Heavy hearts and a new bolt hole

Our hearts were a little heavy when the river trip to see Orangutans in the Tanjung Puting National Park was nearing completion as it meant that not only was this special trip finished but also our daughter’s visit was drawing to an end. 

Our last night on the Klotok

We had one more night in the Hotel Grand Kepubung to enjoy and in the time we had left we had a massage, swam in the pool and had a last dinner together. 

A refreshing swim in the hotel pool

And went shopping!

Hats, hats, hats. Anyone want a hat?
Curious shop. Guns one side…..
…guitar and ukuleles on the other
Pretty Dayak architecture on the way home

All too soon it was time to leave for the airport where we would be parting ways – our friends and ourselves back to Bali Hai and Yantara and our daughter off to England to visit family and friends and do some European travel before going back to India in October. 

Saying goodbye is so hard
Last glimpse of our daughter

We were glad of the company back to Belitung via Jakarta and having boat visitors for the next week or so. 
We returned to find our boats in tip top condition with everything working well and totally shipshape. Captain Ringgo and Captain Jack had both done a great job. 

Captain Ringgo with his Kumai t-shirt courtesy of the Yantaras
A full moon welcomed us back to the boat

As soon as we were settled we made a trip to the market to pick up supplies for the next few days and then joined our friends Jackie and Lucky in having a relaxing time away from the rat race (whoops only in their case!)

Great market produce

Jackie honed her hairdressing skills on Capt’n Birdseye’s ever decreasing pate. Hmm maybe more practice is required and she should concentrate on her very successful business instead! Lucky valiantly stepped in to “clean up” her efforts and shaved the Capt’n’s head. Then he shaved his own head and his beard off. Suspecting someone would start on me next I hid. 

Hair cut time – don’t let Jackie loose with the hair trimmer
Complete shave for Lucky. Yikes me next?!

We decided to take Jackie and Lucky for a bit of a sail so we headed for the southern end of Pulau Tanduk just a few hours sail away from Belitung. 

Settling in for a sail

“There will be lots of lovely white sand beaches there where we can swim and snorkel,” Capt’n Birds Eye promised. 

Looking forward to those lovely beaches….

Well to be fair there should have been – every other island we have visited recently has had white sand beaches but sadly there was only muddy mangroves fringing this and its neighboring islands. 

So calm

However, it gave Jackie and Lucky time to read books and enjoy doing very little and it was interesting to explore the mangrove fringed inlets on our dinghies. 

Exploring the mangroves

It was also good to discover that it was a great all weather anchorage and a useful bolt hole to know about. 

Timber for a new fishing hut
Relaxing with a book

We visited some fishermen and were invited on to their fishing platform. From our dinghies we admired at close quarters their majestic looking boats that the Yantaras have dubbed “flying boats”.

Getting close up to a “flying boat”
The fishing platform
The ladder was quite steep
The walkway was a little rickety
But the fishermen were so pleased to see us.
Lots of photos were taken
Bali Hai looking good
It was was a beautiful evening
It was Jackie’s birthday the day before they were leaving and we had a lovely birthday celebration at Crabby Hut, our new favourite eating place in Belitung. 

Happy birthday Jackie
It is always great to have boat visitors but especially good when they come to somewhere out of the way and not a normal tourist destination. I think this is what makes the difference between holiday makers and travellers and we look forward to their promised next visit. 

Cake and candles

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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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