Day 159, Year 3: Belitung Farewell Dinner
Date: Hari (Wednesday), Bulan Oktober 15, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Mostly Sunny Day with Rain Showers
Location: Tanjung Kelayang, Belitung, Indonesia

First and foremost, Justin and Jo made it home safely to New Mexico. They were greeted by unseasonably cold weather, even snow in some of the higher areas, and that must have been quite a shock after the hot, hot weather they encountered here. They had a wonderful last two days in Bali, staying in Legion. This is a beach community just north of Kuta, and as with Kuta, it is a surfer’s dream. Both Jo and Justin surfed all day and really enjoyed the ocean. Since they live in the desert, they’ll
not be seeing the ocean for quite some time, so they’ll have to live on those memories.

Yesterday was quite a whirlwind of unexpected activity here. So much so that we didn’t get back to the boat last night until after 1 am, so I am writing this log the next morning. Yesterday we woke to a call on the radio from Dave on This Way Up asking if we had read an SMS message from him on our cell phone from the day before. We had not checked the cell phone, so Dave gave us a call and asked Mark to be the representative from the United States contingency of cruisers to do the thank you’s
at the farewell dinner last night. At each rally stop, a different country has been asked to host and sometimes the cruisers from that country have put on quite a show. We quickly looked at the rally list and found that there were only five other boats here from the US and we realized were going to have to really scramble to put something together. But what? Then a flurry of radio activity further complicated matters. Because this is the last rally stop, a number of people had a special thanks
they wanted to share, while others had poems, stories, and songs. So we made our US program one of inclusion. After all, we are the melting pot of world cultures. We started off with an Olympic style parade of flags from the countries in the rally and Mark made some comparisons between Indonesia and the US. Much like the United States, each province here is so different from the others, yet there are strong ties that hold the country together. And the US even has a presidential candidate with
roots in Indonesia. Mark thanked the wonderful people of Belitung for being such gracious hosts. We ended the evening by having everyone link arms and sing Auld Lang Sine and then we had Joe on Rendezvous Cay shoot off a fireworks display. We asked cruisers to pitch in and help pay for the display, but as in everything, some did and some didn’t. So our pockets are a little emptier today, but we hope the people of Belitung felt our sincere desire to convey to them how much we appreciate their
wonderful welcome here.

As I write this, I can look out the ports and see boat after boat leaving the anchorage here. They rally functions here are officially over and most people are anxious to get on to Singapore. By the time we reach Singapore, we will all have spent three wonderful months in Indonesia. That’s all the time the government here will give you on a cruising permit and the weather is definitely starting to change. There are more and more storms as the rainy season is arriving. So it is time to head north,
spend a few days in Singapore, and then start the Malaysian and Thailand adventures. Before leaving here, however, we plan to snorkel the day away.

081015 Day 159 Belitung, Indonesia–Sail Indonesia Farewell Dinner, Tanjung Kelayang
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Day 160, Year 3: So Hard to Say Goodbye
Day 158, Year 3: Arrival in Belitung