A month ago, Lombok was hit with two deadly earthquakes and barraged by aftershocks that crumbled houses and destroyed schools. Tourism halted and the locals were left to rebuild their island without aid from their biggest industry-tourism. With the boat’s guest room invaded by 140 kg of rice, 200 diapers, 15 mosquito coils, two empty … More Elephants and Earthquakes
The Sumbawa Government, in the last year, has discovered 50 semi-permanent whale sharks befriending fisherman in Saleh Bay. Local squid boats, which look more like giant daddy-longlegs spiders than trawlers, attract the sharks by their bulging halls. Nestle between Bali and Flores, Sumbawa Island is that forgotten weatherboard house on a street of flashy mansions. … More In Search of Whale Sharks
The Buffalo Racing World series attracts the biggest and fastest beasts from rice paddies across the island of Sumbawa. Races don’t take place on groomed oval tracks or dirt straights, but in swampy fields, the natural habitats for these farming giants. Sumbawa, unlike its near neighbors Bali and Lombok, isn’t advertised as a travel destination … More Racing Buffalo: Don’t Try this at Home.
Dear Readers, Since last we spoke, I’ve sailed past 10,000 islands, stopped in at a handful and traveled by train, bicycle, plane, bus, donkey, moped, jeep, horse, Segway and elephant across the Indonesian Archipelago. My neglect for you is not due to contracting some rare tropical disease that seized me with night sweats and screams … More Swallowed by Indonesia
On sail day, even if the trip is an hour, I toss the fishing lewer, a purple squid as long as my forearm, off the back of our 75ft catamaran, and sing my fish song. Here, big fishie, come for a snack There’s a squid you might like (mind the barb in its back). I … More The Catch of my Life
I stand on the side of the road, thumb out, in search of a lift to the Bima market. Before the sweat has started streaming, a took-took putters to a stop and the driver, barely a teenager, waves me over. The rusted frame, splintered seat and wires dangling from the boom box give me 50/50 … More Bima Market, Taste Testing not Recommended
Having a washing machine on a sailboat is a luxury. Clothes dry on the line/railing and in Indonesia, the heat and salty breeze crisps underwear in an hour. The risk of bras flying overboard to be worn by body-conscious sea turtles is high, but the view is worth the occasional garment and peg loss. Sooty … More Komodo Island and Dropping Knickers