Bitung and Manado - 9th to 21st August
Once again, the Sail Indonesia
rally lot had directed us to an anchorage at a fishing port in the middle of
another city. We anchored in 27
metres of water and watched a constant supply of plastic bags float past Astra (Welcome to
We spent far too long moored in
Bitung waiting for the events of the rally and it seemed that most nights were
spent drinking with the crew from the two yachts of Layaleeta and Felicity. On the 10th August, 10 of us
went for dinner at a local dive resort to celebrate a birthday of one of the
crew from Layaleeta (Damo).
On the 11th, Sally, Charlie, Ollie and Liam took a day trip to
a very large lake in
On the 12th, Sally and Jeremy were invited for lunch at the Governors house. The Sail Bunaken event was kicked off with yet more speeches and traditional dancing, something that everyone in the rally was now sick and tired of. Loz, a crazy South African lady seemed to get herself lost on many occasions throughout our time here in Bitung. One night in particular, we found her on one of the Indonesian Defence vessels.
On the 13th, Sally and Jeremy along with Loz and Lachy (Felicity) and Les and Sky (Layaleeta) spent the day on a boat trip snorkelling and the evening on an island close to Bitung. Oli, Charlie and Liam went to a National Park in search of monkeys along with most of the rally participants and during the evening, with the parents away, the boys entertained the young bunch from Layaleeta and got suitably drunk.
Friday the 14th was for
the most part spent servicing the winches on the yacht (Oli and Jeremy) and
polishing the stainless steel (Sally and Liam). For the next few days Charlie was ill
with a stomach bug and we didn’t see much of him. During that evening, Sail Bunaken had
organised a large event ashore for the rally participants and locals. There was the usual amount of speeches
and traditional dancing which was followed by a buffet and free beer throughout
the evening. It was a very
entertaining evening and it seemed that everyone from the rally was up for a
Oli and Liam swapped traditional clothes with the locals and everyone got up on stage to dance. After dancing the night away at the outside disco overlooking the bay, Sally, Loz and Lachy went for a ride in the tender to find the British Military ship. They were soon ushered away by the local police much to their amusement.
Sunday the 16th was the
day of the World Record dive attempt over in
There was a great deal of
excitement from all the Indonesian divers as they made their way out to the dive
site a couple of hundred metres offshore.
There were around 2800 divers in the water with only 30 foreigners taking
part in the dive. Jeremy, Sally and
Oli descended with all the divers to 14 metres and unfortunately Liam was unable
to dive due to the lack of diving equipment. However, much to his excitement, Paul
from GiddyUp was unable to equalise
and gave his equipment to Liam where he joined us in the VIP section in front of
all the other 2800 divers. After a
30 minute dive, everyone surfaced and started cheering and singing. This was a spectacular site to see so
many divers in the water at once and something that seemed pretty well organised
(for once in
The boys seemed to find a pretty decent spot for snorkelling during our time in Bitung as they went back to this spot several times with the crew from Layaleeta. After a week of sitting idle in the dirty fishing port in Bitung, a skippers meeting was held on Astra between the three yachts (Astra, Felicity and Layaleeta) to decide the sailing schedule for the next few weeks. As per usual, due to the influence of the other two yachts, this skippers meeting turned into a bit of a drinking session with not a lot decided!