The Cruising Adventures of Seventh Heaven with Charlie and Betty

Cruising on Seventh Heaven

The last 30 days, Years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 or view the entire archive.

28 May 2008
Airlie to Darwin
After spending four and half months on Dehler Magic doing the Sydney to Hobart campaign it was back on Seventh Heaven to sail to Darwin where we will take part in the Sail Indonesia Rally ( www.sailindonesia.net ). For the first leg we joined the Dent to Dunk rally which left Airlie Beach on 17 May. Our first night at Cape Gloucester Eco resort was a fun Blues and Pirate night. We then sail on to Cape Upstart and then Cape Bowling Green where we had a BBQ and bonfire on the beach under a full moon. We spent the next two days at Horseshoe Bay Magnetic Island. During this stay we had the ‘Magnetic Olympics, lots of fun and games around the pool at Magnetic International resort. Next was an overnight stop at Orpheus Island then onto Cape Richards on the north end of Hinchinbrook Island for a karaoke night. As we headed for Dunk Island the weather closed in with continuous showers but this didn’t dampen the Hawaiian night party. Our final destination was Port Hinchinbrook marina at Cardwell where the home made swimsuit competition and presentation was held. As usual this was a fantastic event.
Photos:
Cape Gloucester Blues and Pirates
Cape Bowling Green BBQ




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


01 Jun 2008
Cumberland Charter Yachts Ten Year Anniversary
It has been ten years since the purchase of Cumberland so we returned to Airlie Beach ( by car ) for celebrations on Lindeman Island. This was the first time all the partners and their wives had been together and we had a fantastic time just relaxing, playing golf, eating and drinking. Somehow we managed to fit in our annual partners meeting.
On a sad note Dee who had recently retired after 19 years with Cumberland managing our accounts passed away on the 2 June
Photo:
Cumberland Partners



+ Click to enlarge


03 Jun 2008: Port Hinchinbrook to Lizard Island 261 NM
We headed back to Cardwell in luxury by the tilt train definitely the way to travel. Back at Port Hinchinbrook we meet up with Chris and Jenny on Harbour Lights who also were in the rally. Over the next four days we made our way up to Half Moon Bay marina at Yorkys Knob just north of Cairns calling into Mourilyan Harbour and Fitzroy Island on the way. Here we provisioned for the trip across the top and finished those last minute jobs.
Next stop was Port Douglas a small tourist town with lots of bars and souvenir shops. From here the Quicksilver high speed catamarans take visitors out to the Low Isles for day trips.
By now we were experiencing the typical 20 to 30 knot SE trade winds and were sailing with two reefs in the main and poled out headsail and averaging between 7 and 8 knots making day sailing between anchorages easy.
Leaving Port Douglas we headed for Hope Island a cay 50 miles north. This would be a beautiful place in calm conditions but quite exposed in 25 knots with reef all around thankfully we were able to pick up a public mooring. After a very blustery night it was off to historic Cooktown were we anchored in the Endeavour River near the spot where Captain Cook repaired his vessel after damaging it on a reef. Spent the evening at the RSL cheering on Queensland’s 30 to nil win over NSW in the state of origin.
Next morning was an early start to sail the 55 miles to Lizard Island. We anchored in Mrs Watsons Bay which has a white sandy beach and reef to the south full of giant clams there are also many walking tracks around the island. The resort is off limits but we were welcome at the staff bar. This is truly a beautiful place and I can now understand why so many yachties come here.
Photos:
Chris, Jenny and Betty Cooktown RSL
Lizard Island



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


14 Jun 2008: Lizard Island to Cape York 386 NM
At Lizard Island we meet up with some of the other yachts participating in the Sail Indonesia rally and we were now sailing in company with three or four other yachts on each passage. We meet around forty yachts between Lizard Island and Darwin.
With the strong trade winds still blowing it only took us nine and a half hours to travel the 77 miles to Bathurst Bay from Lizard Island. Had a bit of excitement rounding Cape Melville with gusts up to 45 knots. Bathurst Bay is surrounded by amazing boulder hills with some boulders as big as houses. Just across the bay is the Flinders Group where we stayed in a lovely protected anchorage on Stanley Island with an abundance of oysters on the rocks.
Morris Island is a small coral cay a further 60 miles north and had remarkably good protection from the trade winds. Here we found the grave of a pearl diver from days gone by.
Next port of call was Portland Roads this was a supply base during the Second World War and the ruins of the old wharf remain but is now a small outpost of about half a dozen houses and of all things a coin operated public phone.
Margaret Bay (Cape Grenville) was another good anchorage with white sandy beach though supposed to be the heart of crocodile country. There were five prawn trawlers anchored and they gave us a couple of kilos gratis.
At the mouth of Escape River our motor decided not to start (dirty battery terminal) so had to sail up the river dodging pearl farms to the anchorage. Thankfully Harbour Lights were standing by if we needed them. Glassed out anchorage under a full moon but not a crocodile to be seen.
Excitement in the air today we go around Cape York. We head through Albany Pass and there it is Cape York we feel like early explorers until we look through the binoculars and see about thirty people on the end of the Cape (four wheel drive tours). We rounded the Cape and anchored on the western side where we went ashore and walked out to the end and had a vegimite sandwich and a cold beer. We then sailed down to Seisia which is a small community and port that services the Cape and Thursday Island. We spent four days here waiting for a weather window to cross the Gulf during this time Betty did a tourist ferry day trip to Thursday Island.
This part of the Queensland coast is true wilderness with amazing wild life which very few people visit.
Photos;
Bathurst Bay Amazing Boulder Hills
Vegimite Sandwich on the Cape
At the top


