Stephen Bassett
Mon 16 Sep 2013 08:11
We arrived in Bali Marina at Benoa after a fast sail from Padang Bay with the help of a 5 knot current.
After a quick review of the harbour and doing the formalities, we took two days to settle into Bali, before heading off the 30km to UBUD by taxi.
Bali is the most beautiful country, people are so friendly, and the road a continuous line of craft workshops of every description. there are rice paddys, temples, clutter, hills, dales, tropical forest, rivers, and poeple everywhere.
It is an island of extremes, from, brand new motorways under construction, to tiny tracks, having been used the same way for centuries. from the gaudy, and outrageous, holiday hotels, being built ever closer together, in Sanur and Kuta, (the sun and sex worshipers paradises). to the peaceful township of Ubud, sitting in the middle of paddy fields.
While in Ubud we went to see the elephants, at a sanctuary with 30 breeding females, had a ride as you do, went for an evening trip to see the Storks (Herons) coming into roost in trees surrounding a paddy field. Not just a few storks but hundreds and hundreds.
Restaurants and shops in Ubud are aplenty and it was nice for all of us to have some good western food for a few days. Indonesian food is nice but always based on rice or noodle.
Ian left us to go back to UK and see his new granddaughter on the 28th and Annie left Karacool, for a one month trip back to the UK to see friends and family on Friday 7th. A sad day for me after so long on the boat together, but her return to Mauritius will be memorable .
Patrick and I enjoyed our fair share of massages whilst in Bali, (Not bad at about £7.00 per 1.5hr a throw)  A bit like alcohol, and smoking, Massage is addictive.
After two half days spent with Corina and Wolfgang from Moin, getting our check out papers duly stamped by 6 different offices, Patrick and I set off for Christmas Island on Saturday 8th.
The grib files showed wind of 10 to 15 knots SE so we thought we would be in for a nice warm up sail in preparation for the big Indian Ocean crossing.
Got that a bit wrong as there was no wind at all for 3 days and both of us were fed up to say the least. (No wind on a siling boat is hard work, especially when you are trying to conserve fuel for a later date)
Anyway we were on our way and as usual no fish to be seen.
SB 16.9.13