Saturday, October 15, 2011

We have left Belitung and are headed for Singapore.  We plan to take about 4 or 5 days to get there, no hurry. Belitung was a whirlwind of activity.  First the president of Indonesia was coming and we had to figure out a way to pick 10 people to meet him.  It was decided that boat names would be chosen out of a hat and then the crew of the yacht could arm wrestle each other to see who was going to meet him. We were all invited for a dinner with him but 10 would have a private meeting.  Then it became known that the president was busy and the vice-president would appear in his place, no problem the 10 people could still meet with him.  In typical Indonesian fashion he did not show up to the gala dinner and the 10 people who were chosen got their knickers in a knot for nothing.  Oh well, it was lovely to see everyone dressed up, they had requested the men all wear batik shirts, so Barry now has a very nice rusty red batik shirt, we had to shop for awhile before we found one large enough to fit.
The last day we were in the anchorage the security was phenomenal.  The vice-president, the minister of defence, the minister of fisheries, etc, etc were to visit the site and speeches were given and a display of dragon dancing took place. Wendy from Cop Out and I wandered around, had my backpack frisked by commandos with M16's and then I asked if we could have a picture and they happily posed, but no smiles from them.  There was a sniper up in the wooden tower and there were bomb squad, riot police vehicles hanging about.  I will post pics when I get to Singapore. We were positioned where the performers would go on the stage so we got to talk to the kids who were very nervous about performing on national TV. The day ended up with a party on the beach which the guides and the boat boys participated in.  The boat boys have been valet parking our dinghies all week, which has been really handy all week with Barry bad ankle.  Speaking of which it is almost all healed up and he is walking around with only a small limp. The valet parking consisted of the guys picking up our dinghies, turning them around so it was easy to launch, and sometimes they was a double row stacked up down the beach. That was the official end Sail Indonesia, we will join the Sail Malaysia Rally in Singapore and head up the west coast of Malaysia to Langkawi.