People of the Forest - Orang-utans

Day before our trip
We motored toward Kumai, the waters running below us turning from blue to brown the further upriver we went. Massive tugboats passed closely beside us pulling long barges filled with mountains of wood chips, a sign of the commercial logging industry that is claiming much of Borneo’s natural forests. During our nighttime sailing, a full moon offered just enough light to silhouette the towed barges, which were otherwise unlit.

Overnight, one such barge was anchored near us. I was sitting at the salon table, scrolling through Instagram and enjoying the connectivity, when I suddenly had this feeling that I was being watched. One look outside revealed a huge steel barge right beside us with men aboard, certainly taking a curious look into the windows of our fully lit salon. I immediately woke up Mark who had gone to bed early to catch up on sleep he’d lost during our passage.

Keeping an eye on the red steel hull, we raised anchor and motored through the lights of the o…

Gili Banta - Komodo, Indonesia - Macro and Micro

The tradewinds were in full tilt, blowing a steady 18-20 knots from the east, which would make our sail eastward from Lombok to Gili Banta a bit of a beat, or so we thought. In actuality, the trip was an easy one. Hugging the coastlines and dodging floating FADs (fish attraction devices), we used breezes off the high, jagged islands to propel us along our track.

As we neared Gili Banta, a continuous line of private sailboats passed by us, likely on their way to Bali or Lombok. We marveled at the shear number of them popping up on our radar - more than we’d seen during our entire 7 months previously in Indonesian waters. Again, it was the organized rallies that created such a cluster of cruisers. Several rallies, in fact, were intersecting in the waters of Komodo before heading west.

s/v Gaia, a Dutch couple who shared our love of diving and became fast, easy friends, joined us on a few dives and showed us photos of nudibranchs we’d never seen before! Ben and Astrid, we later found ou…

Farewell to Lombok

Once we returned from our visit to the US, we dutifully unpacked and somehow found places for all the things we’d brought back with us. The ultra-leather material we’d need to reupholster our salon cushions was carefully rolled up and stowed under our bed, the new breadmaker found its place in the galley, the schoolbooks and supplies for the upcoming school year replaced the completed books in the cabinet, and the spare parts were replenished in their appropriate storage containers. The inside of the boat needed a wipe down to clear away any mildew that had accumulated in the enclosed humid interior, and we all did our part to get the boat opened up and livable again.

During the two months we were away, the folks at the Lombok Marina had been extremely busy. Retaining walls had been built, docks put in with water access to each slip, and mosaic walkways had been installed. What had caused such sudden progress, when just months prior it seemed the marina may never actually become a ma…

Pedaling for Provisions

The Resolution   Since returning from the states, I have a renewed sense of resolve.  Resolve to cherish this time, to make the most of it, to dig deeper and step up into the challenges that this life offers.  After all, it is only temporary, isn’t it?  All this is just a drop in a bigger preverbal bucket.  Seriously, when else am I going to be here, in this place, living this day, facing these obstacles, experiencing the intricacies of this exact moment?  And what will my response to this moment make of me?  Though they may seem insignificant, those drops add up.

It had been a few days since we’d made the trek to the local market.  We were out of fruit entirely and down to a single, sad-looking head of cabbage.  We were three days into our first week of our boat school year and everyone was really on a roll.  A trip to the morning market would put quite a kink in our newly established routine.  Furthermore, we needed a lot of groceries.  I couldn’t possibly carry it all back by mys…