The best way to explore Bali is to straddle a stranger on the back of a moped. For a week I sweated from every crease and crack in the back seat of taxis’ as they slothed across the island. When a grandma balancing a basket of flowers on her head overtook me, I broke the … More Thrills and Spills in Bali
Tomorrow we sail into Bali, and for the next three weeks, there’ll be no protocols or transport negotiations just to step ashore. I will slip my feet into sandy running shoes, tuck a roll of cash into the secret pocket in the lining of my shorts, and step, yes step, off the catamaran and run … More Bali, nirvana or neurosis?
Komodo National Park, famous for bacteria breathing dragons and coral reef that blossoms like grandma’s front garden, is located halfway across the Indonesian archipelago. We sailed over 1000 miles to get here from Australia and during that two-month voyage, I’ve rendezvoused with whale sharks, manta rays, tribal chiefs, local mafia, turtles, asylum seekers, dolphins, monkeys … More Komodo Dragon: Domesticated or Fierce?
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
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
When home is a sailboat, the 115 Hp dingy becomes the kid’s school bus, and today, anchored in a bay just outside Maumere Indonesia, at Sea World Resort, our classroom is five star. I land on shore, backpack heavy with lesson plans, swimmers, stationary, a radio, textbooks, and a laptop, and walk barefoot towards the … More School of the Sea