Update: Last Boat To Bali
We left Labuan Bajo and fought against headwinds and currents for 270 miles to an island paradise off the west coast of Lombok called Gili Air. The leeward side of the island has blue warm water, powdery white sand, and plenty of reef fish to stare at. Onshore you'll find raised platforms with comfy throw pillows and giant shade covers. Every structure is a perfect lounge. The food is beyond delicious and I never paid more than $3 for it. We played cards, read books and magazines, and drank dingin (cold) giant Bintangs for $2. The Gili Islands are magic. It was here that I celebrated my birthday. Suzi bought me a scuba dive and we had a wonderful time. Our new British friends bought us dinner and we left the next day, bright and early, for Bali.
We made it to the island of Bali but not the marina. The wx and the currents were too fierce and I was rightfully concerned about steering the doglegged final channel in the dark. We anchored in Amuk and awaited first light. The final 26 miles to Bali wasn't easy. I hugged the shore to avoid the strongest of the currents. A squall dropped out of the sky to insult us one last time and slowed our progress to 1.5 knots. Like an angry drunk, their rage never lasts long, and when the winds and visibility improved, we began our final approach past the beaches where I could see the surfers dropping into the big waves. We threaded the tight channel at slack tide and pulled straight into our slip here at Bali Marina; home for the next 3-4 months.
We've come almost 5,000 miles since we left Fiji on June 1 of this year. We've sailed half way around the world. "Leg 3" is now behind us, and the next chapter of our lives has begun. We're tied up to a dock, we each have cell phones, and yesterday we even rented a car. We've gone from wilderness to extreme convenience, literally over night.
You've thanked me for writing this dispatch in the past, and now I want to thank you for the things you've written to me. The connections we make in life are the bonds that keep us tethered to this spinning globe when we think all sanity is lost. I was on the brink, and you rescued me. We're all in this together.