+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


03 Jul 2008: Cape York to Darwin 924 NM
With a favorable forecast of a 15/20 knot south easterly we left Seisa for the 380 NM trip across the Gulf of Carpentaria to Gove. After sunset the wind increased to 25/30 knots with a 3 to 4 meter sea which persisted for the next 36 hours not the most comfortable passage.
Gove has a large natural harbour and is a bauxite mining town with all services and a fantastic yacht club. We spent two days relaxing and socialising with other yachties going over the top.
The top of the Northern Territory between Gove and Darwin is known as Arnhem Land. The coast line is very flat and desolate populated by aboriginal communities.
From Gove we headed for the south end of the Wessel Islands passing through the Gugari Rip known as ‘The Hole in the Wall’ a narrow channel between two islands where the tide can reach nine knots. We arrived on the slack tide and slowly motored through the 1.5 nm passage enjoying the scenery. It would be a very nerve racking ride with nine knots of tide behind you as the channel is only eight meters deep and twenty meters wide in some places. After negotiating the rip we anchored a few miles south in Guruliya Bay on Raragala Island a beautiful bay with white sandy beach.
Our next anchorage was Galiwinku an aboriginal community on Elcho Island. This is a very remote town serviced by air and sea. They have a fully stocked supermarket run by the community where we purchased a few provisions. As all communities they have full mobile and internet service which was great for us to stay in touch. The arts and craft centre had a good display of artwork which is sent to Darwin and sold through the various outlets. The down side was the houses were all trashed and the whole town was littered with rubbish which was a shame as it could be such a beautiful place.
We left early the next morning bound for the Liverpool River where we anchored off Entrance Island near the aboriginal community of Maningrida where we had full phone, internet and TV coverage and were able to watch Queensland win the state of origin series.
Our next destination was Port Essington stopping overnight at North Goulburn Island and Valentia Island on the way.
Port Essington is located on the Cobourg Peninsula which is in the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and Marine Park. Port Essington is a large natural harbour with many well protected anchorages and it is believed that aboriginal people have been living here for 40,000 years. It is also an area where Macassan traders from Indonesia visited regularly for centuries. In 1838 the British started a settlement called Victoria but because of the isolation and hardship it was abandoned in 1849 the ruins show an interesting insight into their existence.
After a few days exploring Port Essington we headed for Darwin spending a night on the way at Alcaro Bay on Cape Don. We spent our first night in Darwin anchored in Fannie Bay opposite the yacht club that served good meals and cold beer.
Photos:
The hole in the wall
Cornish ironstone chimneys Victoria ruins
Red cliffs at Port Essington


+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


25 Jul 2008
Darwin
We had never been to Darwin and after five weeks sailing from Cardwell it was a lovely place to have some R & R.
After negotiating the Cullen Bay marina lock we were given the V.I.P. treatment from our friends Mal and Carole who were kind enough to let us use their marina berth in front of their house.
Darwin is geared up for tourism being the gateway to Kakadu and the red centre and there is always plenty happening in the city.
It was very easy to settle into tourist mode great places to eat such as the Darwin yacht club overlooking Fannie Bay where you could watch beautiful red sunsets over the sea, crocodile watching up the Adelaide River and adjacent wetlands, having fun at the beer can regatta, wandering around the Mindil Beach markets, trying our luck at the Casino, sitting under the stars at the open air picture theatre and sunset cruising on Darwin harbour on Perrywinkle Mal and Carole’s Perry 43 catamaran.
Unfortunately our R & R had to finish and it was back to the task of preparing Seventh Heaven for the months ahead cruising through Indonesia doing final repairs and maintenance, provisioning a freezer full of meat and dairy items, organising visas and customs clearance and of course stocking up on unlimited duty free grog.
We were now ready for the next leg of our adventure.
Photos:
Seventh Heaven and Perrywinkle in Cullen Bay marina
Cricky Crocodiles  
Beer can regatta



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


26 Jul 2008
SAIL INDONESIA RALLY 2008
Darwin to Kupang West Timor
After traveling 1800 nautical miles to reach Darwin and six months in the planning the day had finally arrived for the 2008 Sail Indonesia rally to begin. There was an air of excitement around the Darwin foreshore as 110 yachts prepared for the start.
The rally began in ideal conditions under a clear blue sky in a following 8-10 knot south east breeze which made for a wonderful spectacle as the yachts made their way down the harbour.
The light winds continued for the entire passage dropping out during the nights at which time we had to motor.
We had a very comfortable voyage with fine conditions, calm seas, lots of dolphins and beautiful star lit nights.
The only incidents that we were aware of was the catamaran Raku accidentally running into a fishing net on the second night fortunately they were able to free themselves quickly and about 100 nm from Kupang when our friends on Harbour Light who we hadn’t seen since leaving Darwin after they took off under spinnaker reported an Indonesian fishing boat had crossed their bow and circling them suspiciously and when they gave their position guess who was only a couple of miles to their starboard so we changed course to intercept them by which time the fishing boat had moved on. That night we sailed in company with both of us feeling much safer.
Photos:
The Start
Under spinnaker at sunset






