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?
Dear Stroller, I must apologize for my absence these last few months. I wish I could blame the patchy cell service in Thailand or the phone I lost in Burma. But honestly, I got lazily, got caught up in this privileged voyage and deserted you. I stopped writing with discipline and did it only when … More No, the Boat Didn’t Sink.
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 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.
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
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
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.