It was a wonderful feeling being in Indonesia again after 18 months of cruising round Malaysian, Thai and Indian territorial waters.
We were helped into Nongsa Point Marina on Batam Island by the charming staff and our fellow yachties from S/V Yantara and Charon (we hadn’t seen the crew from Charon for a few months so it was great to see them again).
As we tied up, the skies opened and we all made a dash for cover. One of the marina staff took our papers for check in which was amazing – no getting ourselves to customs and immigration, we just sat on the boat enjoying a GOA (gin on arrival)!
That evening we had dinner in the bar (smoky and loud) and had the pleasure of meeting Captain Warren Blake – long-time sailor, adventurer, treasure hunter and raconteur and cousin of NZ yachting legend, Sir Peter Blake.
Having been forewarned of our arrival by the Captain of Charon, he had brought charts and information to share with us and was able to give us advice about our proposed route to Sambas and answer our many questions. Such a marvellous opportunity as our cruising guides included almost nothing about West Kalimantan and the usual advice about safe anchorages and places of interest that we have depended on up until now.
We only stayed three nights at the marina as we were keen to get going in order to be in Borneo in time to meet our daughter who was flying in from India to Pontianak, in West Kalimantan, Borneo.
While we were at the marina we took the opportunity to have a diver take a look at our prop shaft and give it a good scrape to get the many barnacles off that had attached themselves since we last had Bali Hai out of the water.
When the diver surfaced he told us that as well as a thick crop of barnacles he had found a whole heap of rope, twine and fishing net wound round the prop.
While at the marina it was very enjoyable to meet Lea Pennicott and her husband Keith from S/V Tientos at long last. Lea and I had first “met” on the Women who Sail Australia/SE Asia sites on Facebook around two years ago. It was great to put a face to the name at long last and we enjoyed a lovely chat on the foredeck of S/V Tientos (for those of you who have read his books, this boat was once owned by Alan Lucas).
On our last night we had a delicious meal at a Chinese seafood restaurant called Reziki. Very highly recommended for crabs, fish and other seafood!
We were a little shocked at the price of our stay at Nongsa Point Marina. The tariff for a casual stay is on a par with the outrageous Singapore prices although if you stay any length of time you can negotiate a more reasonable price. However, the facilities and services are good, and we especially appreciated the easy checking-in process.