Our last few days in Bali haven’t been too adventurous, but they’ve been productive.  Boat jobs never end, so we’ve sweated our way through a day or so of different repair and maintenance jobs – changing engine oil (every 100 engine hours), tightening belts, repairing a broken VHF antenna, fixing a leak, etc.  Lauren took me up the stick as well so I could have a look at the rigging before we start our Indian Ocean crossing.  I didn’t see any major problems, although the standing rigging (stainless wires & fittings holding up the mast) could use a good polish.  It’s amazing how much even good quality stainless steel rusts in a year and a half under these conditions.  I also replaced the shackle for the spinnaker halyard block at the top of the mast.  The last time I did it was at sea during our long crossing in the Pacific and doing it in a calm anchorage was much, much simpler.  It’s stainless as well, but it is fastened through a larger stainless eye and they wear against each other.  It wasn’t too worn, but it was enough that I’d rather start the ocean crossing with a new one.

We needed to check out and make an ATM stop, and one of the locals here told us to try using the ATM at LotteMart, which was on the way, so we stopped there to check it out. It looked like a local Wal-Mart Supercenter, so we were pretty excited about doing some provisioning there.  We tried to ask our cab driver about whether it was cheap or expensive, but he didn’t speak much English.  After a couple of failed attempts, I tried “LotteMart: big money or small money?”  He cracked a big smile and said “Small money”, which was consistent with the large number of locals shopping there, so we decided to come back.

Check out was pretty smooth.  It took us about half the time we were expecting, everyone was friendly, and as before there were heaps of stamps, but the only cost was $2 at quarantine.  This time we knew the Navy office was in Serangan so we made the visit to the Navy office first then went to Benoa to complete the process.  Apparently this is a little out of order, but not too big of a deal.  We just smiled a lot (bringing Lauren along seemed to help), used the local phrases we’ve learned, and made small talk.  We finished in time to have a small lunch at Bali Marina, where we’d spent our first night in Bali.  After traveling a bit, we were shocked at how high their prices were. 

DSC_0292-horz 13 stamps and 6 signatures later, we are cleared for departure

Yesterday was the last day of Ramadan, and although Bali is mostly Hindu, Indonesia is the world’s most populous Muslim country.  Apparently many of the fishermen are Muslim (the Hindus do believe the sea is the home of evil spirits) because all of the marine shops near the marina were closed, and the harbor was filled with more fishing boats than I’ve ever seen in one place in my life.  We didn’t have the camera, but it would have been hard to capture the sight anyway.  There were literally hundreds of boats tied alongside each other filling the harbor – colorful blue, red and purple wood-hulled boats, white steel ones, the rows just went on and on.  These weren’t small fishing dhows; they were large 70’-100’ offshore boats.  Apparently they were all in town to celebrate Ramadan and it was a sight to see.

The shopping at LotteMart turned out to be pretty good.  We got a number of things we needed, enjoyed some good local prices, and even found a new pressure cooker.  The pressure cooker is one of the more important galley items and the seal had stretched too much on ours to make it useful anymore.  We thought we could find a new one in Australia, but when we asked for pressure cookers there they always pointed us to electric gadgets.  Here we were able to find 5 models of old-fashioned pressure cookers on display.  We selected the one model that was actually in stock and continued the process of walking down every aisle to make sure we didn’t miss anything.  We’re not expecting much in the way of shopping until South Africa so we’re pretty stocked up at this point.

DSC_0282 Typical Asia: No Fritos, but how about some Happytos?

DSC_0286 Bargain threads are looking good…

After another hot, lazy day on the boat (at least Lauren got in a little beach time), we’re finally ready to set off.  The typically reliable tradewinds have been displaced a bit recently by what looks like the ITCZ moving quite a ways south, but it should start clearing up soon and we’re hoping for some decent sailing to Christmas Island.  We have about 5500 miles to go before we’re safe in South Africa and out of the cyclone region, so I’m anxious to get started, especially as there’s not really any padding left in our schedule and something always seems to cause delays. 

We’ll definitely miss Bali with its kind and friendly people, beautiful temples and mountains, nice beaches, cheap everything, and laid-back atmosphere.  Goodbye in Indonesian is a bit different than it is in English.  There are two translations of the phrase.  One, “selamat jalan” is said to the person who’s leaving (by the person who’s staying).  The other, “selamat tinggal” is said by the person who’s leaving to the person who’s staying.  “Selemat tinggal” Bali!