MyWay has put a lot of miles under her keels since our last update. It was a short hop from the Tumamotu and Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia to BoraBora just north of Tahiti. With calm protected waters, crystal clear water and lush foliage ashore, It is prefect location for a boating holiday. We were joined by family and friends to share some unique sights underwater, as well as time ashore.
After we all left, the crew took off for 6500 miles of down wind sailing to get to our next destination in Bali Indonesia. We met the boat there and explored there for a short time before sailing across the Java Sea to the Kalamantan region of Borneo. Once there, we took a small boat inland to a protected jungle area. One of the last locations in the world where Orangutan habitat is preserved. I hope the following pictures help you get a tiny sense of what it was like.
The Islands in the group are all surrounded by small barrier reefs. Once we enter through a pass in the reef, we are in water that is very flat and perfectly clear.
Our friends, a school of dolphins lead the way through the pass.
We can't wait to get our Snorkeling gear on to check out the sights
A sea turtle swims by close enough to touch
Practicing for tonight's show at the hotel
Granddaughter Olivia and Sarah feed some sting rays
Beautiful views are everywhere but after two and a half weeks of perfection, it's time to move on to Indonesia
MyWay had to move from French Polynesia to Indonesia quickly in order to avoid the cyclone season in the South Pacific. Our plan was to meet the boat on Bali since it was easy to fly to, explore there for a week or so and then to sail across the Java Sea to spend the rest of of put time in Borneo at a lodge in the jungle, near one of the last remaining habitats of Orangutan great apes.
Bali for most visitors is a resort destination with wonderful hotel resorts and great beaches. We tried to travel inland to enjoy the unique landscape, culture, and wildlife.
Bali was pretty well developed and affluent for a an island in the 3rd world but it still had some areas of rice terraces.
On the way back to the boat, we stopped at an outdoor "food court" Bali style
Does he look more thoughtful than me?
They are so social and seem to love to be close to each other.
A local market on a rainy day.
We didn't see much corn growing but it was sold everywhere (almost always from the top of someone's head)
There was an incredible selection of spices and Karen always bargains hard.
We saw many beautiful temples like this on built in a lake. With all of the rain, it was hard to take pictures without getting wet.
KALIMANTAN (the Indonesian part of
The plan call for a easy two day sail from Bali to the mouth of the Kumai River on coast of Borneo Island. From there we would take a local boat up the river to spend several days in one of the last remaining habitats for Orangutans in the world.
About 3 PM on the first day, MyWay ran into a dense line of nasty squalls. Even though we had reefed the sail to about 50%, a first gust of wind ripped the sail right off of the boom! From then on, we were caught in terrible conditions. The wind indicator went form 10 to 60 knots in seconds. The seas built until we were taking a terrific pounding and at times it rained so hard you couldn't see 5 feet ahead. None of the crew ate or slept very much for the next three days and it was the worst few days I've ever spent at sea.
The flat, smooth, chocolate brown water at the mouth of the Kumai river was very welcome after the miserable crossing of the Java Sea.
The water front of Kumai had the feel of a real "outpost of civilization". Going up river from here we knew we'd be off the grid.
Downtown Kumai; not too much for tourist amenities
We were told to check in with the authorities. They had no clue what to do about us being there. I think Karen and Sarah were too much for him
The orangutan area is a six hour trip up a tributary of the Kumai River. This is our local transport. The plan is to spend 4 days with the great apes
The jungle closes in around us as the river narrows. Into the heart of darkness.
Karen takes a turn driving the boat. Staying in the middle of the river is really important and harder than it looks
The apes are not shy and come out to our boat to welcome us and check us out. They seem sweet but are very strong so we are careful.
Almost every female has a baby on her hip. Babies stay with mom for 7 years or so.
We get so close we can check out every detail.
They are so graceful, limber and strong. They move around us with complete ease
Captain Mike volunteers to carry food for feeding
We get to know some individuals by name. This is Sampson and he doesn't want to wait to eat. He not the adult, dominant male so this is mainly for show.
At the feeding station with our new friends
There is only one "Alpha" per area. This is "Big Tom" and this is his territory. We are warned not to make him mad. At over 300 pounds and 15 times stronger that a human, we treat him with respect.
With all of his bulk, he still moves through the trees with complete ease.
Yet, even Tom is playful at times and we see him accomplish complicated tasks. Other than humans, these apes are now believed to be the most intelligent creatures on the planet.
On the last day, we stopped at a village along the river. Inland, we could see that a lot of rain forest had been cleared for planting rice which is why there is so little habitat left. The housing was simple but everyone seemed well fed.
People in the village were as interested in us as we were in them. Almost everyone had a smile for us.
We could see that there was a lot of hard work to be done.
GETTING READY FOR "PIRATE ALLEY"
After a short stay in Thailand, we hope to take MyWay to the Mediterranean. That will take us past the worst pitate area in the world so Karen is in training to protect the boat. She's a great shot.
There's something awsome about a beautiful woman with a