en route to Borneo
Monday, 19th September, 2011
Spent a couple of nights in the Gili islands off Lombock (actually Gili means island so it’s a bit like calling an Indian lady Mrs Begum). An Indonesian corvette ran aground outside our anchorage, perhaps they had an RN pilot, although they specialise in nuclear submarines in their own back yard. Went to ‘party’ island to watch England beat Georgia by an apparently large margin, but in fact we were very scrappy and gave away loads of penalties and only spent 20% of the first half in their territory! Still, a win’s a win.
Arrived in the North of Bali after a lovely overnight sail from Lombok. We had 20-25kts of wind off the port quarter for 8 hours before it finally died. Lots of cargo vessels in the strait between the islands but relatively few fishing boats.
The hub of Bali is 3 hours away by motor car and we will soon have to go there to buy chandlery, wine and iPads. This part, Lovina Beach, is a bit touristy but not too bad; it’s largely Hindu and Chinese rather than Muslim (perhaps that’s why they bombed it).
Food is more available here thanks to Carrefour but sadly chandlery and motor spares are like hen’s teeth. A nice chap came at 07:30 today to help have a go at our electrics and we concluded the batteries are OK. This means a hunt for loose connections, but it’s a definite step forward to rule out one cause. Just off to watch England give a masterful display against Romania (unlike the last 2 games)
Set off for Borneo last night. The Gods had a good night, C dropped a torch overboard, hit a fish trap, the engine stopped charging the batteries and the tachometer stopped working (both of the last signs of a duff fanbelt). The DC generator overheated and stopped. When I got up I couldn’t get the mainsail out. Eventually I got the sail out, we put the duogen propeller into the water to generate some electricity, changed the fan belt [which was completely stuffed, why do we eat fan belts? Only 2 left.] and cleared out loads of kelp from the generator water strainer (the impellers gone but we’ll do that tomorrow).
The batteries seem to be behaving o.k. so maybe isolating them all individually yesterday and then reconnecting them sorted out a loose connection.
The new fan belt means that we are charging the batteries with the engine (only 10 knit wind so motor sailing again) so can use the watermaker so all is well and the generator repair can wait a day.
The Gili islands were lovely. No cars at all only a few rather moth eaten ponies and traps. Lovely beach side restaurants with excellent food.
Bali is truly stunning. Green and lush and beautiful flowers. Hot springs, waterfalls, Hindu temples etc... Sail Indonesia put on a really good dinner with a band and dancing and not many speeches.
The south seemed to be one big traffic jam joining lots of shopping malls but no chandlery or good hardware. They did however have an iPad. I had ordered one from Jakarta but it hadn’t arrived. I then found one next to Carrefour for £100 less. The chap in the 1st shop was furious that he had ordered it and we weren’t taking it but couldn’t get his head round the fact that if it was not in the shop at the time he said it would be, we were not embarking on another 6 hour (£40) round trip in a taxi the next day. He got a good earful back from me and I am so thrilled to have my own internet access again and not having to wait while K downloads all his updates and antivirus stuff.
I seemed to be able to get all the previous apps free via iTunes which is great so we have our backup charts again.
Now going to Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo) to see the orang utans. It is about 400 miles so we left after the England v Romania game at about 5 p.m. and hope to be there in 3 days all being well. The wind has been very light all through Indonesia so everyone is resigned to motor sailing rather than rolling around doing 3kn.