Back In Indonesia - Refueling in Lombok

Written by Elizabeth

We were the first boat ever to refuel on the brand new fuel barge at Marina Del Ray, which was exciting… for a bit. Once we let go of the mooring ball, we motored alongside the fuel boat that was tied to another mooring at the other side of the small bay. We pulled along the 30-foot long skiff and tossed our lines to the Indonesian crew.

They then had to wrench something on the fuel pump. Little did we know that this was the start of an hour-long trial!

The first step was seeing if the pump even worked, which you would think they would check BEFORE coming out to fuel boats, but that it is a typical procedure in Indonesia! We found out that they got the pump secondhand from a random dude who said that it still worked (I doubt telling the truth, because it took us an HOUR to get it to work!

First they tried to re-adjust the hose clamps with a screwdriver, thinking that there was air getting into the pump.

That didn’t work so they had to try to prime the pump by pour…

International Travel - Oh Joy!

Bye-bye, Field Trip! The kids watched her fade into the distance with mixed emotions. “I’m excited to go to the US, but sad to be leaving home,” Michael sighed. Sometimes I forget that over half his life has been spent living aboard. As we set off for our trip to the US, he feels like he’s leaving his home, and I feel like I’m heading home. Our inverse homesickness briefly overlaps at that moment - his just beginning as mine was anticipating the familiarity of America.

We puttered along in a water taxi stacked high with the precious cargo that we were bringing back to the US with us - handwoven baskets, intricate wood carvings, and all the one-of-a-kind gifts given to us by villagers across the Solomon Islands and PNG. Field Trip was definitely floating a bit higher now, with more room available to stow away the memories that were yet to come.

Our trip home would cover 10,365 miles and take a total of 74 hours, crossing 10 time zones! We brought back 300 lbs of luggage, four rolling …

Free Two-Day Shipping, Please?

How do things get so complicated? Somehow, we think that we should have access to the things that we need when we need them. But sailing has continually taught me that availability is a luxury not to be taken for granted. The lesson has been retaught over and over again when things inevitably break or need to be replaced, it is never a simple task. Customs, import taxes, shipments to teeny islands - there is no prime 2-day shipping out here.

Our most recent shipping adventure was a doozy, though. We are in desperate need of a new mainsail. The one we have now is tattered and torn, it’s fabric is peeling and drifting away in the breeze like flakes of molting skin. In fact, we desperately needed to replace it a year ago, but again, shipping a 40 kilo package to the outer islands Papua New Guinea wasn’t really an option, so we’ve made due.
Now that we are nearer civilization, it was time to buy Field Trip some new duds. Mark carefully researched and picked out a new Northsail…

Gili Air - Welcome to Tourist-ville!

Gili Air is one of three small islands on the northwest corner of Lombok. After sailing for 2 days from Gili Banta, we had a decision to make. Favorable winds had enabled us to sail faster than we anticipated (even with a 2 knot current against us), so at the rate we were going, we would arrive at 9 pm in Marina Del Rey. That wouldn’t work. Instead, we could either sit out at sea for a night until the sun rose or stop somewhere along the way to stay for the night. Once we looked at the charts and saw the many stops available, it wasn’t a tough decision.

The Gilis were only 20 miles north of our final destination and were known to be THE vacation spot for locals and tourists alike. Coming from remote Komodo, the scene we came upon was quite a shock to the system. The shorelines were lined with beach umbrellas and tanning tourists. Resorts, restaurants, juice bars and dive shops crowded behind them. Huge passenger ferries barreled into the harbor, dropping off boatloads of sun-seeking …

Diving in Komodo

Diving in Komodo was excellent.  The hardest part for us was finding good places to anchor as the anchorages were few and the moorings even fewer.  Regardless, we did some amazing diving, and plan on heading back to Komodo the first week of September so we can do some more diving in a 'secret' spot we found that was outstanding.

Until then, here are some photos we took during our dives in Komodo.  The link here is to Flickr with more photos and will be a better way to download full quality images.