Back to Iboih, Indonesia

Leaving Boat Lagoon In Phuket, Thailand - only my second time ever driving the boat out of a slip!

A quick note before I begin - 

I’ve lost my voice.  I’m not sure what I have to say anymore, or even what I had to say before.  What did I tell you about?  What do you wonder about?  Our life aboard after seven years has just become normal to me.  I forget that it isn’t.  I know I take it for granted.  To the rest of the world, our lifestyle is unique, unusual, exotic.  But to me, it’s just everyday life and I sit down to write, stumped by what in the world I could possibly say.  So, I have decided to ‘just write’ anyway - to meander through recent happenings and insert my inner thoughts as I share, fighting against those voices that tell me how mundane it all must seem to you.  

Anyway, here goes…

You mean this isn't how everyone buys their groceries??

Back to Iboih, Indonesia

We’ve just arrived in Iboih, Indonesia after a beautiful two-day sail with winds behind us.  That wind angle allowed us to pop up our long-stowed Parasailor (you know, that brightly-colored thin sail that billows out in front of us and pulls us onward).  It took a bit of trial and error to run the lines perfectly and get it set up, but once it was up and flying, Mark and I both enjoyed the view and the comfortable ride.  Along the way, we dodged a slew of container ships in a few spots, but overall, it was clear running.  The sunrises and sunsets put peaceful parentheses around our days, and on two separate occasions, a pod of dolphins played at our bow.  After the hordes of tourists and traffic in Thailand, the serenity of the sea engulfed us.  Each of us relaxed into a sailing rhythm and basked in nature’s embrace.  

A container ship passing in the shipping lane at sunset

Our resident photographer on the bow

Dolphins playing in the bowbreak (photo courtesy of Elizabeth!)

The kids collaborated on the creation of a new Minecraft world, read for hours on their kindles, and were happy to be sailing again (perhaps because that meant only a few scholastic requirements?? ;)  I used my time when I wasn’t on watch to practice some ukulele, indulge in a few episodes of Homeland, or catch a few zzz’s.  While on watch, you’d rarely find me without an earbud in one ear, listening to one of my favorite podcasts or a book I’m listening to as part of an email book club I’ve been invited to join.  ( Fav Podcasts:  The Glorious in the Mundane, Radiolab, and the new Kids4Sail podcast!  Bookclub book:  The Lost City of the Monkey God by Douglas Preston)  

Mark is SuperDad when we sail.  Since I get seasick sometimes still, he does most of the cooking.  (I do pitch in by sous chef-ing before we set off)  Lately, he’s been treating us all to fruit smoothies via the Vitamix we have on board and the ice maker (yes, he’s absolutely spoiling us!).  Our favorite concoction thus far is one deemed “Sweetart” made with pomegranate juice, fresh lime, sugar, and ice.  Those glands at the back of my mouth fire off just thinking about it!  It’s the kind of drink that would have induced incessant “gleeking” from my older brother when we were young.  P.S.  If you have never been gleeked on, consider yourself lucky.  P.S.S. If you’d like to learn how to gleek, check out the four (yes, four!) suggested methods in this Wikihow article .

Hanging out at the helm
Afternoon snack!  We always crave salty and crunchy - these pickled cucumbers are perfect!

After two nights, we anchored in the deep bay of Sabang to check into Indonesia.  As the officials boarded the boat, tidbits of Bahasa Indonesia (the Indonesian language) came back to me.  “Selemat Siang” (Good afternoon!)  I offered them tea, but they were all business at first.  The quarantine officer asked if he could come inside to do his checking while the customs, immigration, and harbormaster stayed outside in the cockpit with Mark to do paperwork.  I walked him throughout the boat, answering his questions about how much alcohol we had on board and where we’d purchased our produce.  He asked me to open cabinets and drawers all over the boat, perhaps more for curiosity’s sake than official business.  

It always feels a bit odd to open my drawers and cabinets on these routine checks, wondering what in the world they might be thinking to themselves.  I’m sure it’s all very official and appropriate (ahem), but in some places, like my cabin, I feel exposed and vulnerable.  I tell myself they’ve seen it all before, but they haven’t seen mine!  I fumble awkwardly, trying to avoid eye contact as I pull open my drawer of bikinis and underwear.  It reminds me of that first day of middle school gym class when I had to change in the locker room surrounded by unknown kids, imagining that everyone was looking at me when in reality they were likely all just as uncomfortable as I was.    

Once the officials had done their checks and stamped our paperwork, we raced to get to the Iboih anchorage before sunset. As soon as we were motoring toward Iboih, I was buzzing with the excitement of seeing old friends again in one of our favorite spots in Indonesia.  It felt so good to be somewhere we had been before.  The familiar sounds of the Muslim afternoon calls to prayer filled the air as we dropped the hook in the calm waters. I couldn’t wait to get ashore in the morning and reunite with the sweet lady who runs the coffee shop and the dive center folks we spent so much time with.  

Would it still be like we remembered?  What will have changed?  Who will remember us?

Motoring to Iboih anchorage behind new sailing friends on SV Rainbow Safari

It's so nice to be back to the peaceful little town of Iboih!
Dinnertime at a local food stall

Hmm... it seems that once I start writing, I find plenty to tell.  It’s just a matter of sitting down and pushing through those insecurities and doubts.  I’m way behind now in the stories I want to remember, but the goal is to ‘just write’ - after all, nobody’s going after a Pulitzer Prize, here!  The dates of the entries won’t be in exact order, but at least I’ll have a record of what we’ve been doing recently (and not so recently!).  Let the writing commence...

(If you haven't seen our video about this crossing and our entry into Sabang, check it out here!)

(And Mark just recently uploaded a new video of our favorite people and places in Iboih!  Take a look!)

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