We had another very
slow 24 hours with little wind and whatever there was, just happend to be
heading us, even when we changed course! We must have angered the wind
gods in Phuket. The plan now is to sail through the Sunda Strait (past
Krakatoa) and then east along the north side of Java, where we hope to get
better breezes. The mountains of Sumatra are shielding us from the NW/NE
monsoon - and mountains they are! One near Padang is over 8400 feet!
(Kosciusko is only 7000 feet.)
We were entertained
again yesterday evening by a pod of dolphins playing in the bow wave and doing
their great victory leaps out of the water. Also saw a sea snake for the
first time in my life, quite happy, swimming along. He was a long way from
land, so I presume it was a sea snake.
Arrived Padang early
this morning - fairly large port with about 15 cargo ships outside the harbour
and a mass of fishing boats inside. Simon went ashore hours ago to
do battle with the Indonesian immigration authorities so we could go
ashore, but alas, we are still waiting. Filled in the time with game
3 of the first round in the "El Oro Scrabble Doubles Tournament". Sorry to
report that Bar and I lost so the score is now 2 to Al and Tim and 1 to Bar and
me. The next issue is whether we were playing best of 3 or best of
5. And I thought Scrabble was a simple game, but am discovering that it
not only involves some understanding of the English language, but a mastery of
gamesmanship. Thank heavens for the Scrabble Dictionary, otherwise there
would be blood on the decks!
There is not a lot
of evidence of tsumani damage in Padang. It seems that the 2004 tsumani
did the most damage on Nias from what I can read in the cruising guide. It
was off the Richter Scale, the second largest ever recorded by seismograph and
the second deadliest - 230,000 people died! The damage in Aceh showed
evidence of waves 30m high travelling inland.
from a day of beaurocracy and baksheesh. Have, of course, organised the dreaded
Green Book and various pieces of officaldom wallpaper required for Indo cruising
permits, but through an agent in Bali - our intended first "port of call".
Really tossed the system into tormoil today by entering in Padang, After a FULL
day of bluffs, smoke and mirrors and downright purgery, we are officially
"here". Managing to carry a smile for the whole day, after <2hrs sleep the
previous night I'm sure helped. The Baksheesh was minimal my Aus standards and
most of the officials just enjoyed the opportunity to lecture you for an hour or
more on their importance (all while sitting in "offices" with the ceiling panels
dropping off to the floor in mid-sentence!) Immigration was performed in the
living room of the chief imm-dude, until he realised he didn't have the right
stamp and cursed and abused my local "chaffeur" because we had to drive 20 min
into his office to complete the formalities. Anyway 2 btls of JW-Black put a
smile back on his face (this from Langkawi so very cheap in the scheme of
TW and guest gone
ashore for the evening and dinner "Padang style"which is interesting in that
they charge you for what you eat, not what you order (I lunched ashore today).
This does beg the question as to what happens with the half eaten plates of food
that are returned at the end of the meal???
interesting day ashore in Padang. The locals are friendly and helpful. Most
tourism here I gather is for surf charters so the place is not overly "rob
the Westerner" oriented (you seen many wealthy surf bums?).
Refuel tomorrow then
charge for Bali for organised Clearance, although I believe that 90% of that is
Certainly hoping for
some favourable sailing conditions en route... shame to carry all these rags and
not shake them out...