Adventures

I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

P.S. All material on this blog, words and photos alike, are copyrighted by me. Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. If you decide that this material is worth re-publishing, please give me credit and lots and lots of money.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

SE ASIA (YEW)

HELLO FROM SOUTH EAST ASIA!!!

It is taking quite a while for me to wrap my mind around the fact that we have actually sailed to Indonesia. There could be a few explanations as to why my mind is such a whirl at the moment, ranging from the fact that I am rather sleep deprived to the fact that I am already a few Bintangs deep.

Yes, we arrived in Saumlaki this morning after a three day passage from Darwin. The first day sailing through the Van Diemen gulf was easy breezy - in fact we motored over glassy water for the better part of the day. When we left Australian waters the next night, however, the conditions changed. For the next 36 hours we had 2+ meter seas right on the beam and short choppy wind waves that threw Rutea on her side every once in a while. For his first passage Kyle did great. He suffered sea-sickness a little more severely than the rest of us, but still had a positive attitude and was able to laugh off losing his dinner. Fortunately the passage was short and we are now anchored in a beautiful, calm anchorage.

We dropped the hook at 8AM and had a nice breakfast while we waited for customs to come visit the boat and check us in. While the water in the anchorage is not the crystal clear blue I have been dreaming of, Saumlaki is a big, deep water port and I didn't exactly expect pristine waters here. After a few hours of waiting, seven customs officials arrived by boat and boarded Rutea. They were very polite and good humored while we arranged our boat papers. They were most impressed by Dad's boat seal, which prints our boat info on a golden star. They all watched with fascination every time he stamped a paper. Very official, very official.

After being checked in we were finally allowed to go on shore. From the anchorage you can see a bustling little town with markets, churches, mosques, houses and shops. We were excited to go in and check it out. This is my first time in Asia and I had no idea what to expect - although to be fair Saumlaki is not exactly a stereo-typical city to enter for one's first time in Asia.

We tied up the dinghy at the customs dock along with a bunch of other yachties. Everybody was discussing the passage across from Darwin and the general consensus was, "Could have been better, but could have been a lot worse, too." Upon arrival at the customs office we had to do more check in stuff, and I hung around for a while after and chatted with two lovely young women who work with the Sail Indonesia Rally (the rally we sailed here with). They taught me a few phrases in Indonesian and laughed hysterically when I attempted sentences, but all with good intent. They advised me to order Ikan Kuah Kuning, which I did later and it was delicious.

But first we had to get to the recommended restaurant. Saumlaki is a relatively small town with a few main streets, but Kyle and I had a most eventful walk through town. First of all we were trying to take in all the sights, sounds and smells. I wanted to smile at everybody as they openly gawked at me. I don't think they get many (white) tourists here. Along with saying "alo!" to everybody who greeted me and avoiding in falling into open trenches in the street was the art of not getting hit by a car or motorbike. Fortunately everybody who passed us honked, so we knew they were there (for better or for worse).

People stopped Kyle and me on the street and asked to take pictures with us. People were incredibly friendly, putting their arms around our shoulders and laughing with us. A few people were a little more than friendly, following us uncomfortably close for an uncomfortably long time before realizing that no, we did not need their services. After a few wrong turns Kyle and I made it to the restaurant where all the yachties were having lunch and we were treated to giant, cold Bintang beers ($4) and big plates of delicious food. Yes, Indonesia, I think we will get along famously.

After lunch Kyle and I went walking again and due to the stares and smiles I was getting I leaned into Kyle and said, "Hey, um, maybe, we are going to be married sometimes, ok?" "Yea, sure, good idea. Whatever is easiest for you." He, being the gentleman he is, replied.

Just then we noticed Mom and Dad in a cell store, so we went in to see what they were up to. We started chatting with the people working in the store (more of a wooden shack with a desk in it). Another guy asked for a picture with us. Then one of the girls working in the store walked up to Kyle. "You are very handsome," she said. "Can we take picture?" Once again, Kyle being the gentleman he is obliged and the picture was taken. "Ok, now we take one where I give you a kiss!" The girl told Kyle. "Ummm huh?" Kyle asked, only slightly panicked. "Kyle, she wants a picture with her kissing you," I said to clarify, trying my very hardest not to laugh. "Oh, um, this is my wife!" Kyle said to the girl as he grabbed me and pulled me next to him. The girl immediately started apologizing to him and me but I told her I had absolutely no problem with it, and it was up to Kyle. She backed off anyway and after saying our goodbyes Kyle and I walked out of the store howling with laughter. We both thought it was hilarious that not ten minutes before I asked if we could be "married" (sometimes) to make certain situations less awkward, but he was first to pull the card! Gotta love it.

Today was our first day in Asia. We have a three month visa for Indonesia, about three thousand miles to sail in that time, waves to surf, hikes to hike, reefs to dive, and all sorts of other cool things. Not to mention the fact that the Sail Indonesia has almost every day planned with some sort of dance festival here or traditional feast there. I have a feeling our time here is going to go very fast.
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At 7/30/2013 1:10 AM (utc) Rutea's position was 07°58.53'S 131°17.30'E

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