Thursday, February 26, 2009

Life on the high seas

You would think we'd have learned our lesson after hearing about the other boat sinking between Gili Trawangan and Bali. But no. We decided to take another boat during rainy season.

One of our good friends is leaving for her next assignment in a couple days and one of the last things on her list of "Must Do in Indonesia" was diving in Bunaken Marine Park near the city of Manado on the island of Sulawesi. It's a protected marine reserve (no dynamite fishing), so the coral reefs are still in pristine condition. This was on our list too, so we planned a trip with her a couple weeks ago.

We were staying on Bunaken island, which is about 30 minutes by boat from Manado. As we got on the boat to make the short trip, drizzling rain began to fall. But five minutes later, all hell broke loose on the seas.

Waves were crashing over the walls of the boat. We were rocking back and forth with such intensity that our friend was thrown from her seat onto the floor (where she decided to remain in a fetal position). Hillary kept asking me if we were going to be okay. In the beginning I said yes. Then the motors started stalling. After the second of three motors went out, I too was scared and thought we were going to have to abandon ship (with no land in sight). When the crew started looking scared, we really started to freak out a bit. The boat had almost capsized and we were prepared to fight the huge waves and swim to shore (with a lifejacket) when we spotted land.

Luckily, we were able to limp back to a fishing port not too far from where we'd started. The boat had a couple feet of water in the bottom by this point, but we were safe. We'd never wanted to get off a boat so badly before! The fun part was that we had to get on a different boat an hour or so later after the storm had passed.

And guess what we found out the next day about another boat that was making the trip from the opposite direction: it sank. So, here's the moral of the story: don't take a boat in Indonesia during the rainy season.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

True Story

Ice cream shop employee: "Cup or Cone?"

Customer: "Sorry?"

Employee: "Cup or Cone?"

Customer: "Oh, cone, please!"

Employee: "Sorry, we're out of cones."

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The evil that is durian...revisited

You may recall a little story we told you a couple years ago in which we had a nasty meeting with a popular fruit called durian. Click here if you want to refresh your memory.

To make this short, we found out after we'd mixed the two that durian and alcohol are a really bad combination. About a week ago, we found this article in one of the English language newspapers. Seriously. Why don't they tell people this?