Although having to cancel Geraldton, Western Australia was unfortunate, the fact that we could arrive in Benoa, Bali in the morning, as opposed to the afternoon, was welcomed by our guests. Our crew, many of whom live in Bali, were deliriously excited about the additional hours with their families and loved ones.
During our sea-days, Henk and I attended the Linus Project photo shoot, complete with 55 blankets and some outstanding bonnets for the little ones.
Our Thursday morning broke with high, towering cumuli nimbus clouds and scattered thunderstorms, rain showers could be seen in the distance.
The pilot boat came out to meet us and, although it looks fast, the crew called for a speed of 4 knots for boarding; (maybe their own fuel conservation plan? 😉 )
Benoa is a ‘tricky’ port; affected by strong tidal currents, having numerous shoals and sandbanks` and involving some sharp, precise turns. It involves the utmost concentration, however the advantages of being able to dock, as opposed to using our tenders, are well worth the effort. I have to admit that it is disconcerting to see inhabitants with fishing rods, (poles) standing in the shallows, a few meters away from the hull 🙂
Having safely navigated the channel, we docked port-side to on Benoa’s longest berth. We received a traditional Indonesian welcome.
Gerd and I had arranged that I had some time off on Day 1 and he went diving on day 2. So, having seen many of the local sights on our previous calls, Karen and I, along with friends, decided we would have a quiet ‘beach’ day and set off towards Sanur, a town a few miles south of Benoa, (as the crow flies), but around 25 minutes by road. It is a popular area for Europeans, mostly German, Dutch and some from Eastern Europe. It has lovely beaches, shopping 👿 and hotels and it was the Puri Santrian hotel that we stayed for the day. Colin and Paris had stayed there before and an arrangement with the manager, whereby we made a deposit of $160 U.S. and anything we ate or drank, would be deducted from it. After a marvelously relaxing day, we walked away with change 😀
Soon we will be on our way to Semarang, on the north coast of Java. We have to back out of the berth and then swing through 90° before we can transit the channel again. Our route will take us through the Lombok Straits and past the eastern end of Java before paralleling its north coast.