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
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
When you sleep on a sailboat’s deck, the anchorage sets the alarm clock. This morning, it’s monkey-chatter and tumbling rocks that wakes me. I sit up to a game of push the primate off the cliff. Inspired by the clamber, I head for the back of the boat where a paddle board, kayak, and two … More A Run without Google Maps
23 sailors pile into a rusty bus fit for 20. Lembata, Indonesia is not a tourist destination, but here we are, setting out on a day-tour with no idea of the destinations but well aware that bomb-fishing traumatizes coral reefs and mountain roads are volcanic, and not in a, wow, let’s try and climb them, … More Home Brew and a Bus of Lab-Rats
I step on stage and look out at 2000-plus Indonesians celebrating their Independence Day. A line of women and men, a halo of seashells and feathers on their head, wave me over and I search for an escape route or a translator. With neither in sight, the only option is to link fingers with callused … More Thank You, Indonesia
We sail away from the trash rivers of Alor in search of coral reefs, white sand, and water that won’t give you fungus. Here, I can take a breath and not choke on rotting fish, diesel or fermented fruit. The last three days, parked in Kalabahi, a “city” with a water catchment functioning as the … More A Sand Island called Kroko, I think.
Wini, Indonesia, is one of those towns you don’t stop at unless you have family there. The beach is pebbly, the water is too croc-infested to swim, the main street isn’t equipped to sell you much more than what grows in a backyard, and even though it’s a sleepy place, the Call to Prayer wakes … More Mountain Men and a Town Called Wini.
“Don’t dangle those feet too long,” says the captain. I pull my knees to my chest and look down. I can’t see any crocodiles or trails of bubbles, but you’ll never see the crocodile that kills you. Well, that’s what the leather-skinned fisherman from Darwin told me. When sailing southern Indonesia, it’s not just a … More My first day on land