+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


05 Aug 2008
Kupang - West Timor
After 74 hours and 467 nm we arrived in Kupang.
The quarantine and customs officers were quick to board us placing a very large sticker on Seventh Heaven and informing us that we were impounded and could not leave the anchorage but were free to go ashore. This caused a lot of confusion throughout the rally fleet and took the Sail Indonesia organisers four days to sort out before we were free to sail on.
Apart from this minor bureaucratic problem our welcome to Kupang was absolutely amazing with flags and banners all along the foreshore and people came from near and far to greet us. There where many welcoming ceremonies, gala dinners, traditional dancing and entertainment all of which was hosted by the local government.
In addition to this bus tours were organised to traditional villages, museums and local attractions complete with guides, police escort and ambulance following incase of an accident or illness.
After five days of VIP treatment we had survived the culture experience and acquired a taste for most local food and dingin (cold) Bintang beer.
Photos:
Enjoying a Bintang – Adam, Kath, Bob, Betty, Jenny and Chris
None village welcoming dance



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


10 Aug 2008
Kalabahi – Alor
The 150 nm passage from Kupang to Kalabahi started in glorious light reaching conditions but as we entered the Selat Ombai between West Timor and Alor the wind dropped and the current was running at two knots against us then to make things worse during the night we were hit by 25 knot head winds. These conditions delayed our arrival at the Selat (strait) Pantar to just after dawn at which time the wind ceased to blow and the tide changed giving us 3-4 knots of current against us and it took eight hours to complete the last twenty miles up the selat to Kalabahi.
We managed to arrive in time to attend the opening ceremony of Expo VII Alor where again we were VIP guests and seated on the official podium. The afternoon was full of pageantry and entertainment.
No time to rest the next day the local people again gave us a fantastic welcome followed by a gala dinner consisting of local dishes and traditional dancing hosted by the Regent (local government leader).
Alor is known for it coral reefs and we had some great snorkeling off the western beaches.
Another place of interest that we visited was the Muslim village of Alor Besar the place of the Last Kingdom of Bunga Bali. The inhabitants here were once fierce warriors and would behead their enemy killed in battle then drop their heads in a well like structure located in the centre of the village. This structure still remains today and it is said that a thousand or more heads are there the last being those of Japanese soldiers during WWII (not so long ago).
Also on display in the village was a hand written 17th Century Holy Koran which is proudly kept in there Mosque.
Photos:
Alor Expo
Lego Lego (welcome dance)
17th Century Koran




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


15 Aug 2008
Lewoleba – Lembata
Leaving Kalabahi we sail up Selat Pantar and across the top of Lembata spending a night a Telok (bay) Balurin and Telok Lewaling two beautiful bays with fringing coral reefs and Ili Api volcano towering over them setting an impressive backdrop.
On arrival in Lewoleba we were given a very special welcome ceremony with a blessing of the fleet about 80 yachts followed by a procession around the town on bikes and small trucks lead by traditionally dressed warriors on Timorese ponies.
In the evenings cultural events were organized consisting of music, dancing and games with audience participation encouraged and what a clumsy lot we looked compared to the elegance of the local people. This bought much joy and laughter from the crowed and everyone had lots of fun.
The next day we headed off on an 8 hour 100 kilometre bus (very old and not air conditioned) trip over very rough and narrow roads across the mountains to the whaling village of Lamalera. This was a fascinating village very isolated and where people still hunt whales in small open wooden boats using bamboo harpoons. They catch around 40 whales per year with the majority being sperm whales. Nothing is wasted the meat for eating, oil for lamps and cooking, offal for trading for fruit and veggies and teeth and bones for tourist souvenirs.
Photos:
Anchored under Ili Api volcano
The welcome
Whaling boats returning home





+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


23 Aug 2008
Maumere – Flores
As great as they are after two weeks of rally functions and tours it was good to have a week just cruising.
Just 10 nm north west of Lemolemba was a beautiful small island and sand cay called Kroko the water was clear with pretty reefs lovely white sand and to top it off the full moon would rise over Ili Api volcano.
We stayed here for two nights soaking up the ambience.
We made our way slowly west stopping overnight in two lovely bays at Tanjung Gedong and Pulau Besar.
The anchorage at Sea World Maumere was very deep 25 to 35 meters and crowded so we decided to anchor about 10 nm east at a place called Wodong off a small volcanic sandy beach opposite a boutique dive resort were we were made very welcome.
We made our way to the welcoming ceremony and dinner 15 kl away by bemo (local taxi van with very loud sound system) where we were entertained by tradition music and dancing. The New Zealand contingent of about 20 people performed a Maori song and the Haka which made the local Regent a little nervous until it was explained that it was a welcome dance and the spear was made of cardboard.  
Photos:
Full moon rising
BBQ on sand cay



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


27 Aug 2008
Mausambi – Flores
Our next official stop was Mausambi only 50 nm away which gave us a couple of days break.
We found a small bay at Tanjung Batu Boga with crystal clear water and excellent snorkeling. Children from the small fishing village visited by canoe and one evening when having sundowners on the beach entertained some young men by showing them how to tie a bowline how lovely are the simple things in life.
At Mausambi we were once again given a fantastic welcome by the Regent and local people.
We visited the traditional villages of Otogedu, Nuabela and Detuara where they produce local products such as palm sugar, cashew nuts, moke (a local spirit distilled from juice from the sugar palm) pottery and candle nuts which unfortunately gave many of the yachties including us upset tummies as we think they are to be used in cooking and not eaten raw as most of us did. At each village we were entertained by dancers and music and had the opportunity to sample some of their culinary delights.
Photos:
Betty learning new dance steps – Nuabela village
Young dancers from Detuara village



