Reconverging with a cruising fleet

There have been precious few other cruising boats crossing our path these last months. We’ve only seen a handful since we said goodbye to Nalukai and Muscat after our New Year’s Eve celebrations in Sorong, Indonesia. Wow, that was a while ago!

Sunset from Totem
Having an anchorage all to yourself is great…for a while
In February we met Hans, on Alk, who was tying his boat up for a long stay in Ambon while he flew home to the Netherlands. In March, we detoured to give Bob and Alex a tow by Komodo. Around that time, we got an email from a cruisers at an island near Lombok- hundreds of miles away- we were so excited, we went to meet them! Then in May, we got to hook up again with our friend Brian.
That’s four boats in about seven months. To be clear, these aren’t just the boats we met. These were the only boats around, period. That megayacht in Labuan Bajo doesn’t count. On one hand, no crazy people trying to anchor too close to us, no worrying about “that boat that didn’t back down” dragging into us at night. No obnoxious party boats that don’t think anyone in the bay really needs to sleep. Yay! But honestly, it did get a little lonely sometimes. It’s nice to process through these very different experiences with people who have a similar background, and there were precious few opportunities.
It’s one reason we decided to join up with the Borneo International Yacht Challenge. It’s tied to the Sail Malaysia East rally, which meant that a dozen or so cruising boats would be in company for some fun and a little competition. Besides, the BIYC lined up pretty well with our general route and timing, so- why not? I mean, hey, other boats! A little racing! A few parties! A nudge to get us up to the north end of Borneo! It all sounded good.

This is a big event for the local tourism board, so we had a few happy rah rah scenes like this one: a group photo of the crews involved. I’m pretty sure the five racing boats in the event had as many crew as the dozen cruising boats.

Thanks SY Sophia for this photo…I was off provisioning and missed the group shot anyway!

Catching up with other boats again, I did worry that we might be a bit socially stunted and hard to understand, seeing as we’ve speaking to each other in the devolved language of grunts and signals that has met our needs for communication. OK, seriously, things didn’t get that bad- but I needed a refresher on my Sundowner Hostess Skills.

Best of all, there was a KID BOAT in the BIYC. Not only were the two boys right in the same age mix of our crew, but the whole family has been fun to be around…so not only have the kids had playdates, Jamie and I have had a few grownup playdates of our own.

An intense afternoon playing Settlers of Catan with the boys from sv Relapse

The good news is we can still string coherent sentences together. We had a pile of fun, we made friends, and we learned a ton about what’s ahead of us for the coming months. It’s going to be a great ride!

2 Responses to Reconverging with a cruising fleet

  1. Susan Kelly July 13, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

    Hi Behan,
    I love reading your blog. We hope to go cruising in a few years, but for now we are sailing in Puget Sound. We’re from Bainbridge, too. Looking at the picture of the kids in the salon, I was wondering how you have your books strapped i. It looks like a line with clips on the end. Would love to know how it works for you and how you did it.
    Thanks,
    Susan

    • Behan Gifford July 14, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      Hi Susan, what is it about sailors and BI! The books are held in with a line that we run through a couple of cuphooks / eye. Easy to tie up / take down based on whether we need them. Let me know if you want closer pics to see how it works.

© 2007-2017 Sailing with Totem. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.