Journal 28 -  OUR  ISLAND  LIFE – Bali, Singapore and the islands of Krabi
Location and Sail Plan

OUR ISLAND LIFE – Bali, Singapore and the islands of Krabi


In November of 2006, we made a short-notice decision to visit Bali for GT’s birthday – the first time
for Henry, and the first time in 8 years for Glen.  For our Asian-based friends, who’ve been “Bali’d
out”, you can opt out here on the text, and just go straight to the photo link below…..

Bali is a gorgeous island, one of hundreds in the Indonesian island chain that’s part of the “ring of
fire”… unlike many, Bali’s volcanoes are extinct - it’s just other things that blow up these days: the
bombings in the tourist areas of Kuta beach and Seminyak have sadly diminished its’ reputation as
the destination of choice for Australians (who have suffered the highest casualties in these
terrorist attacks).  So it’s very quiet these days, particularly in the “off-season” of November.  We
booked a suite in the high cool hills of the Ubud village, for half the normal price, plus an added
10% discount for Australians – whom the Balinese are trying to attract back.  Only 4 of the 27 villas
were occupied, and after the weekend, we were the only ones in the hotel.  The resort was a
funky, rustic shamble of villas scattered down a steep hillside which bottomed out in a ravine with a
rushing stream.  Our large balcony looked at the opposite ravine side, through coconut and
banana palms, a blur of bougainvilleas, across to the distant terraced rice paddies high on the
opposite hill – it was quiet and lovely.

We hired a driver, recommended by a close friend, and had a wonderful day out that included
many places off the beaten track, including a visit to his own village and home where we met the 4
generations who lived in the humble walled home and they shared coconuts with us – it was a
special experience.  

We shopped and ate.   My birthday lunch at Indus – a wonderful venue we stumbled over in Ubud,
was stunningly good!  Another favourite was the “Dirty Duck”…. A collection of tables and Balinese
huts scattered throughout a rice paddy and lotus ponds – with terrific kitchens and great food,
specializing in duck dishes.  Ubud is a breath of fresh air, away from the more crowded beach
areas: quiet, green, reflective.  The Balinese are largely Hindu’s – a micro society in a nation of
Muslims – and they are traumatized by what has been inflicted on their tiny island home by the
Islamic terrorists.  It is easy to see that many of the shopkeepers, merchants and craftsmen are
hurting badly by the resulting economic bust.  Walking through the woodcarvers’ village of Mas –
normally busy with foreign buyers, we did not see one tourist or visitor in three hours.

One reason for our trip was to buy some Balinese art for our apartment walls – which we did!  Big,
colourful paintings, signed by the artist, who was fetched from his home nearby.  Pics are in the
photo gallery.  Bali is an incredibly artistic place – 10 centuries of stone carving have left wonderful
legacies in the shape of temples and highly elaborate door entries – the is symmetry and beauty
everywhere one looks, in Ubud.

We loved Bali, and will be returning soon.



Our clean, green home rocks along with its’ normal efficiency and we enjoy being here.  With
DreamCatcher in a marina only 15 minutes away, we’re able to sail on weekends, or simply putter
around the boat, doing little jobs, holding cocktail hours on board and entertaining friends – it’s
been lovely to have her back after her year long confinement in Australia.

We’re both working hard, long hours, but manage to get out and about to see friends and
entertain.  Our social calendar is lively and we’ve had good “bashes”, notable was Henrys’ (xxxth)
birthday, and the Australia Day Ball – the latter was a complete hoot!!  Qantas flew in 2 big bands
and loads of Aussie Wine, the chocolates were in the shape of  kangaroos, and over 1,000 people
had a fantastic dress-up party in the Swisshotel ballroom, as only Aussies can do.  Henry passed
out about 1.00am and we have several embarrassing pics of him reposed, replete, in full tuxedo

We’re fortunate enough to have a lot of good friends here and wish we had more time to catch up
with them!  

Singapore turns red during Chinese New Year, and I had fun down in China Town photographing
all the CNY trappings for The Year of The Pig.  Food specialties abound, dried pork sausages are
the order of the day,  red & gold decoration clutter the streets and stalls and mandarin trees (the
mandarins representing gold & prosperity) are everywhere – it really is a great festival!


KRABI, THAILAND, and the Islands of Phang Na Bay     

Good friends invited us back to Phuket this year, to sail the Phang Na Bay regatta aboard their 43
foot yacht (is that a yachtsman’s holiday?)…..  a week in Krabi and the stunning surroundings was
just what the doctor ordered, but we needed to take a break after the break!  These regattas are
exhausting!  Up at 0630, breakfast/wash, on the start line at 0800, racing start at 0830, racing
(well, when there’s wind) all day, drop the anchor about 4pm, swim, wash, cocktails then off to the
beach – now those beach landings are adventurous! – and then the day’s party at a different
island or venue each night.  Step and repeat for 5 nights in a row!  The parties were a hoot –
scenic beachside resorts, decorated to the hilt, invaded by tanned and laughing sailors.  

The final party was at the spectacular Puravana resort – where Asian sailors have spent many an
intoxicated evening on the beach during it’s early hosting of the Kings Cup during the 1990’s. The
resort did an outstanding job of decorating the hotel and beachfront for Chinese New Year (even
though they’re Thai).   They had big red lanterns along the beach, a large stage with red carpet,
huge Thai stone carvings and had built a special temporary ramp to help the sailors to clamber
over the rocks to the party.

They had combined our regatta party with the Chinese New Year celebration for the resort – it was
easy to pick the sailors !   The hotel crowd was slick, bejewelled, stiletto’d, while the sailors were
tanned & dishevelled.  It was an interesting mix.  

The final race from Phi Phi to the southern tip of Phuket, particularly, was a nail biter.  We fought
for the last hour to beat the clock and finish the race within the day time limit – we JUST made it,
right on the final second of 5 o’clock, and we were jubilant !   Many boats had withdrawn from the
race during the earlier part of the day but we stuck it out, along with several other “stragglers” and
were glad we did when the wind picked up and we had a cracking finish.   This effort pushed us to
3rd place overall in our class.  In the prizegiving stakes we took one second and one first place
win, then bombed out on the subsequent races as our handicap was adjusted (not in our favour)
by the race committee.  But our  3rd place was good  and we had a super time.  The boat is now
weighted down with trophies, a combination of this regatta, and the big wins at the Langkawi race.

Those of you who read the website last year would recall our recant of the fabulous scenery in
Phang Na Bay – it hasn’t changed and remains one of the loveliest cruising grounds on the planet.