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
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?
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
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.