Itâ€™s been along time since our last post so hereâ€™s a bit of an update. We arrived in Bali towards the end of March, looking forward to pampering ourselves in a bit of luxury for a change. The marina is at the end of a long causeway, opposite the fishing harbour in Benoa and about 15 minutes to either Kuta or Sanur. I was sorely disappointed having spent 6 weeks fantasizing about hot showers and spas however w e soon got sorted out with a motorcycle and began enjoying Bali. We spent many happy evenings with an old friend of Neilâ€™s from Balikpapan, Fuji and his wife Nati who have the TKS bar in Sanur. During our stay several other friends from Balik turned up to visit Fuji so it was a bit of a reunion for Neil â€“ good to see you Paul, Russell and Gerry!
One of the reasons for our long stay in Bali was to fly to Perth to see Shirley and Jim and catch up with Maya who came over from NZ. It was good to all get together again and, after Shirleyâ€™s broken ribs and ensuing complications, it was wonderful to see her and Jim looking so well. One of the highlights of our visit was a picnic in a park overlooking the Swan River in Clairmont. The weather was bright and crisp and perfect, we had buckets of food and some nice wine and great company. We also caught up with some old friends, caught up with some shopping and, as Maya would tell you, spent far too many mornings looking at boat parts!
Before leaving for Perth we sailed across to the â€œSouthernâ€ Gili Isles in SW Lombok. The islands are beautiful but are steep to and after three attempts to find an anchorage, we sailed into the harbour at Lembar on our first night. The next morning we were met by the crooked Harbour Master and extorted of 150,000 Rp â€“ a long story but one to be avoided if any of you are thinking of sailing around Lombok!! We finally found an anchorage near Desert Point and spent the last couple of days pottering around the islands in the dinghy. The small fishing settlements on the lee sides of the islands are so colourful with the aquamarine sea, white sand, blue sky, lush green trees and brightly painted boats drawn up on the sand.
Once we finally left Bali we were bound for Lombok again, this time to the â€œNorthernâ€ Gili Isles on the NW corner. Paul and Karen came with us on the boat as far as Pulau Lembongan, Paul was hoping to catch some fish but drowned his sorrows in Bintang. We had a great last night with Fuji and Nati and other friends, unfortunately I cannot attach photos to this post right now which is probably a good thing!! Watch out guys â€“ maybe next time. Leaving Lembongan we sailed across to Lombok and anchored off Gili Aer â€“ what a fun place! I had a dive but even the snorkeling was fantastic, the water was crystal clear and we saw a huge variety of fish and heaps of turtles. Neil caught a few waves on the break just off the southern beach and I made great inroads in sitting on and paddling a surf board (not as easy as it sounds)!
We left Gili Aer on 2nd May and began our passage east through Lombok, Sumbawa, Komodo/ Rinca and Flores to Kupang where will leave Indonesia and sail across to Darwin. As with all the best plans . . . the water pump on the engine broke on the first day. Luckily we had passed the steep north coast of Lombok and a favorable current allowed us to drift close to a sheltered spot where we could anchor. Our ever faithful dinghy towed a rather woeful Distant Drummer to Gili Lawan on the NE corner of Lombok where we now reside. This is a remote spot at the foot of Gunung Rinjani, the tallest mountain in Indonesia. W e are over 40km by motorbike and then 75km packed in a hot overcrowded minibus from the internet (hence no time for photos in this blog). After two days and a few frantic phone calls we are now hopeful of getting a new pump. Bob â€“ thanks a million for your help in tracking it down in Fremantle and helping us to get it sent out to this remote corner.
Ah well . . better begin the trek back. Ciao for now.