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HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULES, JUSTIN, DOUG, BECKY AND E, MY SEPTEMBER BABIES!!
Komoto Here we come!!
Sept 1, 2009 Tues
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JULES!!
Strong currents up to 3 knots against us, winds early morning over 20 knots on the nose dropping down to less than 10 by mid day leading moderate swell and very slow going.
Sept 2, 2009 Wed
We sailed in the morning and we motored in the afternoon and finally had A neutral current! We arrived in Donggola in the afternoon. The fisherman directed us to a mooring ball that we picked up. Then they directed us to shore to where we were able to get solar (diesel). There we met Sonny and his wife Sandra. Who sold us diesel. We had two very helpful local boys help us transfer and load the 100 gallons of fuel in 11 jerry jugs to our boat. Anny went to the market while we were dealing with the fuel. After we finished the fuel in the rain, Sonny invited us to dinner. We all went in and jumped on Ojaks (motorbikes) and went to a restaurant. This is where it got interesting. They helped us order off the menu and left the restaurant to get us cold sodas (unfortunately not cold beer which is what we inquired about). After we finished ordering Sonny paid the bill and then bid us good night!!! They had to go home to their children. We had a feast of Chinese food. We went back to the boat in awe of how nice these people were. At the boat we had some rum drinks and stayed up chatting late.
Sept 3, 2009 thurs
We were woken up by Sonny on our boat saying hello at 7:30am!!! He came over to say hi and check out the boat. We mentioned that we may go into Poula and he said that they were going there so we should come with them. We went to their house and had a snack while we waited for Sandra to get ready then we left in style in their SUV with the AC cranked!! It was very nice ride. We received the guided tour. We stopped at a fruit market and bought the best bananas yet!! We received the best price because of Sonny and Sandra! We stopped to have lunch at a really nice restaurant and of course they would not let us pay. It was a great lunch with lots of gato gato and some soy crunchy thingies too! Jason got the chicken and fish which were both amazing. I ordered three drinks one avocado which was refreshing!!!!!!!!! This fruit drink was absolutely the best I have very had. It was so delicious I will order it everywhere I find it in the future!! The third was coconut water but it had some kind of strawberry syrup in it which I did not like, I prefer my coconut water straight up or with a little rum! After lunch we dropped Sandra off at the hospital where she was visiting her nephew that was sick and we went to the grocery store. The ride back was nice and Sonny said he would pick us up at 7 for dinner. We went back to the boat and chilled out with some wine. Some kids came by and J entertained them while Anny and I had some girl time talking on the bow with our wine. It was a nice relaxing time after the hectic day and all the sailing we had been doing. I opted not to join them for dinner since my back was trashed, and it turned out that they just got it to go and brought it back to the boat. Sonny of course paid since he is our host and refused to let us pay. Luckily earlier in the day Jason bought the pastries, but that discouraged Jason from doing it again because it really upset Sonny. He tried to pay Jason for them and was visibly upset by it. We had such an amazing experience with them both. We will be sad to leave tomorrow. It would be nice to stay here a week or so to just get to know their family more. They were also nice enough to let us use their internet to check our banking account. Our renters are trying to get out of the lease since they broke up but there are three and they all signed the lease so that is not happening, not this time. We canít be nice. We wanted to see if they paid rent yet, but it was really too early for the payment we realized. Blythe is on it, she is calling us tonight.
Sept 4, 2009 Fri
Jason went in to town to try to find Sonny to say goodbye and to give him a hat, but we could not find him and he did not answer his cell phone. We dropped the hat off with his employees though. They ended up calling us after we were on our way sailing out of the bay. They were sad we were leaving so soon and wanted to thank us for the hat. They really loved it. We let them know they were the best hosts we have ever had. We had to motor out of the bay but once we were out pretty far we had a great tack that was taking us directly south on our rum line!! It was a great day of sailing! We even saw a big pod of dolphins.
Sept 5-10, 2009 Sat-Thurs
We are still sailing along! We have been lucky and have dolphins join us almost every day which has been a nice distraction. I have been baking a lot and making lots of home cooking! I made some multigrain bread which turned out delicious! I also dragged the captains spirits sky high by making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies!! We have been eating a lot of fish and last nights was the best with a teriyaki ginger glaze! I also made the green papaya salad to go along with it and that turned out better than I remember it which is pretty tough to do. Thanks so much to Michi for teaching me how to make it. Everyone wants the recipe but it really is just a little of this and a little of that, no measurements! Jason taught Anny to make yogurt and she make her first batch yesterday which turned out wonderful. We still have 150 miles to go and we are making only about 2-3 knots towards our destination while sailing at 5/6 knots. It is quite frustrating, but we are slowly making it there. It has been a battle to stay the course and not veer off to the Gillis, but I think in the end we will be happy with our decision. Most of the other cruisers that went this way are still several days behind us. We should make it to Labuan Bajo before any of the festivities begin. We plan to fuel and water up the boat and then head over to the other islands (Rinca and Komoto) to do some diving and see the famous Komoto dragons (basically huge lizards)! I canít wait to get in the water and start enjoying the nice water and beautiful coral. We have been watching weeds and Entourage when we have to motor! They are super funny!