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


04 Sep 2008
Labuan Bajo – Flores
Took six days to sail the 150 nm to Labuan Bajo stopping on the way at Monkey Beach Untelue Island only saw one shy monkey, Lingeh where we were mobbed by children in canoes wanting presents and Gilli Bobo Islang a delightful anchorage with beautiful sandy beach, great snorkeling and no village. Enjoyed a BBQ on the beach with other yachts in the anchorage.
Labuan Bajo is a busy fishing port and the tourist gateway to the Komodo and Rinca Island national parks. There is also a large fleet of charter dive boats as this area has some of the best dive spots in Indonesia.
Labuan Bajo being more of a tourist town had many hotels, restaurants, and good markets to reprovision the boat. Things are so cheap in Indonesia compared with Australia dinner for two including a beer $5 to $10 Aussie dollars and a hair cut including shoulder and neck massage $2.
We enjoyed our stay here as the locals were used to tourists so we were not the main attraction as per our previous rally stops though the Regency still organised a lovely welcoming ceremony with the now familiar traditional entertainment and gala dinner.
We also said good bye to our friends Bob and Kath on Janner 2 who were leaving the rally here and retuning to Australia via the northern islands of Indonesia.
Photos:
Labuan Bajo harbour from one of the many restaurants
Saying good bye to Bob and Kath

Foot note: Bob and Kath arrived home safe and well in November.





+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


12 Sep 2008
Komodo National Park
The islands of the Komodo national park lay just east of the Wallace Line which runs between Lombok and Bali. Alfred Wallace’s (1859) theory is that west of this line was once part of Asia and east part of Australia.
The islands with rugged hills and rocky coastlines are very barren and the only place where the Komodo Dragons (the worlds largest lizard) is found.
We sailed from Labuan Bajo through the Molo narrows to the southern end of Rinca Island anchoring behind Naus Kode Island.
The water here was cool and crystal clear and the snorkeling fantastic and in the early morning monkeys, deer and Komodo dragons (goannas on steroids) would come down to the beach an absolutely amazing place.
Our next anchorage was on the western side of Rinca at Teluk Ginggo where at sunset about twenty monkeys came down to the beach and just sat there looking at us (who’s watching who). Next morning we spotted a Komodo dragon on the beach so went ashore to get some better photos. Following the tracks up the beach into a lightly wooded area we nearly trod on one got a bit of a fright and some great photos.
We spent the next few days anchored on the northern end of Komodo Island snorkeling and taking in the fantastic surroundings.
We could have stayed in the Komodo for weeks as it was just so beautiful.
Photos:
Komodo Island from Gili Lawa
Komodo Dragon
Sundowners on Gili Lawa – Piet and Tory ‘Double Dutch’



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


17 Sep 2008
Lombok
As we went further west the wind was starting to change and we were now getting 10/15 knot south easterly during the day making sailing very enjoyable rather than the motoring we had come accustom to over the last month or so.
The passage to Lombok was accomplished by five easy day sails across the north coast of Sumbawa island.
The coast of Sumbawa is very scenic with a ridge of volcanoes some active stretching along its length.
The coastal fringe is sparsely populated so our overnight anchorages were very calm and quite with only a few children visiting in canoes and the odd fishing boat coming and going one of which we traded with for a painted cray and at Gilli Lawang an island off the north east tip of Lombok we anchored in a small lagoon inside the reef where at dusk thousands of bats left the mangroves and returned at dawn.
We anchored on the west coast of Lombok at Teluk Kombal a pretty spot but very close to a mosque that started prays over the loud speakers at 4am.
Lombok is a popular tourist destination and there is plenty to do and see. The main tourist spots are along the west coastline at Senggigi and the Gilli Islands a few miles off the north west coast. The north of the island is dominated by Rinjani volcano (the second highest mountain in Indonesia 3726m) which is the centre of the Mount Rinjani National Park.
We spent a day touring around the country side traveling through the Monkey Forest and down to Mataram the capital city returning along the scenic coast road through Senggigi visiting local pottery and weaving workshops along the way. The landscape was very different from the islands to the east green and lush with large areas of cultivated land more what we expected Indonesia to look like.
Photos:
The Monkey Forest
Planting Rice
Betty in traditional dress



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


24 Sep 2008
Lovina – Bali
Our passage from Kombal took us across the Lombok Strait where we encountered hundreds of small outrigger canoes with brightly coloured sails (spider boats) trolling for fish nothing too unusual except we were twenty miles offshore and it was blowing 20 to 25 knots and rough seas which was uncomfortable even for us.
After crossing the strait the wind dropped we had a nice sail along the northeast coast of Bali to Lovina under the shadow of Gunung Agung volcano the highest mountain in Bali.
Lovina Beach is an unspoilt layback tourist town on the north coast with small boutique hotels and many restaurants. During our week stay we were entertained each evening on the beach by traditional Balinese dancing and open air theater which was very entertaining even though we didn’t understood much of the dialogue. We were also guests at the local ‘Sapi Gerumbungan’ (bull races) a festive event held before the planting of the new rice crop. The bulls are elaborately decorated and harnessed in pairs pulling along ploughs.
We visited the town of Singaraja the old Dutch capital of Bali and spent two days driving down to Kuta the main destination for overseas tourists and the location of the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005 from which the Bali economy has still not fully recovered.
The country side is truly amazing with large inland lakes and waterfalls, terraced rice paddys and many volcanoes some still active. The Balinese are mainly Hindu and hundreds of temples cover the island some dating back to the eleventh century.  
Photos:
Beautiful Balinese Dancers
Bull Races
Bali Bombing Memorial




