Sunday 3rd October
Kumai town on the river
Friday 1st October 2010 - Towards Kumai Kalimantan
Left at first light with no wind as usual. V.
uncomfortable swell for the first couple of hours until we cleared the
passage between Bali and Lombok. 0910hrs set cruising chute really great
sailing making 8 knots. 1200 dropped chute as wind gone - motoring again.
1800 wind on starboard quarter stopped engine. Prepared confit du canard
with garlic mash potatoes and thin French beans -yum! Passed a lot of squid
& fishing boats with their rafts during the night.
Position 6:56'.30s 114:41'.02e
Saturday 2nd October 2, 2010
0430hrs called on deck as ship very close and not on AIS.
He was travelling at about the same heading and speed as us but getting
closer all the time. Decided to stop the boat and let the ship pass, of
course it started to pour with rain and blow 30 knots as a squall suddenly
hit us! Thankfully we had already furled all sail in order to let the ship
pass, but, the ship then started to drift down on us, tried calling him on
the radio but no answer, so started the engine and motored away from him, we
ended up making a detour of some 4 miles before we felt we were clear of him,
boy he was difficult to shake off. I wonder if he might have had engine
problems, had stopped and was just drifting! Highly likely judging by the
amount of smoke surrounding him as daylight revealed, after we had shaken
Noon Position 5:54'.71s 113:41'.94e
Sunday 3rd October 2010
Quite squally most of the night with the usual fishing
boats to dodge, but a much better night than last night. 12.00 cleared the
end of the cape and headed towards the River for Kumai. We got the tide just
right and managed to carry it until the last hour. 1845hrs. Anchored off
Kumai town just as it was getting dark! There were at least 50 other yachts
Position 2:44.63s 111:43'.80e
Distance run: 465 miles average speed 6.9 knots
Monday 4th - Thursday 7th October 2010
Visited Cultural Festival, Orang-utan sanctuary,
fantastic trip up river on a slow boat with good food, slept in the Eco Lodge
overnight it was a great way to relax take in the jungle and see all the wild
life. Actually saw some of the really wild Orang-utans, proboscus monkeys
diving into the water and swimming across the river, macack monkeys and lots
of hornbills. Re-fueled, changed engine oil and checked out of Indonesia.
KALIMANTAN, Indonesian Borneo, in Indonesian means land of the
rivers of precious stones. It is the 3rd largest island after Australia.
The arabs settled here very soon after they discovered the trading routes
from the middle East to India and then down the Malacca Straights. So
despite having amazing indigenous tribes scattered throughout the island, now
that Indonesia is trying to amalgamate all its numerous islands into one
culture, Kalimantan was one of the first to succumb to the Muslim religion,
as the arabs have been here virtually since the first Century AD,
up the river at the top of the tide to Kumai : more by luck than judgment, we
were lucky not to have the 4 knot current against us! We could have anchored
at the entrance of the river had that been the case though.
Putin National Park (the Green area) has villages on the tributaries within
the National Park boundary
are no longer allowed to do any more logging. We saw evidence of Police
stations on the river, but they looked totally abandoned, so there’s
not much control at the moment!
water, river traffic, by dugout canoe and paddle, and ship could not be more
of a contrast! As soon as the tide turned, it was so strong that the boat
anchored just in front of us started to drag down on to us! David called out
to him, it was only just light – the owner peered out of his cockpit
saying’I don’t drag’! Thankfully he drifted past us and
another boat before he realised – and scrambled to the front of his
boat to get his anchore up and reset it! We had put down 5 times the amount
of chain to the depth we were in, which seems to have done the trick! The
call to prayers the night before was from the mosque directly the other side
of the river bank, plus probably another one further away. The mixing up of
two or maybe even three lots of this Koran chanting over the loud speakers
was most unpleasant to the ears! Thank goodness it did not last much longer
than 15 minutes!
about a Cultural festival happening in the local town of Pankalabun, which
the travel agent in Kumai suggested we visit. In the hope of seeing some
traditional dancing and costumes, such as this lady, we decided to go along.
