A couple of days after visiting our 2015 Sail2Indonesia rally friend from S/VThalassi and his wife in Dabo on Pulau Singkep, we returned to the island to check on the progress of the repair to Yantara’s (our cruising buddies) anchor winch.
We had previously dropped it off at the engineering workshop recommended by our friend. He had found it through his now wife who had helped him when he limped back to Penuba with a stricken engine in 2015. The engineer had done amazing work then, so we had high hopes that the anchor winch would be restored to its former power and strength.
We were not disappointed. When the anchor winch was picked up it had been completely stripped down, cleaned and a new part had been fabricated. It worked brilliantly!
While in Dabo we visited the market and were stuck by how clean and tidy it was. In fact, we had found that in general, Indonesia had made real strides in the management of waste. We saw fewer plastic bags and takeaway food containers in the water than in 2015 and much less rubbish than we have seen around Langkawi and parts of Thailand.
Outside the markets there were several groups of bins, each labelled for specific items e.g. Bottles, cans, plastic and paper. It is extremely gratifying to see this level of progress but there is a long way to go yet.
The shopping in Dabo is great – lots of shops selling all kinds of things from oil, to hardware stuff, and fabrics to beer, pasta, and other grocery items.
Best of all you can buy delicious white bread – made on the premises – which tastes excellent and has a wonderful texture!
After a beachside lunch we revisited a gorgeous little spot that we had discovered during our visit in the 2015 rally – strangely, our friend had not discovered it even though it was only a couple of beaches away from where he and his wife live.
A group of only three or four beachside cottages, lovingly built by “Johnny” make up this tiny holiday hideaway. The best is a circular stone hut built like a fortress and surrounded by water. You reach it via a slightly rickety (but in good repair) timber walkway from the beach. It is like something out of a fairy tale and one night I intend to sleep there and listen to the waves breaking on its ramparts
We were welcomed warmly by Johnny and his wife and despite the fact they speak little English, made us tea and coffee and chatted to us shyly as we drank.
If any one is interested in staying in this dear little house here is John’s (Jhon) telephone number.
We were dropped off at our yachts by the pong pong driver although we had been a little nervous as we didn’t have the language skills to request this. However, as our friend had said, “don’t worry, they will know who you are and where to take you, everyone around here knows who you are!”
As he approached our boat he killed the engine and brought it alongside expertly. Then as he left he used an oar and sculled away from our yacht to avoid hitting our topsides. Very expertly done!
Before we left Penuba we loaded up with water and fuel from one of the Main Street shops in Penuba that sell a bit of everything.
Although we have a water maker we decided it would a good idea to set off with a full complement in case the conditions weren’t favourable to make water.
It was sad to leave Penuba – it had been so good to catch up with our friend and to meet his wife and family but time was marching on and we had more places to see and other adventures to experience!