Monday, November 26th, 2018
Serangan Bay, day three in Bali, Picton Castle halfway around the world.
The day here at anchor in Serangan comes in with a tropical rain shower – the monsoon change is upon us – followed by clearing and then a fine view of the Mount Agung volcano well to our north, for a while anyway before the haze fills back in. Early morning ferry boats from town headed out to the nearby islands of Nusa Penida and Lombok stream out of the bay and send us modest wakes as a form of a morning wake up greeting. Earlier we heard the faithful called to prayer over far away loudspeakers on this calm morning.
Almost all the signing off crew have headed ashore for some Bali time and their next adventure. Some have gone straight back home to Sweden and Canada. Really? Seems like hanging around in Bali in late November would be a fun idea. Since that is where we are. Plenty of time before Christmas. We wish them all good luck and joy. And we have the new gang aboard now too, getting settled and going through the comprehensive orientation process we require of those just joining. Lots to go over. The new folks are from Nova Scotia, South Africa, Alberta, and Belgium.
There is a big high regional trash dump we can see, like a low flat mountain over the masts of the fish boats and ferries miles far off in the distance. Hardly noticeable, except when the wind is directly in that quarter. Then we notice it just fine. Smells of sweet rotting fruit more than anything else. This morning we moved the Picton Castle a couple hundred yards to the south and re-anchored. In spite of anchoring at the coordinates we were given, it seems that we were in some sort of private anchor spot. Hard to tell. Looked like heaps of room around us but so it goes. It was good to test the recently overhauled anchor windlass under load anyway. No harm. No problem. Better where we are anchored now anyway.
We have four Balinese fellows out on the ship as day workers to knockarust on the quarterdeck taff rails. My goodness they are doing a great and thorough job. Very impressive. They bring their own lunch of difficult to define Balinese foods. Except for the rice. The rice looks just like rice. The rest? Smells good, but not sure what it all is. They are not at all interested in our pizza and macaroni salads. Nope, not a little bit. Yards squared, sails loosed to dry after the rain. White topsides getting white again after a month at sea. Garbage ashore, all 17 bags. And some running around today looking for bits and pieces for this and that. Water filters, chain drives, and odds and ends. And the other two-thirds of our gang off seeing Bali.
The free watches are off at Ubud, Denpasar, Kuta and who knows where else, on tours, taking in temples, festivals, night markets, great food, nice homestays overlooking a rice paddy, maybe shopping for carvings and fabrics, maybe a little nightlife. We will find out when they get back.
Dawson, ship’s boy and my oldest unmarried son, went off with friends to see the amazing temple at Uluwatu today. An elegant and large temple perched high on a cliff over the sea, it is an amazing place to visit. It is also home to a large band of well organised larcenous monkeys. A small group of these rascals will distract you, another one will come bounding up out of nowhere and grab your sunglasses off your head and run away a short distance. To hold them hostage until you offer a suitable ransom, such as a banana, which upon receipt of said banana our simian artful dodger will fling the sunglasses back at you and they will all scamper off swiftly. Cheeky little brutes. Apart from the antics of these furry little devils visiting the temple at Uluwatu is to allow a perceptible wave of serenity to wash over you.
For Dawson yesterday was a visit to the turtle sanctuary nearby where he fed lettuce to turtles he told me, he told me that they were hungry, followed by a visit to a brazenly touristy waterpark where he had as much fun as a little boy can have. Anything to do with water keeps Dawson going. Soon, we must go to the zoo where we must see a Komodo Dragon. I think he will like the elephants and tigers too, but right now its all about Komodo Dragons.
We are also getting ready for a wedding onboard tomorrow afternoon. Much thought going into décor, food, cake, libations and whatever we can think of. Better stop the rust-busting in time to clean up I guess. I am to officiate at this wedding of a sister of one of our crew (and her fiancé, of course). All the weddings I have performed so far are still sticking so I must be doing something right, no?