Unexpected Kumai: a sweet side of Kalimantan

18 Jun

To our surprise, Kumai was delightful. Yes, it is a funny, dusty frontier town with absolutely nothing to recommend it aesthetically, but it was incredibly friendly. After our weeks in Bali, it was also really nice to be able to walk down the street without having 10 people try to sell us something. Here, nobody tried to sell us anything at all! It was something of a study in contradictions, with the massive shipping traffic and relatively modern vessels and structures next to very traditional boats like this one (he’s waving, of course).
Before we went up the river, we ...

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Swimming Raccoons

18 Jun

So it turns out finding a beach in San Carlos isn’t that easy. We got in the dinghy and zipped back out the way we had come in but realized that the shoreline everywhere was just rock. The beach out front of the actual town is sandy (I believe), but over here near the marina is not, and we didn’t feel like a three mile dinghy ride. The only semi-normal looking beach we saw was situated in a tiny cove with a bunch of houses crowded up around it. Eventually that’s where we headed.

We swam and played and explored. ...

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The Arizona Suburbs

17 Jun

We left last night right after putting the kids to bed. It’s the second short passage in a row that we’ve done this way, and to be honest I wish we could make every stretch over twenty miles this way. The kids sleep like logs and Ali and I are free to enjoy the quiet starry night for as long as we are able before waking the other up for some sound sleep.

About an hour in it was getting dark, the lights of town were receding, and we were getting ready for bed and night watches. Ali was downstairs ...

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Hans Klaar Sails On (And Is Looking For Crew)

17 Jun

Charlie is excited for a couple of sailing movies. I’ve got a really short one that he might like.

Both he and I have long followed the unpredictable and interesting life of Hans Klaar (here, here and here). Klaar is currently on the Portuguese coast, planning to sail his self-built catamaran, Ontong Java, up some rivers as he heads north and beyond. He’s looking for someone to sail with him, so if you are game for an unusual summer internship, email me here.

Here’s Klaar’s description of what he is after: “So if you do know ...

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BOAT FIRE: Gorgeous Yacht Destroyed in Grenada

17 Jun

Burning yacht 1

FRIDAY THE 14TH (June 2013) is a date that no doubt will live infamously in the memories of the owner of this 80-foot Jongert 2400M that was utterly and completely destroyed by fire at Prickly Bay in Grenada late last week. (Unless, of course, this is an insure-and-burn situation…) According to a bluewater cruiser named Mark, who took this series of photos from aboard his Beneteau 393 Sea Life, the fire is believed to have started behind an electrical panel and raged for over eight hours. Grenadian authorities responded promptly, but weren’t able to do much, as their boats ...

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Should We Worry About the Youth of Today?

17 Jun
Summer 2010 – lemonade
Summer 2013 – handwashing

Last night was Family Movie Night.  We don’t do it often, but Grannie had taken a stroll through the local used DVD emporium, and sent us Ghostbusters as part of a care package.  And who can say no to that?

As the film started and books started floating through the library, Indy pasted herself to my side and Erik and I shared a look.  I suddenly remembered that a few of the ghosts in the film were pretty scary.  I had misgivings; I did not want to induce a Gremlins reaction.

I ...

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Nobeltec TimeZero, “most advanced marine navigation App for iPad on the market”?

17 Jun

Written by Ben Ellison on Jun 17, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub


Any boater with an iPad has an amazing selection of apps these days, and the Android selection isn’t bad either. For some time I’ve meant to catch up on interesting new charting entries like SEAiq and SeaNav plus major improvements in category leaders like Navionics Mobile, C-Map Plan2Nav, and Garmin BlueChart Mobile. (And also clever ideas like SARMOB, which can turn multiple smartphones into an active man overboard system, and Boat Battery, which can help us figure out our electrical appetites ...

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Happy What Day?

16 Jun

This morning we hiked up to the top of the hill where the cemetery and the big white cross that go with it lord over the town. Headstones just sort of crawled all over the rocky hilltops in every direction. Makes one wonder if you simply go up there and dig your own when a loved one dies or if there actually is someone in charge.

We were walking out of the marina with the kids in hand when a security guard suddenly wished me a Happy Father’s Day. “Hoy?” I asked. Today? “Si. Si.” We had no ...

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Up the river in Borneo, part 2: the drama

15 Jun
A reminder that we’re related

We knew our trip up the river from Kumai would be a privileged experience, to see wild, exotic and endangered animals- the Borneo orangutan in particular. What we didn’t expect is how tangibly we’d find the evidence of threats against these creatures and their habitat.

What’s happening

Orangutans in the wild are now limited to Sumatra, and Borneo (an island shared by Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei). Their habitat is rapidly being lost, primarily as a result of pressure from logging for timber, and to develop palm oil plantations. In addition to the obvious habitat destruction, ...

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Battery Hiss

14 Jun

The other day the boat smelled like dead fish/sulfur/crappy blocked up head. Being as we’re in a marina amidst a fishing fleet we leaned towards dead fish. The next morning the smell was still there, and when I went up on deck it wasn’t. I had to admit the smell was coming from inside. I went below, checked the toilet hoses and checked the holding tank—thank you, thank you, thank you, this was not the source.

Eventually my nose led me to the couch, which doubles as our kitchen table seating, which means Lowe and Ouest drop three out of ...

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