On the way again

Things can change so quickly even when things seem quite dire. One moment our yacht Bali Hai was crippled with a busted gearbox and six days later later a replacement had been sourced, collected and installed.  We had booked flights over the Internet to Brisbane, Australia, our daughter had driven four hours to Pontianak, took a flight to Jakarta, then on to Singapore and from Singapore to Brisbane to collect the spare. Then she did it all in reverse (thankfully without any problems from Indonesian customs, with no duty to pay, although when she transited through Kuching, Malaysia, the customs people there tried unsuccessfully to charge her duty).

Our daughter safely back from Australia

The installation of Bali Hai’s old but still working gearbox was a success. Miraculously the skipper and Captain Yantara had managed to install it in the course of a morning and it was, as far as we could tell, working perfectly. 

The two amigos had also skillfully managed to get Yantara’s anchor winch working again so we were excited to be on the move once more and rejoin the Wonderful West Kalimantan Rally at its final stop in Ketapang. 

We decided to have a short shakedown trip to Pulau Lemukutan (where the rally boats had left from to the next rally stop) to see if everything was working fine. From there we would head for the mouth of Pontianak River where we would stay over night, and the next day on to another river mouth at Tanjung Padang Tikar. We would then sail to Pulau Genting and from there on to Ketapang. 

There were loads of these fishing huts in the anchorage at Pulau Lemukutan

We arrived at Pulau Lemukutan at about 10.30 am after an easy trip. Miraculously the gearbox behaved perfectly so we were all very relieved. 
There is a small village at the anchorage which the rally had visited just a week before. The inhabitants seemed very happy to see us again and were very welcoming. 

Thinking we might need to book we looked for somewhere to eat that evening but the warungs said they had no fish. Then a lovely lady called Nita took us to a house in the village that had a huge ice chest in a covered courtyard out the back. We were invited to choose a fish and it was arranged that our meal would be prepared by the owner of the ice chest and served at Anita’s tiny coffee shop st 6.30 that night. 

Raining cats and dogs
We were able to buy some diesel here

After sheltering from a huge tropical downpour we went back to Bali Hai for a swim and a rest before dinner. 
So lovely to see the kids playing badminton on the street

It was a great dinner.
Lots of people came to watch us eat

The next day was our daughter’s birthday so it was a day of celebration but also a day of travel as we were determined to get to Ketapang for the last rally stop. That night we had a birthday dinner in the mouth of the Pontianak river poised for an early get away the next morning. Just a week earlier one of the rally boats had their outboard stolen although they were anchored further up the river where there was a lot of activity and people. We were still vigilant but felt confident that we were unlikely to revive any unwelcome visitors in the dead of night. 

Early morning on Lemukutan Island

Birthday candles

The marine police came to check we were OK
That night we were treated to a really spectacular sunset – we couldn’t have organised a better birthday gift if we had tried! 

A perfect birthday sunset

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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.

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