It was the last day of the Bengkayang/Singkawang leg of the Wonderful West Kalimantan yacht rally and the morning got off to a great start with the grand opening of the biggest mango we have ever seen.
Thebiggest mango we've ever seen!
It was not only the biggest but the juiciest most delicious mango we had tasted for a long time. Hannah had picked it at a a fruit farm in Sambas and it weighed in at more than two kilos!
It tasted amazing too
After breakfast we took our dinghies into the shore and our guides Dewi and Iwan took us into Singkawang.
The name Singkawang is derived from the Hakka Chinese name San Khew Jong which roughly translated means "a town in hills nearby to the sea and estuary."
Inside the Tri Dharma Bumi Raya temple
Around 70 per cent of the population is of Chinese descent and it has so many temples that it is known as the City of a Thousand Temples. One of the most important (especially at Chinese New Year I was told to a Chinese man visiting from Jakarta) is the Tri Dharma Bumi Raya temple.
Found on the outside wall of the Tri Dharma Bumi Raya temple
Rolls of incense for offerings
The man I was chatting to said he was a Catholic but he had brought his wife, Mother-in-Law and his three boys to pay their respects as they were on holiday in the area. The two smallest boys (twins) were very excited but a little uncertain how to behave and what to do.
A little uncertain but trying their best
A huge rainstorm suddenly hit as we looked round the temple so we moved along to a brand new shopping mall to restock for the next leg of the journey.
Making offerings at the temple
After shopping we had a good meal in a large Chinese restaurant in the shopping mall. The food was great but as we ate we were obliged to listen to an older man singing karaoke. It seemed that he had thrown a birthday party for his grandson and the deal was he could sing Karaoke!
Having a good old sing!
The following morning we were scheduled to travel to Lemukutan Island a lovely spot a couple of hours off the coast where there was good snorkeling. The plan was to anchor there for the night and from there travel over the following days to the next rally stop, Sukadana.
Yantara and Bali Hai had offered to take some of our guides and others helping with our visit to the island so we left after the other three boats on the rally. When no one arrived at the appointed time we waited for a while before phoning up to find whether they were on their way or not. It turned out that they thought we had left without them. So we pulled our anchors up to go but our boat had other ideas!
Our anchor came up fine but when Jonathan moved the gear lever forward to move off he couldn't get the gears to engage. Suddenly there was a loud clunk and we started to move off. The gearbox had been clunking a little lately but never quite as badly as on this occasion.
Feeling a bit unnerved we started off for Lemukutan Island. After about three miles we stopped to put some oil in to gear box (why you might ask but it seemed a good idea at the time). When we restarted the engine guess what? We couldn't get it into gear. Catastrophe! Whatever we tried the forward gear just wouldn't engage. No snorkeling for us!
Yantara who were travelling with us, stood by while we tried everything to get the boat moving in a forwards direction but no joy. The gearbox was well and truly busted, broken, inoperative, rooted!
Yantara left to go to Lemukutan Island with a promise of returning later and the three of us on Bali Hai started on the slow trip back to the anchorage- in reverse!
It felt quite bizarre moving along in a sailing yacht backwards but with no wind to speak of we had no option.
A hour later and we were safely anchored almost in the same spot we had left.
At least we had found out why we had taken on water a few days earlier when the PSS unit failed just before arriving at the anchorage. The PSS unit is basically a set of bellows which are compressed making the seal tight and thereby preventing water from coming in. Because the forward gear was failing to engage properly causing it to "clunk" when it finally engaged, the ensuing shock caused the stainless steel collar on the PSS unit to move forward, and the bellows to lose compression.
Knowing this was no compensation for the fact that we were stuck until we could find a replacement gearbox. Sadly it looked like this could be the end of the Wonderful West Kalimantan Rally for us.