Sept 11, 2009 Fri
We arrived in Labuan Bajo at night. It seemed an easy entry and with the moon we thought it would be no problem. We dropped anchor and had a good holding and went to bed. Little did we know, we were right near the reef, literally 500 feet from the island.
Sept 12, 2009 Sat
We woke up to the scary realization that we were right near the island and that we were very lucky not to have hurt the Biz. We immediately moved the boat. A local boat came over to show us a good place to anchor for the afternoon and we followed him. He got us water and fuel while we went swimming. After they had finished pressure sales and filling up the tanks, we moved the boat again to the other side where there were other boats from the rally. It is closer to town for us to go back and forth and is also near where the big dinner will be on the beach. Labuan Bajo is located in the Manggarai Baarat District. This district is built of more than 162 small islands. The three most popular and best places to visit are Komodo National Park, Marine National Parks, and Flores Nature Reserve and cultural tourism. It was late when we finally anchored closer to town so just stayed on the boat.
Sept 13, 2009 Sun
We went in and bought some supplies and used the internet and left by noon to head to Rinca to the Komodo National Park. It is a sanctuary for the Komodo (varanua Komodoenisis) dragon which looks like a very large lizard which is about 6 feet long and is very impressive. The guides carry special sticks to ward them away if they try to attack which they can and will. They are very muscular and fast. We walked around the park and saw the dragons as well as monkeys. At the top of the park you could see a nice view of our boats in the bay. When we got back to the boat we were all hot so any and I jumped in the water and went swimming. We were invited over to our friends on Liaison for dinner and a little party. We dressed up in our nice casual cloths and went over for a shrimp stir fry and vodka tonics. We had a great time listening to music, dancing, and later swimming in the ocean watching our arms light up as we swam. It was beautiful!
Sept 14, 2009 Mon
We were exhausted today from our fun the night before but we sailed over to Komodo Island to check out the marine reserve. Any went to the top of the mast to help guide us through the many reef systems on the way there. We were able to arrive by 3:30 and left to go snorkeling right away. We saw lots of fish, a sting ray and a white tip shark.
Sept 15, 2009 Tues
We got up early and left to go snorkeling at the sight that has all the manta rays. We asked a local tour operator where the best place to go to see them was and here we were. We saw many of them swimming around. I was pretty close to one but he swam away very fast after noticing me. We did a lot of driving around in the dingy spotting them and jumping in to get a glimpse of them. After we finished there we went to another spot great for diving, but it is also a dangerous dive due to the currents. You can only dive it at certain times. We decided not to dive because of the dangers and just snorkel it. It was fantastic!! We saw Rays, Turtles, puffer fish; trigger fish, sharks, and so much more. It was a literal fish city!! It was so amazing. It was getting late when we finished so we headed back to the boat. Our friends on Liaison left that night, but we decided to stay another day.
Sept 16, 2009 Wed
We sailed over to another island and dropped anchor. We decided to have a beach day it was in the afternoon already anyway and it was windy out so Jason could kite. We gathered up all our kite gear and made some drinks for Anny and me in the cooler, packed the iPod and speakers, books and went over to this cute little island. Jason had a blast kiting and Anny and I had some rum drinks and watched. Jason is getting better all the time!
Sept 17, 2009 Thurs
Happy Birthday Doug! We woke up early and went diving first thing. The dive was very good. We saw sting ray, scorpion fish, great coral and all kinds of different fish. It was not the best dive but seeing all the big scorpion fish really was the highlight!! We left that afternoon to head back to LBJ (Labuan Bajo) for the dinner the next evening.
Sept 18, 2009 Fri
I went to the internet all day today and was able to chat with my family which was so wonderful. I have been missing my family and friends so much and it was so good to hear their voiced!! I also uploaded what I had done of the website. We all got dressed up for the big departure dinner and took the dingy to the beach. It was quite funny because it was so shallow we really were just pulling ourselves in with the oars. They had a nice dance show for us as well as singing. Then they showed us a power point presentation on the wonders of the area and why we should visit. It was all very nice. The food was not as good as the other events but still good. We did some dancing with the locals which is always a blast. We got back late.
Sept 19, 2009 Sat
I was sick all day today. I think I ate something bad at the dinner last night. We went into town to the internet again for most of the day and then had dinner with Doug and Pam. I could not stay long since I was feeling so bad. Anny met a local guy, the one that gave us all the good advice about diving locations, and she stayed out with him much later that night.
