After a month of land cruising Sam has returned to Furthur. She stepped aboard, opened the saloon door and exclaimed, “I’m home!” Sam being Sam meant she did not come alone; she brought three beautiful young ladies along for a short stay.
Kate is her long time “bestie” best friend. Kate is a school teacher in London and as Brit a girl as I have seen, from her long floppy hat, pure alabaster skin, perky gait and oh so lovely accent. It was planned to have Kate join us for some time although her perceived discomfort at sea and fair skin might appear to be challenging she fit right in on Furthur, even did some discovery diving. To make her even more a treat to have aboard, she loves musicals and bursts just like I do! We made quite a duet singing verses from Oliver, Sound of Music and My Fair Lady.
Ronnie and Delina had school connections with Sam. Ronnie is another classic Brit, a bit quieter but always ready for fun. She is the kind who listens to a conversation quietly then pops in a brilliant addition in her almost Merle Streep doing Margret Thatcher accent. Delina is the rare jewel of this trio, born half Indonesian and half Brit she has split her life from the two cultures, youth in Indonesia and schooling in England. This ethnic and cultural combination has produced an interesting and stunningly beautiful young lady. I took her on her discovery dive and even thought she had some times of angst she stuck with it and loved it, even saw a turtle-shark. I see diving in her future.
So with Sam back in charge, Brianna back from her adventures and Rennie joining the crew we took our three guests to see the wonders of Komodo. First night was a mandatory stop at the Lounge, where I joined the band again. We laid out our evil plot arranging a stout table within the range of my guitar chord and reserved it for the girls. Imagine the looks on our proper English ladies as I bound up on their table dancing and playing Twist and Shout!
Next we ventured to Rinca Island to see the famed Komodo Dragons, the last two trips have been limited in our sightings so my expectations were low. To my great glee this turned out to be the most amazing trek I have done, we saw baby dragons, mating dragons, fighting dragons, and many in the wild, along with a couple of close encounters with water buffalo. It was a stellar day!
Next on the tour was the famed Pink Beach where I dropped the girls off for snorkeling, dropped the hook and took advantage of being alone with taking a nap. We moved to one of my favorite anchorages where wild pigs and deer can be seen cruising the beach. We were visited by one of my local buddies and arranged a ride across the bay to the Komodo Village.
Visiting the village is more of a spiritual lift than tour, after many visits it still gives my cosmic side a good recharge. As usual the warm welcome of the elders and the bright white toothed smiles of the kids greet us. It feels like all worldly concerns vanish here, hard to fester about a failed electrical gadget when you see these peaceful people living in harmony in stick houses.
Sam is in here element here, she parades down the islet with children in tow. Soon all the girls have their special new friends tagging along. One lad seems to pick me and is inseparable. The elder takes us to the school where hordes of uniformed rush toward us. We all divide and take a group, Sam and Rennie doing a pantomime skit, others talking and me playing the guitar and singing kids songs, had to think on that one, but came up with ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’.
On our previous visit I donated an old guitar that had been given to me by my late friend Steve. Steve loved to hear me play and sing old hippy songs and had given me the guitar for beach parties. I could not think of a better way to remember Steve than have the guitar at the Komodo Village School. The teachers brought it out to me smiling and saying “play play”. I know my ol’ bud was looking down.
I have become known here for my balloon tying and was immediately greeted with “balloooooon ballooooon” so broke out a few for the little kids and made them dogs, komodo and even a kangaroo.
So with a tear in our eye we left the kids on the wharf as they beamed those contagious smiles and waved their new balloon animals. All were moved by this experience.
Spirits charged we headed north for some diving and fun. We anchored at the north end of Komodo under a star lit night. The girls fixed yet another scrumptious meal and our nightly “gratitude sharing” time was full. The next day we did more diving and the girls each got a chance at kayaking. We moved to another site where the regular Furthur crew did a night dive, returning to the boat to find a great Mexican meal cooked by the English girls.
We finished with a day of diving, kayaking and the girls did a beach clean-up producing three bags of rubbish from the beach. It was good that they wanted to pay it forward for their good times here.
Back in Labuan Bajo we prepared for our last night. Off to the Lounge again for some frolicking and good food. It has been a total pleasure having the POM girls aboard. For those who do not know POM stands for property of her Majesty. Well Her Majesty can be proud of these British girls for sure.