We did the wreck dive and July started on her fast growing list of firsts in the diving world. From there we went nonstop the border, anchoring a few late nights and early morning departures. The last one was a peaceful anchorage about forty miles from the famed Singapore shipping lanes. We were in the greatest cultural shift on the planet; from remote and primitive Indonesia to the ultra-modern fast paced Singapore. It seems like different planets but only half a day away by slow boat.
I stepped outside the pilot house and told the officer I did not think this was safe. By this time a tug and tow had to change course to miss us and a monster freighter was bearing down fast. After some discussion on deck a fellow in civilian clothes came out, paper in hand pointing at a hand held VHF and yelling 77. I tuned to 77 and the guy started reading questions, who are you? Where did you come from? What are you doing? Easy and really not what I expected, no interest in the formal documents I was fumbling to produce. The he asked me if I was happy? Ya, happy? Did I have any troubles in Indonesia? Did I enjoy my time there? I gave all positive answers as I laughed hilariously, this was a tourist survey. We were stopped by an armed war ship in the middle of the busiest shipping lanes in the world to see if I was happy! Only in Indonesia.