Sept 20, 2009 Sun
We left for the top of Komodo to a location known as the best dive site in all of Indonesia. This spot was by far the best dive we have done here. It was so incredible with tons and tons of different fish. The highlights were the big squid, they were changing colors right in front of us!! Also the eels were cool, white tips sharks, scorpion fish, trigger fish, groupers, and so much more. It was truly lived up to its reputation. In the afternoon we went to dive another sight that required waiting for the low tide. The dive operators on the live a board boats were all going out with their groups to dive it so we knew it was a good time. We went over and went in right by where they went down. We were descending when we noticed we were going down really fast and were kicking really hard to try to stay up; we were in a down draft. We just tried to swim sideways. I was having trouble getting air and thought it was just because we were kicking so hard and signaled to J to see if he was having trouble too. He was not and my air was getting less and less. I went to put on the spare air and we had forgotten to turn it on so I inhaled some water. I switched to my old regulator and took the little air it would give me before getting the spare air back, all the while kicking really hard to try to stay at the same depth which was around 70 feet. We made an emergency ascent at this point. I never was sucking air as hard as I was on the spare air and when I finally hit the top I was just gasping. It was the first time since my accident that I was actually scared. But, all ended well, we had the regulator looked at and it had a little corrosion in it and they fixed it and also refilled our spare air for us. We were lying in the hammock just relaxing for the afternoon, when I saw something in the water. It was a manta ray!! We jumped in the dingy and rode over to where they were and then put the snorkels on and jumped in and swam with them. They were right next to me and under me and looking at me. It was the most amazing experience!! One was really big and one was small. They swam with us for hours.
Sept 21-22, 2009 mon tues
Today we left for the Gili Islands. The sail for the two days was good. We had nice wind and were able to sail the entire way which was a nice change from our last few passages.
Sept 23, 2009 Wed
We arrived at the Gili Air this morning. We were almost to the anchorage in Gili Aire when Felicity told us to come over to where they were because that was where all the boats were. We sailed over there and I was sitting on the bow on a bean bag chair keeping watch. I went to confer with Jason and my bean bag fell over board!! Only we did not see it go over so we could not even save it! I was so sad; it has been with us since we left Colorado! Then we get over to where Felicity is and realize that it is going to be at least a 20 minute dingy ride to Gili Aire. We pulled up anchor and went back over to the anchorage we first intended to anchor in. When we were getting ready to go between the two reefs our engine stopped working! The pulley fell off. Luckily Jason was able to get it back on and we were able to make it between the reefs and pick up a mooring. We were so happy to be there at this point we went in right away. We ran in to Felicity at one of the bars on the beginning of our walk around. We stopped to have a drink with them and then Jason and I left to go on a walk alone. It was so nice to be alone together that we waked around for at least an hour. We stopped and had a drink. The island is pretty small and you can walk all the way around it in 1.5 hours. It is all dirt roads and there are no cars or motor bikes. As you walk around to the right there are shops and to the left is the beach which has restaurants and bars and lots of free lounge chairs. It has such a great laid back feel to it. You can buy anything you want here. We met back up with Anny and went to dinner on the island. Everything is really cheap here. For $10,000 you can get a mango juice that they peel the mango and throw it in a blender and there you have your juice!!
Sept 24, 2009 Thurs
I did pilates and then we went to the beach. Jason with his kite and board and Anny and I with our cooler, radio and snacks. We had an amazing day at the beach just drinking and watching Jason kite board. I love the beach because they have chairs in the sun and also these big bed tables. They look like a big bed and have a table in the center and you sit on pillows. It is good to get out of the sun and just chill out.
Sept 25, 2009 Fri
We did the same thing as yesterday but in the last afternoon the wind died so Jason quit early and took his gear home and then we went bar hopping and ended up at the sunset bar to watch the sun go down. It was a nice place and we met some people there to have drinks with. We ended up going out to dinner again.
Sept 26, 2009 Sat
Kite boarding was not good today so we decided to take the long walk around the island. We stopped at the corner cafť for lunch and had a great pizza, satay, and fries. It was yummy. Then we continued on our exploration. We stopped at a bar that made great coffee drinks with Kailua then moseyed over to the sunset bar for sunset before dinner. We went to the Thai place for dinner and it was excellent. We went with another couple and Anny. We sat on pillows on a big canopy bed type building. It had a table in the center. Food on the island comes out when it is ready no matter the order. Tonight we all were finished eating before Anny even got her dinner. But, that is the way it is here. It was a really fun night.
Sept 27, 2009 Sun
We just had another day of kite boarding and hanging out at the beach.
Sept 28, 2009 Mon
We went over to Gilli T on a ferry. We rented bikes and rode around the island. It was a nice day. This island is more built up and has move resort type hotels rather than the other island that is more like little bungalows. We had to walk our bikes part of the way because there arenít any real roads here either. It was a nice day and we had ice cream 3 times!! We took the 4pm ferry back to Gili Aire. Anny went out that night to a party on Gilli T but Jason and I took the opportunity to be alone for the first time since Anny has been on the boat and that has been a long time!!!
Sept 29, 2009 Tues
Sept 30, 2009 Wed
we were at the beach all day and met a Polish couple that lived in Australia. The guy was a kite boarder as well so Jason and he went kiting while the girls hung out on the beach. I had to go and save him once because the wind died. We went out for drinks and then had them over for diner on the boat. We made up some fish and chicken and stayed up late chatting.