Thursday, December 27, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Once again we find ourselves in an exotic location for Christmas.  We spent Christmas in Kuala Lumpur after a six week adventure which included four countries (Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia), two trains and nine flights.  We are exhausted and grateful to be home safe and sound.  We plan to do many boat projects and ring in the new year right here on Scholarship. Happy New Year!!  Hugs, Liz, Mark and Dylan

P.S. I am trying to get caught up on some old scroll down to see Bali!! 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Catch Up, Part II

Daddy and D, Kuta Beach
After arriving in Bali we spent three days in the crazy area of Kuta/Legian.  Party central of Bali, Kuta is full of bars, shopping and of course the beach.  We were happy to depart Kuta and head inland to the town of Ubud.  Ubud is a haven for expats, yogis, foodies and shoppers.  The countryside is beautiful and full picturesque rice paddies.  The Balinese spirit is in the air as the offerings and temples are absolutely everywhere. You would have to try hard not to find a Balinese ceremony or festival.  We stayed a week and it was wonderful.  I wish we would have taken more photos.  So photogenic!
enjoying some Bali tea

our bungalow
temple lady
Monkey Forest monkeys
The Balinese man hanging with the monkeys
temple dude
Balinese Ceremony
our rice paddy walk to lunch

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Catch Up, Part I

We spent three months sailing Indonesia and I feel compelled to back up a bit and blog more about some of the wonderful places we visited.  Bali was one of them, and after almost six months in South East Asia I can say it was definitely one of the highlights.  Because we had heard mixed reviews (mostly unfavorable) about the anchorages and the marina is Bali we decided to leave Scholarship on a mooring at the Medana Bay Yacht Club on the neighboring island of Lombok.  Medana Bay is a small marina that played host to part of the Sail Indonesia Rally.  The staff were friendly and after spending some high wind days on our mooring ball we decided it wasn't going anywhere and it was okay to leave Scholarship for a few weeks.  
After a one and half hour taxi ride we arrived at the Lombok Airport ready for our quick one hour flight to Bali.  Our flight was running late and as we finally started to board they stopped us at the gate and told us that we could not board.  The staff person at the gate had very limited English so could not explain why.  Dumbfounded we watched as all the other passengers filed past us to the tarmac while the gate keeper held us back.  It took a walk down to the service desk for another staff member to explain to us that the plane was not pressurized and they could not let a baby on board.  Our tickets clearly stated "infant" but now we were stuck at the Lombok airport for another three hours until the next flight.  Not sure what Dylan ate for breakfast but she promptly threw up on her dress and all over me.  Our holiday to Bali seemed a bit depressing so far.  It was then that Mark found the Sheraton Lounge.  There is a little corner of the Lombok Airport where the Lombok Sheraton has a brand spanking new lounge complete with clean and comfy couches and a buffet.  Buffets I could care less about, but the little private room to feed and change my baby was a plus.  As we relaxed in the lounge the time flew by and before we knew it we were in a taxi hurling toward Kuta Beach in Bali.
Waiting to fly to Bali (before puking and the aborted flight)
Dylan chills in the lounge

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Keep a Watch On Deck

another behemoth ship
DC gets ready for some pool time at Raffles Marina
The Raffles Marina brochure reminds you to keep a watch on deck while in Singapore waters.  As the busiest port in the world, there is said to be a huge tanker every twelve minutes.   If you ask Mark he might say there are more.  It was a hectic trip but we made good time. We arrived four days ago after a thirty-nine mile jaunt from Nongsa Point Marina on the island of Batam at the tippy-top of Indonesia.  We spent a week at Nongsa Point fixing our steering which we found out wasn't a steering issue, but an auto-pilot one and relaxing by the pool.  We find ourselves in Singapore for two weeks of sightseeing and draining the cruising kitty.  Man it's expensive here. This is saying something after having just spent two plus year in exorbitant Oz.  But with the philosophy of, "hey when are we gonna be in Singapore again?",we are having a great time! 
the Raffles Marina pool did not disappoint

