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Passage From Bali To Singapore September 10, 2005 Español

Posted by Belle in : Bali to Singapore , trackback

Wence was ready to leave Bali. To be honest, I could have stayed another week or two, exploring Ubud, but Wence said he had a weird feeling and wanted to leave. Since this is not like wence, I let it be. Why keep him there any longer than he feels comfortable. I was not very excited about a week long passage with two kids and with only one engine. Luckily Gunther and Lois, owners of another Catana cat, Pacific Bliss, offered to sail with us. This was a very nice offer, since we might need help if something were to go wrong with our other engine. There was still concern about pirates as well.

The passage sounded exhausting to me. Since Wence, David, and Liz were going to busy doing the watches and cooking, at first I did not feel right about asking for help. But then I realized I would be getting less sleep then all of them since Theodore still feeds two to three times during the night. Also being in charge of both of them all day is just too much safety wise. When I feed Theo I cannot watch Dio. Dio is too much of a maniac for that. Unless I pop in Finding Nemo, but I don’t want to do that very often. So I realized I was going to need help.

For the most part the passage was very smooth. The usual first day or two of getting used to the whole, everything moving routine. I enjoyed sailing with another boat. It was nice to always be able to see your friends not too far away. Made me feel less like we were all alone out in the middle of the Java sea. When we were about half way there Wence decided it was time to give Pacific Bliss a demo of just how powerful our audio system is. He BLASTED Yo te chiero dar, a great song by La Mosca that has magnificent drums. Everyone who was awake jumped up and out and onto the tramp. Dio and I danced and jumped and sang as Pacific Bliss, who was right beside us, watched us, either in amusement or horror. They were too far away to see the expressions on their faces. After the first song an exhausted David came up, looking a bit under the weather. His stomach was bothering him. I suppose our stereo demo did not help. Wences played it so loud I think they must have heard us coming in Singapore. After a few songs Dio and I were exhausted. Time to jump in his pool.

The next day we had an interesting event. Liz noticed that a rather large fishing boat had basically turned around to come towards us. She changed the direction of Simpatica and the boat changed direction, heading towards Pacific Bliss. After some sketchy radio communication we learned from Noen, a Malaysian passenger on Pacific Bliss who translated for us, that the fishing boat was looking for gas. Wence poured some diesel into a jerry can and hoisted it off the back of the boat on a line. The boat received the diesel, seemed very thankful and started heading off in the opposite direction. At this point I went down below to nurse Theodore. Shortly afterwards I heard Wence on the radio talking to Gunther, sounding concerned. It takes a lot to concern Wence, so immediately I was worried. I heard him say that the boat was coming back towards us at full speed. Then I heard WEnce get David up, close all the doors and hatches and sit down to make a call. Who the hell is he going to call, I thought. God? Who could help us here, in the middle of the Java sea? What OPM or GLT friend could call off a bunch of pirates? You know when you receive a business card from someone and you smile, thinking, why the hell are they giving this to me, what are the chances that we will ever speak again. Well, I had that experience with Mia, the wife of the mayor of Kupang. Who ever could have imagined that her business card could have been so helpful. Wence told her our situation, that we were not sure, but we thought we might be under attack from pirates. She said she would make some calls and call back in five minutes. Then I was summoned on deck, with the baby, to show we had children onboard. Yes, we were that desperate. I noticed that as soon as they saws me and Theodore they backed off a little bit. Their boat had been very close to ours. There were moments it seemed like it might even crash right into ours. It was not some little Cris Craft fishing boat, it was a big, two storey, long boat with at least five men aboard. All of the sudden I wondered if their backing off was a good sign or a bad sign. Do pirates have morals? Do they say OK, we will steal whatever we can from whomever we can, but if there are children aboard, forget it. Suddenly these kinds of distinctions mattered to me. Nice pirates…hmmmmm. Is there such a thing? I remembered the story wence had read aloud about the guy who was sailing alone, without a gun, GPS, stove, charts, etc. etc. and he was taken over by pirates. When the pirates realized this guy had nothing except some canned food and dirty underwear they left. Moments later they came back, boarded his ship again, this time giving him two things. A GPS and a warning: BE CAREFUL, said the pirates. That was a good pirate story. I liked thinking of that one at this particular time. We watched as they yelled to Noen, Noen yelled back, they yelled again, making gestures with their hands, Noen yelled back, making gestures with his hands. Suddenly, Noen discovered it was not diesel they were after, but oil. They needed oil for their engine. Oh thank God. Gunther was able to give them as much as they needed and they were off. Suddenly I realized how lucky we were that we did not have a gun on board. A gun could have gotten us into trouble. The scariest thing on Simpatica that day was our own fear. Our fear of meeting pirates, of people we did not know, of a language we did not understand, and a culture that is foreign to us. If we had had a gun we might have threatened to use it or worse, we might have actually used it. And what a tragedy that could have been. We found out later that Gunther had been holding a flare gun in his hands during the entire episode, as scared as we were. I wonder if these fishermen had any idea how much fear they caused. I hope not. I was a bit embarrassed by our fear. Especially when we found out five minutes later that Mia had called her husband who had called the navy in Jakarta. The Navy was minutes away from disbatching a ship and fighter planes to our coordinates. Those fishermen could have been blown out of the water for asking for a bit of oil. I guess it was nice to know, as well, that if they were not just fishermen, if they had indeed been pirates, that we did have some kind of rather serious international mojo working for us.


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