I’m so excited! I reach Darwin, the end of my Australian trip and my next destination will be Indonesia! It will be the first time after almost 2 years and a half that I’m going out of western world countries!
There is my journal on the boat and in Indonesia until today, the day when I’ll be back on the saddle!
19/09/2016 – Leaving Australia
Today, we are leaving Australia. That’s funny and kind of a coincidence but I’m back as a crew on Seamuse, the same boat I was on to sail from New Zealand to New Caledonia. They had left a few week ago heading to South Africa but their engine broke down and they had to head back to Australia to fix it. It’s now too late for them to cross the Indian Ocean before the hurricane season starts. Their new destination: Indonesia then Malaysia before to go to the red sea. I’ll be on the boat until Indonesia only then I will cycle and hop from and island to another with small boats.
We left Australia around 9pm after an hectic day of shopping, paperworks, internet…. the weather looks good for now. The sea is calm and we avoid the rain since we left.
We organised 2.5 hours shifts during the night and 3.5hours during the day between the 4 of us , Vivi, Kendall, Wesley, and me. I’m starting from 9pm today and will start from 8 then.
I’m feeling a bit weird to leave Australia to another country. I’ve been living in English culture country for the last 32 months. I’m feeling that my trip is going pretty well between cycling and sailing so far. Let’s go to the unknown again! New culture, new language that I’m learning. It looks like Indonesian is the easiest language in the world. That should be fast to learn.
20/09/2016 – getting salty again
It is tropical. Even with the wind we are sweating. On this crossing, the water of the ocean is warm. I would say around 28°C so it will be shower everyday with the ocean water. After a salty shower I take a freshwater wet towel to remove the salt.
This morning i was still tired and I ended up falling asleep on the deck. Even if I was in the shade of the main sail, I was really sunburnt. I’ll have to be careful next time.
I had an awesome blood moon rising just at the end of my watch. I will sleep well tonight.
21/09/2016 – visit of the border force
A plane flew over us really low when we reached the border of Australian waters and International waters. Few seconds after, a call from the border forces on the VHF canal 16 asked us more details about our purpose and plans. They obviously knew already who we were but this stretch is very sensitive for boat people trying to reach Australia from South East Asia.
A bite later in the day we saw a huge pod of dolphins. They were at least 50 of them maybe more. None of them came too close they stayed at a reasonable distance of 100 meters of the boat.
Today we are halfway of the crossing. It’s the second day of the crossing. It will be fast. I calculated to be in Indonesia in 4 days and it seems that it will be the case.
22/09/2016 – building a shelter
There is no much wind anymore and the sun is very strong. We need to build a shelter with a tarp to protect us from the sun rays. Unfortunately we have to use the engine to keep going.
At night, with the help of the headlight, we saw many jelly fishes, flying fishes and squids in the water.
23/09/2016 – Indonesian land!
When I started my shift at 6am I didn’t expect that in 2 hours I will be able to see the land. Ralph just told me, can you see the land? Yes! I’m now feeling like an explorer discovering a new earth. From NZ to New Cal it wasn’t really this feeling, to Australia neither. I knew the land already. But this time, i don’t know the land neither the culture. I’m feeling that it’s gonna be where my adventure really starts. I still remember when I’ve been to Morrocco it was such a cultural shock! So different! I’m looking forward to land and discover this new city Kupang and practice the few Indonesian words I learnt on the boat.
This morning a few dolphins came to say hi to us! I’ve been filming them. It was a great experience to be able to see them from so close! I was almost able to touch them!
24/09/2016 – Kupang
Here we are. Arrived in Kupang a bit after mid day. It’s Saturday, hopefully we can do the paperwork today and leave straight.
Well, it doesn’t work like this. We will have to wait until Monday to be able to visit the customs and quarantine… We can stay on land even without the stamp yet. We just must stay nearby the area where the boat is anchored. Tonight let’s have dinner at 999 the local restaurant. Here we met Luky, a local. He came to speak with us. He is a school teacher and he will be as well our guide for the next few days.
25/09/2016 – 28/09/2016 paperwork and Kupang area
Kupang is on Timor, the eastest island of Indonesia. During this time, we hanged out around the area of Kupang. Luky told us there is a crystal cave close to Kupang. As soon as we have the stamp in our passeport we plan to visit it! The first few days we discover the local food and beer. Very cheep. You can eat for AUD1,2
We drunk a few beers at the local bar Teddy’s bar and met many locals, we have been introduced by policeman, to drink soapy. A local alcool made from palm tree. You mix it with your beer. We went through one or two bottle of it. At the end I was feeling a bit drunk. Every local was amazed by my curly hair and beard. They can’t grow their beard. If a local share a soapy with you then it means you are part of their family.
On Monday we had the visit of the customs. I came on shore to pick them up then I’ll drop them to another boat after our boat has been inspected. They are very young and very funny. Azhar is one of them. They wanted to take photographs with us because we were a young crew. Usually, they said, it’s just old captains and crew. They asked us to have a party with them at 999 on Tuesday night.
When I dropped them to the other boat, something funny happened, Azhar cracked his pants while climbing up to the boat. Such a big laugh.
Now that everything is sorted out, we plan to visit Crytal cave. Luky organised for us two scooters and we left around noon to this place. Such an awesome area! Blue water in the deep bottom of a cave. Someone even dived pretty far with air bottles. After that we visited Monkey cave then came back to 999 to get our paper back from the customs and have a party. A live singer was here performing and we were just the five of us, Luky, Azhar, Vivi, Wesley and me dancing on the huge but empty dance floor.
On Wednesday we left to Ende, where I will leave the boat.
The crossing to Ende was quick and easy. Now Ready to go!
Until now I felt very safe in this country and I really like to see all those religions leaving very well together. They have a word for this. GARUDA. It’s an Indonesian symbol meaning 5 religions 1 nation. Everyone believe, Everyone respect. Respect humanity. Here Muslims, Christians, Indhu, Buddhists lives together without any trouble. That’s how the entire world should be.