Getting ready to move on..

December 2024, and finally I am on my way back home. After having spent November and December in Holland and Curaçao. It was a long journey back first from Curaçao to Amsterdam where I stayed a couple of days to visit my parents. The the long 12 hour flight from Amsterdam to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, Linda joined me on the plane to Denpasar, just a ferry ride away from Lombok. We took a couple of days off, staying at the Kuta beach strip to acclimatize.

Here we met up with our good old friend Chris. He finally arrived in Bali, having sailed from Vanuatu without an engine and with one half sane crew member. A journey that took over a month. Quite a feat of persistence on his part. In Bali he was pulled up the beach to have the propeller replaced and at the moment of writing he is waiting for his new gearbox to be fitted, before heading off to Malaysia, in one straight shot. Here we will most likely meet again, as we both have our target set to Rebak Marina on Langkawi. Only we will take another route, through the Java Sea, up through the Riau islands and past the Malacca strait.

The trip from Bali up to Lombok is an interesting one. A fast ferry ride for a couple of hours bashing full board over the Bali strait towards Gili Gede. From there we were picked up by the marina for a short dinghy ride around the corner of the Island.

It was a good three months ago that I left Ah Ma behind in the good care of Marina del Rey in Lombok. They send me weekly updates over the internet on the maintenance done, starting the engine, generator and doing a routine check of the boat itself. But seeing her myself after all that time was a relief. Everything looked in good working order, asides from all the little things that had broken down before. List of repairs that had to wait for a bit. Crew would arrive in just a couple of days and we had to clean the boat top to bottom as we had discovered a couple of unwanted guests in the form of roaches.

Linda and I made the long trip to Mataram, the capital of Lombok, to get basic supplies and cockroach poison. The trip from the Marina to the city is a good 2 hours. First we need to be shuttled ashore by the Marina dinghy, then a long drive across dual carriage way blocked by the occasional horse and cart and hundreds of motorbikes.

In Mataram we were delivered to the ‘Epicenter’ a big mall that had almost everything we were looking for, and lots of stuff we were not looking for. We found some more plastic boxes for food storage, the necessary poison for our unwanted guests and some new flip flops for Linda. After the visit to the mall and a ‘Japanese’ lunch at a local eatery we made a couple of other stops to get fresh goods and bulk groceries.

Back at the boat the last cleaning was done and the supplies were stored in the boxes safe from unwanted visitors. We spend our Christmas scrubbing and cleaning, just in time before our first crew to arrive. Rose, a Canadian 60-odd year old semi retired nurse. A friendly character that wants to join us for the trip all the way up to Langkawi.

Our second crew member arrived later the same day. An American girl that made the long journey to Lombok to experience Asia for the first time. But as the very next day she told us she would stay ashore, as one of her parents was admitted to a hospital back in the United States, and she wanted to be able to fly home at a moment’s notice. Unfortunate, but we really only need one crew to fill a night shift schedule on longer passages, so it didn’t matter to much to us.

After all the cleaning and a second provisioning run to Mataram, we planned for a little dive before leaving Lombok. Some R&R and a little team building. The dive was good, a drift dive along the coral gardens on one of the nearby Gillies (islands). Nothing spectacular, but good to be down below again after so many years. The last dive we did was back in 2020 in the Galapagos, to play hide and seek with the hammerhead sharks.

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