Tuesday, October 21, 2008

6 October 2008

6 October

We left Mesenak at midnight this morning, and motored the entire way to Nongsa Point Marina by 11 am. First stop was a long hot shower. On yachts, even yachts with watermakers like ours you conserve water, so the opportunity to have a long shower with no one yelling “TURN OFF THE TAP!!!” at you was irresistible. And laundry. In a washing machine. Not a bucket. Luxury. That’s the good thing about sailing, it gets your priorities right.

Having said that, it’s nice not to be listening for anchor noises, or dealing with rocking boats all the time. The downside is the long walk to the loo whenever you need to go - usually at the most incovenient time, such as when it's raining, or in the middle of the night. It's like being back at Tipperary!

Nongsa Point Marina is on Batam Island, the last Indonesian stop before Singapore. We have just loved Indonesia. Wherever we went, we’ve been made welcome, and well treated, and had the best times. Indonesia has a certain kind of controlled chaos that suits yachting life well. Enough trouble getting parts and expertise to keep you grounded, and all the friendliness and kindness of strangers you could ever hope to find. Not once were we ripped off or cheated, or ever felt unsafe. Walking back from a restaurant late at night along the waterfront at Makassar, we were smiled at and ‘helloed’ and acknowledged as visitors the whole way. Wouldn’t want to do that in Darwin! Indonesia could promote itself as the land of the big white smile. I wish we were staying longer. But it’s close to Darwin, and we plan to spend a lot more time here when we finally get home again.

We’ve been meeting some interesting people on this trip. As yachties go there are a few whingers out there, but you also meet terrific people who are just happy to be out in the world, and who want to find the differences and enjoy them. So many people seem to expect things to be the way they are at home, and complain because inevitably they're not. Makes you wonder why they went to all the trouble of leaving home in the first place. Met a great Spanish couple a few days ago at an idyllic anchorage at Mesenak, Lingga Island. They are now in this marina too, so we are having a few meals together and enjoying their conversation. People like that remind you how we really are all connected at a deeper level, deeper than nationality and creed and politics.

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