Wednesday October 14

Andy's Birthday. He wanted to forget it but we reminded him all day. It was a beautiful morning with crystal clear water and no jelly's. After cleaning the boat with the dew we motored around Turtle Rock to another anchorage close by to get more shelter from the strong afternoon NE'ly. We were the Canary and the other boats followed after tracking our course with AIS. 12m of water all the way gently shoal into 6m in clear sand in the anchorage area. A nice change of scenery.

Ervan arrived with a local boat to pick us all up for a trip to the Lighthouse. It was fun and games getting all 11 of us aboard as the wind was strong and the boat not very manoeuvrable.

All aboard and we headed off to the little Island of Langir and its impressive Dutch built Lighthouse. Sue and I chose the wrong place to sit and we got soaked due to high waves and low freeboard. Lea was ok perched up on top of the engine box. Very noisy single cylinder deisel engine with no muffler.

Lots of local tourists from Java visit Belitung for a boat trip out here.

Enjoyed a refreshing green coconut under the shade of the trees.

It was very hot and after exploring the island and it's great rock formations we headed out for a snorkel. Good coral and lots of small fish.

Lea got artistic and came up with this great shot.

On the way back we visited another island with a turtle hatchery and conservation park. In true Indonesian fashion it was very agricultural and bordering on cruel, but the good intention was there and some success was being reported. Small steps.

Back at the boats we used our dinghies to offload passengers safely without danger to our boats.

Kalili came in late afternoon in company with Ocean Jaywalker (OJ for short). Lloyd reported that Bel on OJ might have a broken leg after being caught by the main sheet in an emergency gybe to avoid a bommie. She had fallen hard onto a winch on the cockpit coaming. Andy and I went over to help once they were anchored. We diagnosed severe muscle damage but no break. However, a radiograph to check was advisable.

Birthday Party for Andy onshore at Ervan's Warung on the beachfront. Great fun with a keyboard player and Karaoke. ( Once I got them to turn down the volume to a reasonable level). There were a number of government officials associated with the Sail Indonesia program who wanted to talk to us. They nearly hijacked the party until I made it clear that this was a private function, our banquet was going cold and we would talk to them tomorrow.

Sue sang a karaoke song and Warren off Mustang Sally got into it after a couple of wines. The local Indonesians love their Karaoke and were right into it. We enjoyed a couple of dances and I enjoyed too much of Alex's (Alearis) 23 year old rum.

Thursday October 15

I went over to OJ and checked on Bell. Still in lots of pain but seemed ok. Discussed ways of getting her off the boat to the shore but eventually she was able to shuffle herself with help into the dinghy. Ervan was waiting to take her to hospital for a Radiograph.

Ahore for the official welcome which stretched out until 1200 as they wanted us to stay and wish the Belitung Tourism Minister Happy Birthday. The things we do!

We cancelled our motorbike hire and rebooked it for tomorrow.

Back ashore for 1530 for a burning boat dance that didn't start until 1630

Friday October 16

Picked up our motorbikes and zoomed off to Tanjung Patang's large market 27km down the road to top up supplies. We lost the others somehow but after a brief stop to refuel we found the market and got what we needed. The roads were good and not too busy except in town. We didn't linger and retraced our route back to Binga. This is a quaint, traditional fishing village. The waterfront homes have extensive racks in front of them for drying fish.

Lea had seen a nice restaurant with a pool and a view in one of the brochures we had been given so we went in search of it. We did a few circles of the town before finally locating it. It looked deserted when we arrived but we had seen nothing else so stayed. The big beautiful pool in the brochure was tinged with green and not inviting at all. We ordered lunch but non of the 4 beers on the menu was available. Apparently it is getting quite hard for restaurants to obtain beer in these more northern Muslim islands. However, the food was exceptionally good, especially the squid for which the area is famous. The nearby village is home to many of the massive “Spider Boats” as we call them that are out every night after squid. Lloyd, Mandy and Heidi off Kalili and John and Sukiama off Millenium soon joined us.
Very pleasant outlook over the bay with a nice breeze to keep us cool.
After dropping off the shopping back at the boat and returning the bikes we were entertained by some more traditional dance. The first was a ” Dragon Dance”

Then some brilliant dancing from the dog puppets complete with mobile eyebrows and ears.

These guys were even doing aerial tricks

Very entertaining afternoon and a good way to finish our stay at NW Belitung