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


30 Sep 2008
Karimunjawa
Our 800nm passage from Alor to Bali over the last two months was accomplished by enjoyable day sailing but now we were required to do longer legs requiring overnight sails.
Night sailing in this part of the world is quite a challenge with hundreds of unlit fish traps and small fishing boats combined with unlit barges towed by seagoing tugs and commercial shipping and just to make it a little more exciting we were now experiencing thunderstorms most evenings.
Karimunjawa is a group of islands with beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal clear water 50 nm north of Samarang central Java,s capital.
This was our stepping of point for an organised tour of central Java. We left Seventh Heaven anchored off the main village with fifteen other yachts for five days with the local coast guard keeping a 24 hour watch.
Photo: Fish trap




+ Click to enlarge


05 Oct 2008
Central Java
Thirty yachties on tour
We traveled the 45nm trip from Karimunjawa to Semarang by fast ferry where we boarded our air conditioned coach for our five day tour of central Java.
Our first destination was an overnight home stay at Temibi village near Yogyakarta where we experienced the Javanese way of life first hand.
It was also the time when Muslims celebrate the end of Ramadan and travel back to their villages visiting family and with 125 million people in Java approximately the size of the south island of New Zealand you can imagine the traffic jams not a place to have an upset tummy.
We arrived at Tembi village around 10pm (three hours late) where our hosts greeted us with sweet tea and entertained us with traditional music before showing us to our rooms. We shared a two bedroom ‘bungalow’ with Stuart and Nanette (Truest Passion) our three-quarter beds were made of bamboo slates with a very hard thin mattress and our host who did not speak English must of sensed we were a little disappointed and promptly went away and returned with a large mat which he spread on the concrete floor (this would be much more comfortable) and just to add to our comfort the surrounding mosques had their loud speaker going continuously through the night at least this drowned out the buzzing of the mosquitoes. As daylight broke we were delivered breakfast six week old hard boiled eggs and roti (local sweet bread) then we joined the villages in making handy crafts (tissue boxes).
Tired, grumpy and hungry we boarded our coach for day 2.
Photos:
Grandma in the Galley
Betty making tissue boxes
30 Yachties at the Borobudur Temple



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


06 Oct 2008
Arriving at the Borobudur Temple our tiredness soon disappeared.
This magnificent Buddhist temple was built around 800AD and was buried under volcanic ash until 1815 when it was discovered and excavated and is one of the seven wonders of the world. We finished the day with a royal dinner at the Mangkunegaran Palace in Solo built in 1740 (now the hunger was gone) and were entertained by the Royal Gamelan (tradition instruments) orchestra before staying in a real hotel. What a different a day makes.
During the next three days we visited the Hindu temples of Prambanan built around 900AD another amazing site, batik factory, silver jewelry making, coffee plantation, Sam Po Kong Chinese temple built in honour of Cheng Ho and a city tour of Semarang the capital of central Java and main port originally colonised by the Dutch.
We also had plenty of time to sample some of the best Javanese cuisine and stay 4 star hotels.
On arriving back at Karimunjawa we were invited to attend a gala dinner hosted by the local Regent were we were treated to fine food and entertainment.
Definitely no time to be bored !!!
Photos:
Prambanan Temples
4 Star Luxury




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


12 Oct 2008
Kumai Kalimantan
After a pleasant overnight sail from Karimunjawa in perfect conditions we anchored about 15 miles up the Kumai river opposite the busy port town of Kumai.
Our first day we were given a tour of Pangkalanbun a town built on the Sungai River.
We were shown a traditional meeting house and visited the local market but the highlight was a V.I.P. longboat trip down the river through the town where all the local people came out to greet us this was followed by yet another gala dinner.
Photos:
Local market
Long boats up the river



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


13 Oct 2008
‘The Kalamantan Queen’
With Dave, Pattie, Ian and Lyn off ‘This Way Up, we left our boats anchored in the Kumai River complete with boat boy to look after them and headed up the Sekonyer River for three days on a Klotok (slow wooded boat about 40’ long) with guide, captain, cook and deckhand to explore the Tanjung National Park.
The national park was established in 1971 as a place to research and rehabilitate once captive orangutans and reintroduce them back into the wild unfortunately the natural orangutan’s habitat is depleting very quickly due to palm oil plantations, illegal logging and forest fires.
This was without a doubt the highlight of our travels through Indonesia.
Our orangutan experience was amazing these primates are so human like playful, intelligent, naughty, and very strong and have an amazing capacity to eat bananas and with the assistance of our guide Herman we were able to get up very close and personal.
Apart from the orangutans the leisurely pace exploring the river was fantastic tying up on the banks in the evening for sundowners, waking up to the sun coming through the mist and having fresh catfish for breakfast that the crew had caught during the night while being surrounded by Proboscis monkeys, Gibbons, Macaques, squirrels and even the odd crocodile.
Photos:
The Kalamantan Queen
Orangutans
Proboscis Monkey




