwi), where we learned a bit about the harvesting of the coffee bean and the spices they grow, as well as Luwak coffee (for those of you who don't know, this is coffee that is made from the poo of the civet, a nocturnal cat-like creature with an elongated nose like a mongoose or possum, that eats the coffee beans, and whose digestive juices work on the beans before excretion,then the beans are gathered, roasted and served....a cup of Luwak coffee is the most expensive brew around). Breaking for lunch, we had a wonderful view of Mt. Batur (1730 meters) and Mt. Agung (3142 meters), two nearby volcanoes in Penelokan, with a view of Batur Lake. We saved the big kahuna for after lunch, the Besakih Temple. This temple is the largest and most well known in Bali, and built on the slopes of Mt. Agung, a major volcano. A "donation" was asked (after the entry fee of $3.50USD for two), but we gave $5.00USD and a guide accompanied us and explained stuff that we wouldn't have been aware of attempting to cover the huge area ourselves. Twenty two temples are in the complex, and I think we saw most of them. Having worn shorts, I had to use their sarong and waist belt to be allowed in; Sue had long pants on, so she was allowed entry. We then drove thru areas of beautifully terraced rice paddies before finally returning to our bungalow at 1600 hours. Total cost for the day was $40.00USD, plus lunch. This has been a tiring day, but we feel we've seen just a bit of Bali and have a better understanding of the Hindu culture and history. We could easily spend more time exploring this beautiful island...but it's time to move on and return to Infini.

Sept 16 - Bali

We decided not to sail Infini to Bali, and instead, took a 30 minute plane ride there. (After the 1.5 hour ride to the 'new' airport!). Avoiding Kuta and the beaches, a taxi took us direct to Ubud, known as an artistic, hippy type area that is laid back and easier on the senses than most of the tourist areas here. The taxi ride took 1.5 hours, and the traffic was, to be kind, chaotic. Thousands of motorbikes drive the narrow streets, often coming right at you on what was thought to be a one way street. How no one collides defies my imagination. Riding a bicycle along the streets is almost suicidal. We found Ubud to be a massive dose of shops close next to each other, many selling the same things, but with one occasionally displaying some originality. We enjoyed browsing thru some of the shops, talking with the artists who made their wares and finding out where stuff came from and the significance of the shapes and carvings. Small restaurants and inns are everywhere, as are their prices. Goods and services are negotiable here, and just about no one pays list price for anything. Taxi drivers are looking for customers, as are the many spas here. We went to the Monkey Forest Sanctuary today, and walked the many paths to the temples there. Seeing the many offerings being places in front of residences and businesses was very different for us, the air smelled of flowers, a nice change from the smokey smell of the coast.

Sept 12 - Lombok touring

We hired a tour guide and driver to take us around and see a bit of Lombok, along with our Ozzie friends Chris and Ann from Silver Girl. We arranged pick-up at 0800 and first stop was Banyumulek, one of the main pottery making villages in Lombok. We toured one of the many factories where everything is done by hand, and the beautiful finished products are sent world wide. Next on the agenda was a stop at Sukarara, a weaving village where ikat and Sasak traditional cloth is displayed and sold. Some of the weavers work outside, and a quality piece will take from 1-3 months to weave! Blankets, sarongs and cloth are made and sold here. We had previously made a short stop in Mataram where our guide, Awan, bought a box of breakfast pastries for us. He usually guides the overnight mountain treks to the second highest volcano in Indonesia- Mount Rinjani, but a friend of his (and a new friend of ours) asked him to take us around and he was a wonderful guide, explaining everything in good English and answering our many questions. We headed south to Kuta, and stopped at Tanjung Aan, a beautiful small village on the water with fine, white sand beaches. Talk about laid back. After a late lunch we headed back and made a final stop at Rungkang Jangkuk to visit a wood craft and furniture making facility. What a treat for the eye! The workmanship and complexity of some of the pieces was amazing; good thing we had no room aboard for any of the larger pieces! We returned to our boats at about 5:15 P.M., after a nine hour tour of a small part of this beautiful island. During our drive we saw lots of mosques and temples, two weddings; tobacco and vegetable fields; lots of monkeys, rice paddies, and thousands of mopeds weaving in and out of the traffic. Everyone says that parts of Lombok are what Bali used to be like 20-30 years ago, before heavy tourism changed everything there. We certainly enjoyed and highly recommend our day trip; cost p/p: $15.00USD.(Please be aware that prices are always negotiable, and often change...) Awan's cell: 0819 0734 5121.
Pic: They notch the design with chisel, and cut and inlay the shell...this was a big shop with a lot of furniture.

Sept 9 - Gili Air

We moved Infini once again, tying her med moor style by anchoring and attaching a stern line to a beach anchor. It was quite a scene as we are now pidgeon holed in a tight space, but we left the boat unattended, and the owner of Medana Bay Marina, as well as several yachtie friends, will be able to look after Infini a lot easier now; she's directly in front of the bar/restaurant in 3 meters of water. We then took an early morning taxi to the harbour, where we boarded what's called a "public boat" for transport to Gili Air with Cris and Ann from Silver Girl. This small island has about 1000 residents, and no motor vehicles. There are horse drawn carts and bicycles, as well as walking, as the only modes of transportation. We're staying at Sejuk Cottages, a group of small thatched cottages on the NE side of the island. Walking paths cover the island, and we found ourselves walking along trails thru the villagers simple living accomodations. Much of the waterfront has small bars and restaurants which all serve pretty much the same food and drink. The east side of the island has some fair snorkeling; the coral was pretty dead, but the fish were nice. This morning Sue and I had a massage; we're definitely living the high life now...upscale at $12./hr! We're heading back to the boat tomorrow; we've already turned in the paperwork for our visa renewal, and have an appointment at Immigration this Tuesday. After, we're planning another road trip for a few days before the Sail Indonesia Rally event here at Medana Bay Marina scheduled for Sept. 20th.
Pic: We enjoyed a fresh pineapple 'popsicle' after our snorkel. Yum!

Sept 5 - Gili Lawang

Position: 08deg17.73minS/116deg41.41minE We had to motor sail most of the day before picking up a stiff NW wind of 16-20 knots, gusts to 28, and had a nice sail for three hours to the NE corner of Lombok. Gili Lawang is a small barrier island, and the anchorage here is good holding in mud. Fayaway, Christine Anne and Silver Girl are here alongside in this small lagoon area, and we're all heading out in the early morning for another long day's run to Medana Bay Marina ( on the NW corner of Lombok. Being a fairly new marina, there are no slips, but moorings and anchoring only.
Pic: Fayaway at our anchorage at Gili Lawang.

Sept 4 - Madang Island

08deg08.45minS/ 117deg22.42minE
Last night was our first overnight sail in Indonesia since Lembata. At various times we used our main, genoa, staysail, reacher, and pole. Winds were contrary to steady; from 00.0 knots to 26.4 knots. Seas were confused to following; current was strong and usually adverse. We motored just to get steerage in the current when there was little wind. Our speed was 3 knots (motor sail time) to 7.4 knots (hold on, Sally). We saw a few local fishing boats, but they presented no danger to the four boats in our small group, and we all stayed about 1-4 miles off the coast. We arrived Palau Madang (off the NE corner of Sumbawa) at 1130, less than 18 hours from departure from Telok Batu Montjo, which is located on the NW corner of Komodo Island. We'll have a good rest tonight and head out to Lombok in the morning.
Pic: Silver Girl was the only boat with us at Batu Montjo off Komodo Is.