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
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
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