This was our longest journey on our own so far and we were
exhausted. In the day we saw our first large whale and a few dolphins
which had been very scarce throughout Indonesia.
We were passed by a huge ferry which then dropped all its load of used
polystyrene containers from lunch into the sea!
We cut through some shallows to reduce our miles but then
had to hove-to until daylight as the next section was dodgy.
At dawn we followed a large trader and made it through just
before the seas picked up.
We then had a great sail north into Macassar. Most of the way
there were hundreds of little flags being possibly fish traps,
it is hard to tell!
A long journey and glad to arrive at what looked like
a bustling metropolis. We anchored just out the front
of The Macassar Golden Hotel on the main drag of the waterfront
with buildings of all shapes, sizes and colours!
The water in the harbour was dirty but we enjoyed watching
the busy coming and goings of the locals on bikes and
bimos all night long! The next day a boat taxi arrived
with a man called Ali who became our escort for the next
The first thing was to visit the officials as our cruising
permit and visas were nearly out of time, that took all
day but they were reasonable except for one of them trying
to offer us diesel at double the going rate! The Immigration
Head was great and gave us a further 30 day visa and then
we were without a cruising permit as we only were given
60 days in Darwin.
From then on, Mike avoided the question of a CAIT (cruising
permit) and concentrated on the port clearance and visa
instead and we managed to avoid any dramas further on.
We ate at local eateries and enjoyed the famous Macassar
buffalo soup but the cumi-cumi (squid) was too tough!
We found cold beer and met a lot of locals so it was fun.
We had a few rides on the pushbike taxis, one young man
thought he would rip us off but he got lost so well and
truly earned his money! Another ride was with an older man
who enjoyed very much sharing our newly purchased grapes as
we cycled along.
Mike was interrogated by the police for an hour because
he was getting us some diesel and as the price of diesel
was to double in Indonesia in the next week or so they were
suspecting everyone of storing up for the black market.
The worst of it Mike said was the policewomen who rummaged
through his shopping bag and demanded his tea!
We took a journey to the famous orchid garden but only two
or three were in flower and her shell collection was somewhat
Ali suggested we leave our dinghy by the local restaurant
but the first day we were up to our knees in filthy water
and rubbish so we spotted the marine police jetty and
used that for the rest of the time. They were a friendly
On leaving Macassar we headed west through the shallows
in Macassar Straight choosing Lanyukang Island on the
edge to anchor for the night. The water was clear with
lots of coral and on further investigation and permission
from an elder we decided to sneak Whimoway over the reef
(with one foot to spare) and careen when the tide ran
We were helped by two young men and were visited all day
by locals who were totally amused at us being there!
On leaving we decided to hang on our stern anchor once
we turned and then wait for enough water but the strong
tide had other ideas and so we held her in reverse for
as long as we could then thankfully we just snuck back
over again. We anchored then just out from the reef and
rolled all night.
The next leg was across to Matasiri Island in the Laurot
Group just southeast of Borneo. We did not explore the
village but had the usual visitors including a great bunch
of kids who gave us coconuts and fresh fish for the last
of our English books.
Lovely people again and very pretty islands.
On to the Kumai River, Kalimantan and the Orang-utans!