27 August 2008
Leaving Toli Toli
We chugged across the harbour to a jetty and found the pasar yesterday, where we bought a pile of vegetables, some familiar, others totally foreign and unknown which we’ll try soon. It began to rain, and we were on a schedule so didn’t find the internet café after all. Left Toli Toli in the early afternoon in rain, and headed out to sea looking for a spot for the night. Cruise Missile had gone on ahead, and found a perfect spot, a sheltered bay on Palau Karetan. Another idyllic, picture-postcard kind of beach, no village on this bay, but a couple of outriggers tied up at one end of the beach. Ali caught the first fish of the entire trip just before we arrived there, a 5 or 6 kilo Spanish mackerel. Huge excitement – she has been very disgusted at the lack of interest shown in her two trolling lures by Indonesian fish so far. A big Spaniard went a long way towards soothing her feelings. Cruise Missile had already started cooking their dinner, but Lothlorien was able to be talked into coming across to Malaika for a huge mackerel curry, one of Lex’s specialties. This in spite of the fact that her skipper is ‘totally sick of fish and rice’ and is hanging out for a meat pie!
Up early this morning for a walk on the beach, which proved to be even more beautiful than it had looked the night before. Several men were readying their boats for a day’s fishing, while some others were harvesting coconuts from the line of palms leaning out over the beach. We watched, entranced, while a very cheerful young bloke shimmied at least 60 or 70 feet up the trunks with only bare feet, and a rubber thong strapped to his chest, presumably to protect his chest from the trunk, and to provide some traction. He also had string tied around the ankles of his trousers to keep them from sliding up I guess. Bowyangs! He swung a machete to drop some of the coconuts, but in other trees he only chopped a few dead fronds away and came back down. A bit of pruning. The coconuts look like they’re wild, but are obviously tended and cared for – we could see new plantings in behind the beachfront trees as well. The men were happy to see us and talk to us – they’d come from a village around the other side of the island. The older man, who had a white beard and a great grin, asked if we were from Russia!
Now heading out for an overnight run which will put all of us in place for an Equator crossing tomorrow. Serenity 2 left earlier that the rest of us from Toli Toli yesterday and we hope to catch them up so that the four yachts can do the crossing together, this time going south.