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


18 Oct 2008
Belitung
The seasons were starting to change and afternoon thunder storms were now common place and we experienced quite a few during our two day sail to Belitung.
We anchored in a beautiful bay on the northern end of the island with nice sandy beaches and large grey rocky outcrops. Along the beachfront were bamboo and thatched roofed stalls and restaurants serving excellent seafood unlike we had seen or tasted elsewhere.
This was our last official stop and after the gala dinner and traditional welcoming dance the locals were entertained with songs and music from some of the talented rally members. This was followed by a parade of flags representing the fifteen different countries participating in the rally and a yachties sponsored fireworks display to the delight of the locals especially the children.
Photos:
Belitung foreshore
Betty enjoying the last Gala Dinner




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


24 Oct 2008
Crossing the Equator
We cleared customs and immigration in Belitung and departed for Singapore.
We day sailed for the next six days anchoring overnight at some delightful locations.
On the 22nd we celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary on Nimbus II anchored off Lingga Island and at 08.55 on the 24th crossed the equator two amazing achievements.
Anchored off the south west end of Sebangka Island with eight other boats we had a celebratory equator crossing morning tea on This Way Up with culinary delights such as scones, pancakes and damper with golden syrup. The local village must still be wondering what it was all about eight boats anchor then all dinghy to one boat make lots of noise for two hours then bugger off.
That night we all anchored at Mesanak Island and continued our celebrations with a camp oven stew / BBQ and fireworks on the beach with the local villagers joining us.
Photos:
Wedding Anniversary
Equator Morning Tea
Mesanak Island BBQ



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


26 Oct 2008
Last Leg to Singapore
The Singapore Straits lived up to its reputation as being the busiest strait in the world and it seemed like there were hundreds of ships either at anchor or traversing the strait and there properly was.
Timing was important sailing parallel to the southern shipping lane it was time to cross and with a ship passing every ten minutes or so it is inevitable that you have to dodge a ship or two during the two mile dash.
After making it to the northern side of the strait without incident we motored up to the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club our final destination.
Photo:
Singapore Straits



+ Click to enlarge


27 Oct 2008
Epilogue
Our three months sailing the waters of Indonesia has been an amazing adventure.
We have covered over 2800 miles and visited many islands ranging from the most primitive to the most sophisticated from the driest to the wettest.
We have seen amazing sights such as anchoring under an active volcano, the Komodo Islands, the Borobudur Temple and the Orangutans just to name a few.
We have experienced Indonesian cuisine, culture, art, architecture, and community life.
We have been hosted by local Regents and Government, invited to gala dinners and treated as V.I.P’s.
But most of all the friendliness and hospitality shown towards us by the Indonesian people whether Christian or Muslim has been simply overwhelming and they will remain in our hearts forever.
Photo:
The Indonesian People
  



+ Click to enlarge


12 Nov 2008
Welcome to Singapore
The Republic of Singapore Yacht Club was our first marina berth since leaving Darwin and they do things slightly different up here. The first thing you notice is that there are cheerful marina staff to take your lines then there are the facilities modern clean amenity blocks, pool, gym, library, free internet, TV lounge, bars and cheap restaurants all for $23 per day.
One thing they didn’t have were trolleys instead when you came back from shopping your goods and yourself would be promptly loaded into a electric buggy and then driven to your boat (the fingers are built wide enough to accommodate buggies). The only downside was a lot of movement through the marina caused by the heavy harbour traffic during the day but one managed to survive.
We had twelve yachts from the rally staying at RSYC so marina life was always busy with outings to the cinema, restaurants, Nanette’s birthday (Truest Passion) and Melbourne Cup Day where the marina staff organised a satellite TV coverage for just us yachties. Meanwhile over at Raffles marina where there were about the same number of rally yachts berthed we were invited to a tenpin bowling night (we didn’t have bowling lanes at RSYC) which by the way was won by RSYC and to a very impressive gala dinner hosted by Raffles Yacht Club. Yes still being treated as VIP’s.  
Photos:
Jim, Warwick and Charlie Melbourne Cup
Victorious RSYC Bowling Team


+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


13 Nov 2008
Singapore
Singapore has been a trading post on and off for centuries and in 1819 Sir Stamford Raffles of the British East Indian Company established Singapore as a British colony. This was the start of modern day Singapore with immigrants coming from all over Asia with the majority Chinese creating a diverse cultural melting pot.
On 15 February 1942 Singapore fell to the Japanese and during their three and half year rule tens of thousands of Singaporean civilians and allied forces were executed or imprisoned. After the war the Peoples Action Party won government and Singapore become independent in 1965.
Singapore today is a modern city which still has that mixture of race, culture and traditions and was fantastic to explore.
There are so many things to do in Singapore we visited Old China Town, Little India, did the Singapore River cruise, went to the night zoo safari, had high tea at the famous Raffles Hotel and spent countless hours just walking around. We also met up with local residents Eric and Sandra who we met on the 2008 Dent to Dunk rally and they chauffeured us around showing us many of the sights of Singapore including the very interesting Labrador Tunnels used by the British army and abandoned during the war and only rediscovered recently.
The one place of special interest to us was the Changi Museum as my father was a POW in Changi. It was a grim reminder of the brutality of war but told an amazing story of heroism and a spirit to survive.  
Photos:
Betty and the Merlion
Eric and Sandra at Labrador Tunnels
Raffles Hotel


