The Wonderful West Kalimantan Rally starts!

We woke early on 1 July to the sound of small boats passing very close to us – everyone who went passed us seemed to want to get as near to the boat as possible to have a good look at us!
We needed to get ready quickly as this was the first day of the Wonderful West Kalimantan rally (and there was me thinking it started on 2 July!)

Getting too cosy with Yantara

While we were hurrying to get ready it seemed to us that we were getting very close to Yantara. It suddenly dawned on us that we were dragging – albeit very slowly! So despite being in rather a hurry to get to shore for the first rally welcome ceremony, we had to bring our anchor up. 

No wonder we were dragging anchor – albeit slowly!

Our usual routine is for me to be up forward raising the anchor and the skipper at the wheel and that’s exactly how it was that morning. 
I could feel the anchor coming up with what can only be described as reluctance. The reason for its sluggish behavior soon became apparent – the anchor was covered in a thick conglomeration of mud, twine, plastic, fishing net and line and goodness knows what else. 

This mess had to be cut away with a knife

With the anchor swinging precariously we took Bali Hai out into the centre of the river. The crew of Yantara nobly came to our assistance and after much cutting and shoving, the tangled, muddy mess was eventually cleared and we were able to re-anchor. 


We belatedly got to shore for the opening ceremony which took place in the grounds of the customs building. Before we got to the venue for the celebrations we were overwhelmed by the welcome we received from the local people and of course posed for (and took) lots of photos. 

Our “wheels” in Sambas
Photo time

The ceremony was kicked off by two very talented boys performing a cross between a martial art and a dance. 

The first cultural display of the rally.

After that six girls in bright cerise dresses performed a beautiful welcome dance which ended with another girl accompanied by two young men walking towards us and throwing rice over us. 

So beautiful…
…..So graceful

After the official welcome and a snack (and of course more photos!) we boarded a bus and were taken to a beautiful lily-filled lake where we were entertained in the holiday house of a local dignitary. 

Shakti’s skipper looks happy to be at the official welcome
Post welcome photo

We were served delicious fresh squeezed orange juice (Sambas is famous for its sweeter than sweet oranges) and had yet more photos taken!  

A beautiful lake was our next stop
….where enjoyed fresh juice – mmm those Sambas oranges!
Selfie time!
At the holiday house
Bali Hai’s skipper looking smart in his Indian kurta

Later we walked round the shore of the lake to a restaurant where we had lunch. 

Lunch is served
Dancing in the precincts of the local mosque

In the afternoon we had another display of local dancing in the precincts of a local mosque. This time we were obliged to join in which we all did with enthusiasm that kind of made up for the lack of skill!

Another great display

There was a wedding celebration happening very close by so we were dragged away from the dancing to meet the bride and groom who were dressed in elaborate wedding costumes and had endured hours and hours of – yes you’ve guessed it – photos with every wedding guest (even the uninvited ones). 

The band that played for the dancers
Photo time (again)

We were ushered to an open sided marquee where beautiful girls dressed in vibrant purple with bright orange hijabs (bridesmaids?) ushered us to the tables groaning with food – rice, chicken, fish, hot sambals and vegetables including corn on the cob. 

The bride and groom had to stand like this for HOURS!


Meanwhile we got to eat!!
More photos with wedding guests
Beautiful bridesmaids

Sad farewells

We arrived back at the anchorage a little after five and were greeted by a large crowd all wanting “selfie, selfies”.

Our dinghy shed (the police boat was moved for us). With welcome poster for the rally

Lots of curiosity on the part of the local people

It was a thrilling time for them and they were very excited to be able to take photos with us on board. 

The day isn’t over yet! Some visitors arrive

As the last rays of light disappeared we were alone again and able to enjoy the tranquility of the night, away from the cameras and the crowds. 

….and tranquility after a packed day!

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

2 thoughts on “The Wonderful West Kalimantan Rally starts!”

  1. So beautitiful in the unique natural way- no glamour ,love every bit of your posts, thanks for sharing with us all.🌺🌻


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