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.