We have been exploring the more remote reaches of Lombok for a couple of days. We anchored amongst a picturesque group of islands on the southwest corner of Lombok next to a small, remote village. As is common the largest building and the most elaborate is the village Mosque and as is common it is under continual construction. The now familiar sounds resonated from the Mosque at sundown as the Ramadan fasting took its daily break. I have learned to love this call to prayer; it reminds me of where I am, even at four in the morning.
It was Steph’s birthday and we always celebrate birthdays on Furthur. A clandestine plan was made for me to distract her, this was easy as her one birthday wish was to dive with me and have an “underwater dance”. We took Anna along as dinghy driver, a new experience for her, and looked for a good dive site. This is where our diving is so different from resort diving, we have little idea what is down there. This dive, like others may have never been done by recreational divers, who knows? I found where the reef dropped off near a small passage, usually a good sign. The visibility was excellent, we could see bottom. I dropped the hook on the dinghy and determined there was only little current. Diving like this, some days are chickens some days are feathers, this was a chicken day, it was a super dive, bright unharmed coral, tons of fish all we ask for and we did the underwater swing dance. But this is not how I got the hat.
We headed to the busy port of Lembar, where the multitudes of ferries connect the many Indonesian islands. Again all is unexplored; there is no information for cruisers in this part of the world. We pulled in and looked for a place for Furthur. I found an empty large float and we headed to it but were hailed by the Coast Guard boat on the next dock, the invited us to raft to them. After adjusting many fenders and lines and great help from the crew we were secured to the 100 ft Coast Guard Cutter.
As we had landed at a port of entrance I had to clear in and out, so off to the port office I go. It is midafternoon and Ramadan so expect slow and a bit sleepy, and yes very hungry. It is an essential element of Ramadan, one that would cut me out, that you never get cranky when you are starving, this experience teaches you to stay calm and peaceful albeit a bit slow. So the paper work took some time, I kept hearing a clunk on the typewriter, yes they used typewriters and carbon paper, then a minute later another clunk. All the while we laughed and joked and had a wonderful time.
A Coast Guard officer came in with a really cool Indonesian Coast Guard Hat, wow I wanted it. Kismet struck as he looked at my Selene 48 cap, soon a trade was done. So now my cruising friends, if you are ever boarded by the Indonesian Coast Guard and one of the chaps is sporting a Selene 48 cap, you will know why!