+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


17 Nov 2008
Sail Malaysia
After 18 days of R & R in Singapore it was time to head off on the next leg of our journey.
We joined the Sail Malaysia passage to Langkawi rally which traveled up the Straits of Malacca along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
Our first port of call was Johor Bahru the southern most Malaysian city. We anchored at Danga Bay a popular tourist area with lots of cheap restaurants and shops about 5 klm west of Johor Bahru.
As in Indonesia we were treated as VIP’s with a coach tour of Johor Bahru and outlying areas complete with police escort and we were also treated to a wonderful welcome dinner.
Johor Bahru is the gateway to Singapore linked by the causeway (bridge) over the Straits of Johor. Although Malaysia is only 1 klm from Singapore, being a Muslim country the culture and food is totally different.
In the late 19th century Johor was ruled by the Sultan Abu Bakar and he was regarded as the father of modern day Johor.  During his rein he built the Istana Besar (Grand Palace) which today is the royal museum and the Sultan Abu Bakar mosque the two landmark buildings of Johor Bahru.
Photos:
Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque
Traditional Dancer



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


25 Nov 2008
Port Dickson
We continued day sailing up the Malacca Strait in light conditions to Port Dickson anchoring overnight on the way at Pulau Pisang and Pulau Besar (Pulau is Malay for Island)
Admiral Marina and Leisure club about five kilometers south of Port Dickson was a lovely complex with full facilities such as pool, gym, bar etc. and only a short walk to local cheap restaurants.  
We left Seventh Heaven in the marina and with Jim and Cheryl from Odyssey 9 drove down to the historical city of Malaka staying at the Chong Hoe hotel in the centre of old China town.
Melaka has a rich and colourful past. It was first ruled in 1403 by an exiled Hindu prince from Sumatra called Raja Iskandar then in 1511 conquered by the Portuguese and again by the Dutch in 1641 and finally the British in 1824 until independence in 1957. In the 16th century Melaka was the major trading centre in the region.
Melaka was a fantastic city to explore with all its old buildings, museums, churches, temples, night markets and great food.
Photos:
Trishaws
Night markets
Sultanate Palace



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


02 Dec 2008
Lumut – Pulau Pangkor
We left Admiral Marina at day break and anchored of Kuala Selangor at sunset. As we still had 82nm to travel we up anchored at 2.30am to make sure we would arrive at Lumut in daylight. About one hour before dawn we came across a fleet of about fifty trawlers going every which way with very suspect navigation lights if any which made navigation interesting  for a few hours and definitely kept us awake.
Lumut is a quite coastal town with a natural harbour at the mouth of the Dindings River with its entrance protected by Pulau Pangkor and is the main base for the Royal Malaysian Navy.
We anchored in a branch off the main river opposite the yacht club ten minutes walk from the town centre. The town centre is small but busy with many shops and restaurants and is where the ferries depart for Pulau Pangkor a popular tourist destination.
We were again treated to a welcoming dinner hosted by Perak Tourism and a tour of Lumut including an interesting shell museum and turtle management and research centre where we released some baby turtles only to find out later that this is usually carried out at night to give them a better chance of survival. Bugger!!!
Except for Betty loosing her purse and credit cards and me catching a tummy bug our stay in Lumut was very enjoyable
We motored the 10nm from Lumut to Pulau Pangkor passing the fishing villages on the east coast and anchoring at Pasir Bogak on the west coast in a lovely bay with sandy beach. For the first time since Indonesia the water was clean enough to swim and we gave the waterline a good scrub. We hired a motor bike with empty tank of petrol and explored the island which was exhilarating to say the least even though we never got out of second gear. On return the proprietor quickly sent his boy down to drain the excess petrol out of the tank so the next customer would also have an empty tank. Such is life!!!
Photos
Releasing doomed baby turtles
Fishing Village Pulau Pangkor




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


05 Dec 2008
Penang
On arriving in Penang we anchored off Pulau Jerejak at the south eastern end of Penang where we were given a tour of Pen Marine boat yard and then dinner for eighty guests in the garden of the owner’s house. Amazing!!!
Next day we decorated our boats and sailed north in convoy to Tanjong City marina passing under the Penang bridge which was built in 1985 and connects Penang with the mainland.
The marina was not the most comfortable with lots of wave motion from the ferries and a disco on the adjacent pier but its location right in the heart of Georgetown was fantastic.
Photos
In convoy passing under the bridge
Jemimah all dressed up






+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


13 Dec 2008
Georgetown Penang
Penang became a British trading post in 1786 when Captain Francis Light landed at the site of Fort Cornwallis and took possession of the island for the East India Company and for over 100 years it was a major trading centre. During this time settlers came from China, India, Europe and many parts of Southeast Asia which gives Penang a muti ethnic society with a diverse culture, cuisine and architecture.
We spent many days exploring China town with its hundreds of shuttered two story shophouses, markets and temples. Also in the centre of China town is little India with brightly coloured sari shops and smells of incense and curry and loud bollywood music.
The north eastern end of town takes you back to the colonial past with many beautiful buildings constructed during the 19th century including the town hall, court house, St George’s church and the Eastern and Oriental hotel built by the Sarkies brothers who also built Raffles in Singapore.
We had an amazing banquet there one night complete with a trio to serenade us. It was as we had stepped back in time and the cost was 99 ringetts ($A40) per head including beer and wine.
Other nights we would venture out into China town and little India and enjoy great local food.
Photos
Street market – Chicken Lady
Indian food stall
Chinese hardware shop  



