Friday, August 10, 2018

Kinabatangan River

This little guy was spotted at the Rainforest Discovery Centre

Perry is a wildlife-loving group (it makes sense because we're practically wildlife ourselves). And the last few days on the Kinabatangan River has been the best wildlife viewing we have experienced since the Galapagos. Not only have we seen many creatures that we have never seen before, there are just so many animals.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Rallying

Dragon Boat racing in the Kudat Festival



We joined the Sail Malaysia rally to cruise Eastern Borneo, which has experienced security issues in past years, including a high-profile kidnapping by Abu-Sayaff terrorists. The main draw of the rally for us was the safety-in-numbers strategy, as well as ESSCOM escorts throughout the risky areas.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Royal Birthday Celebration



His Majesty in one of his many Rolls Royces
We got up bright and early to attend the Sultan's birthday celebration. We and a few thousand other people waited around until the three Princes (the Sultan's brother) came through in their Rolls Royces (preceded by motorcycle police and trailed by special trucks with security officers sporting traditional dress).

Friday, July 13, 2018

Brunei Darussalam

Masjid (Mosque) Omar Ali Saifuddien




Despite being an oil-rich country, Brunei's capital city of Bandar Seri Begawan ("BSB"), isn't the shining Emerald City that, say, Dubai is reputed to be. It is a relatively modern city with spots of magnificence nearby (mosques, the Royal Regalia museum dedicated to the Sultan, new bridges). But the fifth richest country in the world seems conspicuously free of bling. It's also a pretty quiet place.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Bali to Kuching (Orangutans and a poop story)

Fishermen (in their underwear) taking pictures of
 us (in our underwear--well, Matt and the boys anyway)
 taking pictures of them

Our passage from Bali to Kuching, Malaysia took about eight days and included a couple of nights of anchoring in shallow areas along the coast. Underway, we saw more boats than we have seen in awhile thanks to some narrow spots between islands that brought shipping traffic leaving or bound for Singapore into relatively close quarters.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Reunited

My family on Perry.
My cousin Eugene and his new wife Rebecka just got married in Bali. They were kind enough to invite us and it became the perfect opportunity to see my parents and some extended family. We have many blessings in this life but being so far from family and friends that we have left behind is the biggest void in our lives.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

That's why they call it sailing...

The terrain of the Komodo islands is a bit desolate
during the dry season.
...and not getting places. Cause just getting places is easy.

Based on the wind predictions, we left Kupang in the late afternoon so we would get to Komodo during daylight hours after a couple of overnights.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fast and hard or slow and easy?



Matt and I sometimes talk about whether we would prefer fast and hard or slow and easy (Talking passages here. What did you think I meant?). What we got for a passage from Darwin to Kupang was fast, hard and a bit uncomfortable. The wind prediction wasn't wrong per se. There was just a lot more of everything.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Ooroo Australia


Apparently Ooroo or Hooroo is Aussie slang for goodbye. I haven't actually heard anyone here say it though. G'day, on the other hand, is common. And 'mate'. That part is satisfying, as is the occasional sight of a man (usually an older gentleman) dressed in a Crocodile Dundee hat, safari shirt, and very short shorts. It reminds me that I'm in Australia and not the U.S.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Back in the wattah

Perry with nifty new shades done by
our friend Rachel. The old ones were disintegrating.
Perry is back in the water. After a fitful night of sleep with rabid nooseeums attacking and the noise of the boat lift groaning at random intervals, we got up bright and early to be launched at high tide.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Watcha doin'?

Our new strut/P-bracket
Since we arrived back in Darwin after our awesome road trip, we have been busy trying to get through our checklist of boat fixes. Matt's been making impressive progress on the 'Big 3' Projects that we need to get done while out of the water. He is also sweating an impressive amount (as are we all). Warning, boring boat work blah blah blah ahead.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

FOR SALE: Lofrans Progress 2 Windlass Motor 1200W 12V


Pictures from our Australian road trip - continued

I couldn't fit all the pictures from our road trip in one post, so here are the rest.

Road trip around Australia - The fast track (redone)


This post has been republished due to some strange formatting I couldn't fix in the original post.

The kids are officially sick of the car. When we first bought it, they jumped at the chance to go for a ride, even if it was just to the store. Now there is zero interest. Being stuck in it for 11,976 kilometers (7442 miles) in 28 days has officially killed the novelty.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Civilized Darwin

From the Darwin Military Museum,
like most of the pics in this post

A big reason we went cruising was to see places different from the U.S. So I almost feel guilty writing this. But after spending so long in  areas where many people live in grass-covered huts and your choices in stores (when you can find one) are limited, it has been a nice break to spend some time in what we think of as civilization.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Indonesia to Australia


It's a bit rainy in Darwin this time of year.
We left Saumlaki on a wind forecast that was higher than we would have liked (first 12 hours was still up to 25 knots and the apparent wind would be creeping just forward of the beam).  However,  the trend was that the wind was moderating and, more importantly, there was an almost zero chance of a major low forming and turning into a named storm in the next few days. So it was time to put on the big girl panties and get to Australia.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Banda to Saumlaki

Saumlaki from really far away. The wind is blocked a bit
where we are. There are some really big Catholic churches.

Before we left for Saumlaki, Matt showed me the various wind prediction models. Two of the 'base' models were fairly consistent with strong winds of 25 to 30 knots. Another model called Predict Wind, which has been pretty accurate in a lot of cases recently, showed much more moderate winds. We decided to leave regardless, because the forecasts continued in a similar vein for at least a week and we needed to start heading towards Australia. At least all of the models showed a deep downwind sail, which would make strong winds less of an issue.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Banda Islands

Indonesian cane sugar. Don't chip a tooth.
The sugar here in Indonesia, at least what we could find in Sorong, has huge crystals. Each individual grain is about 4 or 5 (maybe more) times as big as the 'granulated' sugar you find in the States. If Matt's not careful to stir his coffee for an extra long time, it sits in the bottom of his cup until after he's finished drinking it. The crystals refused to dissolve both in cookie dough and whipped cream, making a delightful (or annoying, depending on your taste) crunching when eaten.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Misool: Macro Heaven

<Deep Voice>: I'm Bat-worm.
Our friend Lisa, whom we first dove with in Hawaii years ago and is now running an dive operation in The Solomons, calls divers who only want to look for nudibranchs, 'Nudi-Nuts'. I don't know if we qualify as Nudi-Nuts, but the little critters are fascinating. Matt got some good shots in Misool, the southern part of Raja Ampat.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What Sorong with you?

Rawr
Insert collective groan here. Nope, not hitting the bottle early, though as they say 'It's 5 o'clock somewhere.' Just a little slap-happy waiting around in Sorong for our visas to be ready. Immigration opens again on the Thursday after New Year's, so today should be the Big Day. Unless it isn't (because it's Indonesia and you never know).

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ringing in the New Year with a Bang


Fireworks rarely turn out in photos...no exception here: This really fails to capture
 the ridiculous amount of fireworks that were being set off.
Indonesians love their fireworks. Large stalls that popped up all over Sorong in the last month were selling nothing but loads and loads of fireworks.  Have you ever been to one of those fireworks stores you see from the interstate just over the border from the state where they are banned (and are invariably named "Crazy Mike's" or "Wild Max's" or somesuch)? Well imagine a town of only 200,000 people having about 100 of these stores.  We were treated to fireworks leading up to Christmas, at Christmas, and the week after.