On the VHF that morning, the Sail Indonesia guide for Kumai tried to get an
idea as to how many of the people on the visiting yachts wanted to attend
also. It seemed that the choice was to go in a BEMA local van or get a
driver and car. We decided on the latter, as we were not part of the Sail
We had been given a phone number for
Harry’s Yacht and Travel Service (+628125086105), and as promised, he
organised a car and driver to take us to the festival and pick us up. On
arrival, we were seated in the front row with all the local officials. We
felt rather underdressed, as they were all dressed up in their traditional
costume of woven silk sarong over long trousers, smart shirt and fez. We
arrived in shorts and polo shirt and sandals! Never mind, we were made
welcome with a packed lunch of fried something or other, biscuits and water.
A dozen more ‘yachties’ were seated alongside us soon after to
watch these overdressed young lad ies do some traditional muslim chanting
along with their tambourines.
this fearsome lady who lead the chanting, something similar to what we hear
in the call to prayers, but it became a little more melodious with the
rythmic beating of the tambourines.
them were even pretty! Goodness knows how they stayed cool, they were in
full sun on the stage, with no breeze to cool them.
yachites in the front row, not appreciative of this cultural show
some of the dancing girls were not dressed up like nuns!
had a go at the blow-pipe,with the help of one of the officials
We were told
to have a walk around town, but could only see this elaborate mosque showing
off the richness of the town from the logging and gold no doubt!
up with Harry, who organised to take us back to Kanaloa in this motor boat,
and get 300 Litres of fuel to us in 15 gerry cans with the same boat later in
the evening. David also arranged to get him to check us out of Indonesia
whilst we were away for the 2 day trip to visit the Orang Utans.
morning, bang on time at 7.30 a.m. this boat called BATAVIA arrived alongside
to pick us up and take us on the Tanjung Puting National Park river trip.
was left on board Kanaloa as a vigilante for the whole period. Goodness
knows what they do all day. But they definately stay aboard, because we had
noticed other men on the boats beside us stayed the whole time.
see in this photo the other boats anchored close by and further up the river.
of relaxation on David’s and Ollie’s face is the same, as we draw
away from our life on Kanaloa into life aboard the river boat.
We started our Orang-utan adventure by being
picked up about 7:30 by are boat and crew, the boat was larger than I
thought, I was also surprised that it was just for us three. The boat was
very comfortable and the crew was impeccable, getting us coffee whenever we
liked and the occasional snack also preparing and cooking all our meals and
just generally looking after us. Going up river I almost felt like a
1950’s explorer, sitting in a slightly rickety boat, sipping a cup of
tea and being waited on hand and foot by the natives whilst in search of
foreign beasts, obviously lacking the white stalking hat and crisp British
accent but none the less, I was looking forward to ‘a spiffing good
show, old boy’
The only way I can describe the
river really is a cross between a tropical Norfolk broads, with the boats and
the feeling of going up river, but the actual river itself remind me of going
up one of the winding roads in Devon, with the black tarmac being the black
water and the tall, dense palm banks as the hedgerows either side. All I know
is that I remember the Kumai river with the same fondness as I do these
our guide, spoke reasonable English, and had been trained at Camp Leaky with
English speaking guides over the last 7 years.
us that Orang=man utan=forest are found only in Indonesia, and this
particular area has the largest population of them.
of habitat is the biggest threat as they are foragers, changing their treetop
nests every night.
River life was busy, there is a gold
mine upstream, and plenty of small villages where the forest has been cleared
was a whole fried fish each, deep fried tortillas, fried mixed green
vegetables and steamed rice, followed by water melon.
were not disappointed! Indonesian food is generally very boring in the
pretty butterfly finally settled for me to share the photo
islands of lillies are enjoyed by the apes, they can sit on them whilst munching
at the roots.
tasted this fruit, which looks like a coffee bean, but it was too bitter for
of these pied hornbills were flying around
probiscis monkey gave us a great show at dusk, jumping from this tree and
losing his hold on the tree opposite, falling and bouncing off branches
– till he nearly fell with a thud on the ground! Next morning, another
family of them jumped off the tree overhanging the river, into the river,
scrambling up on the opposite side.
is used for transporting everything that is needed, including this poor