Once in the harbour, you
are reminded that this is still the third world. At full tide, it looks very nice
and big, but at low tide, the harbour shrinks to about 25% of is high tide size.
There is one small "yacht club" everything else is anchoring out. Boats
anchor very close together in 4-6 meters of water. With the tide and winds changing
direction all of the time, the dance the boats go through on a shift makes for an exciting
time. Especially with the Cat's swinging one way and the keel boats the other.
When we arrived the harbour was very full as it was the end of the
season for boats going from the Pacific toward the Med. They had about 2 weeks to
get to Singapore before the NE monsoons kicked in and made the passage very uncomfortable.
Coming into the yacht anchorage, we spotted a boat
that we didn't expect to see again, Le Dragon du Maud. This was the boat
from Singapore that was going to motor at high speed to Sydney at 9 knots. We were a
bit surprised to see him here as we knew he did not have an Indonesian cruising permit.
We later found out that his engine had died and he pulled into Bali to wait
repairs. He would be stuck here for at least another week.
The morning after, I received another reminder that I
was still in the third world. Dave and Dave had gone to shore for breakfast when a
police launch came through and started yelling at all of the boats to move NOW!
There was a barge coming through and we were in the way. Sure enough, right behind
him was a huge barge being maneuvered by 2 tugs. I pulled anchor and circled around
in the outer harbour waiting along with about 10 other boats. Any boat that was in
the way was treated as if it was not there. The tugs just smashing them aside.
A couple of the yachties that were anchored out of the way enough to not have to move,
jumped into their dinghies and tried to push the unattended yachts out of the way. I had
learned in Singapore from an ex-Bali yachtie that the government does not consider the
barge company to have any liability for damage to yachts in the path of the barges.
They regularly damage a number of boats bringing the barges in and out.
When things settled down, I tried to re anchor, but
could not get the hook to stick properly in the soft mud. After the third try I saw
an empty spot on the dock at the yacht club and tied up there. We spent the next 4
days on the yacht club dock.
The yacht club is actually very nice. It is owned by
a Chinese businessman (as is 95% of Indonesia) and run by an American yachtie that came
and stayed. In the morning, "boat boys," that will work on the
boats, show up in the club house. They can be hired on an hourly or daily
basis. The going rate was 10,000rp (~US$1.00) per day. They work very hard
with some supervision and are a great opportunity to get the boat cleaned up. Other
work can be done, but requires looking beyond the yacht club.