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 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
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.
“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