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


18 Dec 2008
Langkawi
Leaving the hustle and bustle of Georgetown we sailed north to Langkawi a group of 99 islands (most are only scrub clad rocks) lying 30 klm off the far northern west coast of Peninsular Malaysia and our final destination for the rally.
Although the last month sailing up the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia was a fantastic culture and historic adventure the anchorages were far from idealistic.
Our first anchorage in Langkawi was at the southern end of Pulau Dayang Bunting a beautiful uninhabited small bay with white sandy beach and a backdrop of high limestone cliffs and lush tropical forest. In the early morning and late afternoon macaque monkeys and monitor lizards would comb the shore line in search of food and sea eagles and kites would fly around the cliff tops. We spent the next five days around the south of Pulau Dayang Bunting just relaxing and exploring different anchorages. This was more like the brochure!!!
Also on the island was a large tranquil freshwater lake called ‘Lake of the Pregnant Maiden’ and legend has it that a lovely fairy princess who married an earthly princess had a child that died soon after birth and she buried it in the crystal clear waters of the lake and before she returned to the heavens blessed the waters so that any childless maiden who bathed in the lake would conceive thereafter. You can imagine that I was a little concerned when Betty went for a swim.
Photos
Our first anchorage – Pulau Dayang Bunting
Lake of the Pregnant Maiden







+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


23 Dec 2008
The Rally Ends
Telaga Harbour Marina was the venue for the final rally events. We anchored off inside two man made islands which were built to protect the marina entrance.
The official welcoming was held at Makam Mahsuri the site of Langkawi’s most famous legend. Here a memorial is erected in the honour of Mahsuri a fair maiden born over 200 years ago who was unjustly accused of adultery and sentenced to death. She was tied to a stake and as the ceremonial dagger was plunged into her body she bled white blood a sign that proved her innocence. In her dying breath she laid a curse on the islands prosperity to last seven generations. Fact or friction seven generations has passed and today Langkawi is flourishing.
At the welcoming we were treated to a tasty super and performances of local music and dance and afterwards walked around the grounds and visited the museum.
The farewell dinner was held at Mutiara Burau Bay resort on the water front and was a grand event with a delicious smorgasbord dinner and live band. It was also a time for goodbyes as this was the point where we would go our own ways. Some would be flying home for the Christmas holidays others are continuing on to Thailand and beyond and many like us staying in Langkawi.
For us the rallies have been amazing so many new places visited and new friends made.
Photos
The official welcome
Gabby (Pampero) and Mary (Investigator) at farewell dinner
Stuart & Nanette (Truest Passion) and Richard & Susan (Sea Bunny) at farewell dinner
    




+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


24 Dec 2008
Christmas and New Year in Langkawi
Along with about 20 other boats from the rally we decided to spend Christmas and New Year in Rebak Resort Marina.
Rebak is a small island just off the southwestern end of the main island of Langkawi. The marina is a man made lagoon within the island protected from all weather and is integrated with a luxury resort. As marina guests you may use all the resort facilities and there is a budget BYO restaurant called ‘The Hard Dock Café’ which is just for yachties. Cost per night $16 Australian. I here you say “stuck on an island resort” not so there is a regular free speed boat service to Langkawi where you can hire a car ($15 per day) and explore or shop or walk from the jetty to a number of local cheap restaurants.
Absolutely fantastic.
Photo
Rebak Marina


+ Click to enlarge


25 Dec 2008
The night before Christmas
There was a buzz around the marina people decorating their boats the staff practicing Christmas carols and Mazrizal the young marina manager visiting every boat with a gift of biscuits and cakes. We were eagerly waiting for the mail to arrive as you may recall Betty lost her credit cards in Lumut and as they were in joint accounts we had to cancel both and we had been living on a tight budget for the last month. True to form Santa delivered our new cards which were a very welcomed Christmas present.
Christmas Day
The day started with pre lunch drinks on the dock with Pattie off ‘This Way Up’ serving pims and lemonade and everybody showing off their Christmas head wear.
This was followed by a four hour banquet at the poolside restaurant for about sixty yachties. During lunch we were entertained by the staff choir with a Malay version of Christmas carols.
After an afternoon nap it was over to ‘Investigator II’ (the mother ship) for evening drinks and nibbles and even though it rained more than twenty people managed to squeeze in the cockpit under the covers.
A very memorable day considering we are in a Muslim country where they do not celebrate Christmas.
Photos
Drinks on the dock –Mary and Alan off ‘Investigator II’
Rebak Staff Choir



+ Click to enlarge



+ Click to enlarge


 
           
The Seventh Heaven Story
Click for a short history of Seventh Heaven



Seventh Heaven
Dehler 41DS

Charlie and Betty Preen
PO Box 373
Cannonvale Q 4802

Charlie: 0408 182 822
Betty: 0427 481 342
www.charlieandbetty.com

Whitsunday Guide
Visit the Cumberland Charter Yachts Site for the most comprehensive online area and anchorage guide. Second only to "100 Magic Miles".

  www.ccy.com.au/area



Say Hello
Stay in touch. Send me a message!
Who are you?
        
What's your email address?
 
Phone?
 
Type your message?
 
E Mail broadcast :
 
Type in the word "friend" to confirm you are real:
 
 

       
 
















  Website by eCentral