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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Cruising Bali, Indonesia

After leaving the Komodo National Park we made our way north then west to Bali.  The trip was around 300 nautical miles and we did it over 5 days and did the last three days without stopping.  This meant doing two tricky night passages dodging unlit or badly lit fishing boats and fish attracting devices.  We were mostly successful and arrived at daybreak on Sunday morning. I say mostly because we did hit our first whale!  A Pilot Whale was sleeping just under the surface and we were sailing at about 3 knots in light winds, when we heard a thump from the bow...  It sounded like hitting a log or something..  When we looked behind us we saw a confused whale take a big breath and submerge below...  Neither the whale of crew were harmed in this mis-adventure.... After that, we saw a half dozen more pilot whales in the same area...

On the two stops we made along the way we did some great snorkeling and diving.  This was one of the only places since leaving Cozumel we saw turtles and reef fish who weren't completely freaked out at our presence!  It is amazing what can happen if you protect a reef!

After we arrived at daybreak on Sunday morning. We were thrilled to have a reunion with our friends, Amy and David from SV Starry Horizons.  We also were happy to meet Kim & Trevor from SV Slow Flight...  This was actually the first time we saw more than two other sailboats at the same time since leaving Papua New Guinea!

We also bought some beautiful souvenirs along the way at prices you would never find at an attraction...  Whenever we anchored, a few enterprising young men would approach us with these things and were often willing to trade.  We got all this for less than $40 and a few fenders we found on the beach in the Marshall Islands...

We did some great provisioning here at a very well stocked grocery store that clearly caters to the ex-pat community...  We were able to buy things we haven't seen for a very long time!

It was Amy's birthday on Sunday so we went out with them for a lovely dinner.

On Monday morning we rented a scooter!  Holy smokes do these Indonesian drivers drive!  Fast and aggressive and when given the choice between using the brakes or the horn, they will use the horn every time!  This on roads that quite frankly, we would say barely classify ...  We took one trip on a route that google thought was the best one... What do you think?

We did survive; in fact Shelley is now convinced I have become a Bali driver, as I now get the whole horn instead of brakes thing...

This is how most folks buy gasoline around here....

We understand why Bali is such a popular tourist destination in this part of the world.  There is such a rich culture and heritage here combined with very affordable prices on just about everything, has created a winning formula.  While not usually the kind of place we tend to migrate toward, we have thoroughly enjoyed our time here....

A volcanic lake called Danau Buyan high in the mountains

 We hiked about 2 miles to see a STUNNING waterfall....

Brahma Vihara Arama Temple (Buddhist) 

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple (Hindu)

 And not to leave out our heathen side, we also found the only winery in Indonesia!  Who knew?

We will leave his blog with a few pictures of some of the beautiful flora from this Indonesian paradise...