I read this on the back of a t-shirt during the Sutura Harbour Sunset Run. It hit me square in the heart. As I have said many times, it is hard leaving the wonderful places and people I have encountered on this journey. So often I am drawn to aplace and the folks I meet there. I have often thought, I could live here and wondered why I do not just buy the little grass shack and stay. So many people have touched my heart on this voyage some. I have been warmly invited into the world of so many. I keep contact with via facebook and some I will simply never see again. I have felt the pain of this separation many times, a pain that is real. Always I go back to the fact that if I had not ventured out of my world I would never have entered theirs.
So are the emotions upon leaving wonderful Kota Kinabalu. I had picked this spot for its geography and the marina as the best place to leave Furthur when I flew back to the US. I had originally intended to stay a week after my arrival back from the states so my time there was to be very limited. So much for plans, things changed, opportunities arose and I stayed nearly 3 months.
During that time I became a part of the livaboard community with its usual dramas and charm. I enjoyed a few dock parties and made great friends. I also found a great AA fellowship and connected there, something hard to find in most of the SE Asia. We got to know the vibrant night life of KK,the girls participated more than I, but I did get out a bit and heard some fantastic local music.
All of us got to partake in advanced diving classes at Dive Downbelow, an exceptional dive outfit. Diving here is great, the water is so warm, we saw temperatures in the 90’s at the surface and it never got below 85 degrees, even on deep dives.I have totally gotten used to diving in a swim suit, so nice!
I also got to venture to the mystical mud baths at Tiga Island twice, a treat for sure. KK has many small islands, great anchorages and places to go on a boat, a must for me. You can enjoy this paradise year around, it somehow escapes the seasonal weather patterns of other nearby locations, no cyclones, a mild wet season and basically perfect weather year around, OK perfect plus 5 degrees.
So again I have found a place I could call home, a place I could see myself livin becoming part of the community, a place to plant roots. Yet I move on, on to the next wonderful place and new people. For the first time I will be returning to places I have been as we go back to the main isles of Indonesia. Some cruisers spend years simply chasing the dry season around SE Asia, a life that has great appeal for me. SE Asia has provided me with absolutely no reason to leave it. Life here is sublime.
I am not alone in this discovery, I ran into an old yacht broker friend, Carl French.Carl and I started in similar small companies and worked together at the largest yacht dealership on the west coast, Western Yachts. Both of us were head hunted for our specific areas of expertise by one of my mentors, Jerry Shei. Sadly the job came to an end when the owners were killed in a tragic airplane crash. Carl and I went our separate ways. Carl did very well working with larger yachts and retired and moved to the Philippines. I wondered why at the time but now I know.
So as we leave KK in the distance, I do not cry because it is over, I smile because it happened.