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bali to Batam

Dylan and Daddy heading off for a play date on s/v Wandoo

Fishing hut, Kuriman Jawa
Let's face it, October was kind of a slog.  We left Bali in early October and spent almost three weeks just making the miles to reach the top of Indonesia.  Long HOT motoring and a few over-nighters.  This is the not the fun part of cruising but it is necessary if you ever want to get anywhere! We did cross the equator for the first time since 2007.  Great to be back on our side of the world.  Our destination was Nongsa Point Marina on Batam Island.  This is where we would check out of Indonesia and head onward to Singapore.  Below, a few pictures from the trip.
Friendly Indonesians, Kuriman Jawa
slim pickins' at the market
white and sandy
swimming at Belitung Island
Liz and Bev beating the heat
We made time for a play date on Scholarship, these girls are very busy
Mark sails his "Eliza Frasier" at Nongsa Point
DC dolled up for Sunday lunch at Nongsa Point

Saturday, September 22, 2012

She's One!

Our tiny little wonder isn't so tiny.  She has changed by leaps and bounds over the past year.  From a tiny six-pounder to this bruiser of a toddler.  She is going a million miles an hour and climbing out of the cockpit already!  Everything they say about time fleeting when you have children is true.  We celebrated Dylan Claire's special day in Lombok, Indonesia.  This little girl has covered a lot of miles since we left Brisbane last April. 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012


Kupang Harbor
We have been in Indonesia for one week, following an uneventful three night passage from Darwin, Australia.  The winds were light, but we still had plenty to sail most of the 450 miles to Kupang, Indonesia. With our diesel tanks full, we arrived in Kupang in the early afternoon.  Dropping the hook amongst fifty or so other rally boats we gathered our paperwork together for check in.  At this time, the VHF radio was humming.  It seemed that some boats had been waiting hours for the officials to show and there was no first come first served here in Indonesia.  Officials were now being ferried between boats by cruisers themselves to make sure they did not get skipped.  Mark quickly offloaded the dinghy and lingered at a nearby boat.  Soon after he arrived with three officials and we were soon cleared for going to shore.  On shore we would finish the real check in process which included a very hot room with literally thousands of sheets of paper.  There was a lot of smiling, stamping , and handing over many many copies of our documents.  With about thirty snaps of Dylan Claire, were fully matriculated into the country.  I must back up and say that we have heard babies, especially the Western variety are popular in Indonesia.  Well that was an understatement! When the officials came on board they collected the documents they needed and then spent the next five minutes asking questions about and taking photos of Dylan.  This continues on shore as we are followed around like Elvis.  I fend off so she doesn’t get pinched.  She is attached to me in the trusty Ergo carrier.  When she is out of the baby carrier there is always someone with their arms out-stretched trying to get a cuddle. 
After we got checked in, it was time to take a breath and try the local Bintang beer.  An open air bar just off the main beach is the cruisers hang-out and rally headquarters.  The first night, although we were all bleary-eyed from sleeping very little we attended the first of two gala dinners hosted by the city of Kupang.  A lot of speeches in Bahasa (the local language), some dancing and a buffet of mysterious food and we were off to Scholarship to get rested up.  We spent the next few days exploring the town, visiting with cruisers and locals alike and getting our phone and internet (slower than dial up) sorted out.  On day six we set off for our first Indonesian passage 105 miles north to Lomblen Island.  The rally festivities will begin in a few days so we are spending a few quiet days in an anchorage around the corner from the village of Lembata.  We will venture there in the morning where we will anchor in sight of a steaming volcano. 
Cold Bintang Beer
happy officials
the politicians
Kupang school girls
baby sunset with Fearless and Wandoo

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great Barrier Reef

While at Lizard Island we took the opportunity to day trip out to the outer reef with friends on their yacht, S/V Fearless.  Just when you think the water couldn't get any clearer, it did, with over 100 foot visibility. After a two hour motor sail, we picked up a mooring ball on the outer reef complete with two welcoming five foot reef sharks circling under the boat.   Included here are a few photos of the underwater delights we saw that day captured by one of the Fearless crew members, Brett, with his underwater camera. A few days later Brett would use the same camera to bop a shark on the nose that came in a bit too close for comfort.