Anchor winch repair and the best bread

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. 

The dock at Dabo

Important discussions on the health of Yantara’s 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. 

It was getting a good clean

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. 

A bin for every type of waste

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.  

A fabric store

Best of all you can buy delicious white bread – made on the premises – which tastes excellent and has a wonderful texture! 

Wonderful bread in Dabo

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. 

Beachside lunch

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   

A romantic get away

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. 

The walkway was getting a bit of an upgrade
Johnny and his wife – this is the name of the beach

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!”

To avoid damaging our topsides our pong pong driver used a long paddle to move away from our boat

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. 

The shop that sells 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. 

We loaded the water using borrowed water carriers
Yantara’s first mate at the back of the shop where we bought the 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!

A delivery in progress at a nearby store

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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 “Anchor winch repair and the best bread”

  1. Hi Dot, we’ve been spending almost four weeks in Skopelos. Jackie reminded me she went there with you and almost missed her flight back in the days of no mobiles, Internet, credit cards etc!
    Thought of you today when the hydrofoil from Skopelos to Skiathos was cancelled owing to stormy conditions. Luckily we were able to drive to another side of the island to pick up a larger boat, which could cope with the rough seas, a mere snip compared to what you’ve had to deal with.
    Been catching up on your blog while on holiday and made a comment on a previous entry, not sure how these things work and whether you get back-dated comments.
    Pleased to say we are now in departure longe at Skiathos.
    Happy sailing! Love Sally xx


    1. Hi Sally, many apologies for not replying to your last comment- it’s on my list of things to do!! How fabulous to spend four weeks in Skopelos. Shame the weather wasn’t the greatest though. I can’t remember what happened with Jackie’s flight – maybe she left after I did? Travelling was a lot wilder then! Our parents would probably receive one postcard after we got back whereas Hannah messages me every day to tell me how things are (she is in Fez at the moment!) Anyway glad you’re all set for getting your flight now – modern technology is amazing when things go wrong. Thanks for reading my blog – it’s so good to know someone out there is! By the way, we are booked to come back to U.K. For my nephew’s wedding in June. I am working on a trip to Italy and Greece afterwards. Hannah was in Greece in September and the photos made me homesick for the place!! Perhaps we could meet in Skopelos?! Lots of love to you both x


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