Tuesday, September 16th, 12:32pm
It was chore day on the boat this morning. The pump in the rear head had stopped working. We have the forward head, so it wasn’t a disastrous problem, rather a major inconvenience. I can’t explain how it all works, but the water ends up in the bilge rather than pumped out of the boat. You then have to turn on the bilge pump to pump it out..and then wet dry vacuum out the rest. A pain. Today Randal tackled the project which turned out to be a bad wire near the pump switch. He fixed the wire and replaced the switch. While he was doing that, I washed and hung 2 loads of laundry, washed up the dishes and generally straightened up the place. In the midst of all of this, while the boat was torn up for the pump project and laundry half hung, a small banca came by. I noticed the passengers taking photos. I said hello and they started asking questions. One question lead to others leading to a boat tour. Lili and Saul came aboard for a visit and tour. Lili is a travel agent by profession. But she was here today to learn more about the needs of Sail Indonesia cruisers because her city, Kemayoran , Jakarta, would act as a host next year. I think I understood that. It was her first time on a “yacht,” and it is the only diesel boat participating in Sail Indonesia. I told her that we had just recently joined the tour so she should talk with the other participants who would have different needs than ours. We can make water and do laundry and many boats can’t. They wanted to taste the water we made and then pronounced it good! Most of the time Randal was in the midst of the pump fix so I gave the quick version of the tour, but it was enough to make us new friends and earn me a big hug good-bye from Lily. You just never know what a day might bring.
When I wrote about Makassar, I wrote about the difficulty getting from DoraMac to shore because of bad balance on my part and a wharf with no ladder up to the top. But that was the only difficulty we had. We never had a bad experience with people, well maybe one taxi driver who charged double the going rate…. But really, everyone was curious, friendly, helpful and hoping that Obama would win the presidential election. Just about every Canadian, Australian, Brit, and anyone at all wants to see Obama win to hopefully change the direction American foreign policy tends to take. The man has a lot on his shoulders if he wins. Randal and I want to see him win; unfortunately our absentee ballot is somewhere between Roanoke County, Virginia and Subic Bay or who knows where. Our especially helpful Makassar friends were Arif and Sempo. Arif was the go to person for paperwork, fuel purchase, tour arrangement, and chauffeuring around Makassar. For a fee, but a very reasonable fee. And he cared if we were happy too! He calls us about once each week to see how we are doing and if other boats will come to Makassar. He is even planning a trip to Bali to drum up visitors to Makassar. Hopefully we won’t be in Ubud when/if he comes. Sempo was the water taxi driver, boat guarder when we were in Tana Toraja, and language teacher. He taught me most of the few phrases I know. He would repeat them when he saw me and patiently repeat them when I mucked them up. He was also as helpful as anyone could possibly have been helping us from DoraMac into his boat and then from his boat onto the wharf.
Arif took us to shopping malls, hardware stores, for visits to Telkomsel for our computer cell phone issues, to one of the best “locals know it” restaurants by the water, and provided for our fuel deliveries. It cost much less if the fuel comes in jerry cans rather than at the dock. Don’t ask me why, I know nothing as the goofy sergeant on Hogan’s Heroes always said. Arif has become our favorite cousin in Makassar. Sempo was the patient man who has seen it all and puts up with it and is very kind.
One morning Arif took us to see some of the working boats on the old wharf area. Reminded me of the fishing docks of New Bedford where I can’t understand what the fishermen say because they speak Portuguese. Here it’s Indonesian. But you don’t have to speak the language to understand friendship offered.
Because Randal had wanted to see the engine, this man had hand-cranked the generator to produce light down below in the “engine room.”
I hesitated to include this because I don’t mean it as poking fun or to make them feel bad. But to show how little they have for comfort when they go out on a voyage to transport cargo. The circle in the center is all the plumbing in this “toilet.”
Will stop here, already have lots of photos to slow it down.