Wednesday, November 27, 2013

YOLO in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia Sep 2013

Labuan Bajo, Indonesia is where the northern route yachts and the western route yachts were to meet up for the big gala dinner with the President of Indonesia.  It was a big deal politically and the harbor was full of military ships from the SE Asia area, including the huge hospital ship from China below.
A rusty military ship in the harbor.  Not sure what country this was from as there were ships from many countries here to make a showing in their sail pass, too.
 The Presidential viewing area on shore.  He was supposed to be somewhere in the crowd ashore, but we have no idea if he was there or where.  His tight schedule may have had him gone before we even went by!
Another big ship in the parade.

 YOLO had all her flags a flying, too!  We looked good.  You just can't get a picture with the right perspective from onboard our boat.  We'd need another yacht to take a shot of us.
  Children singing and dancing for us for the welcome dinner.
 The dancers flipped over rice baskets that spelled out "SAIL KOMODO", the government program that paid for the Sail Indonesia support at all the islands we visited.  The umbrella program at the highest government levels was known as Sail Komodo.
 The captains discussing the route for the sail pass where we were to follow the military ships in a big loop in front of the President's viewing platform on the shore.
 A lady playing a very unusual round harp in an expo tent in the city of Labuan Bajo.  I've never seen such an instrument before.
 Jason waiting his turn to fill our water buckets at the Eco Lodge in Labuan Bajo.  He then had to cart them across 100 yards of sand and load them into the dinghy and drag it across the shallow sand bar and get it back out to the boat.  The hassles with water when we don't use a watermaker....  The pool in the background was a lifesaver in the heat here.
 Another American boat, Water Musick, in the sail pass, with their sail and flags out.
 The yachts parading in  a line past the President's viewing platform on shore.
 You can see the micro lights buzzing around as our friends on Velella get in line for the sail pass.  The Indonesian armed forces had paratroopers jumping out of helicopters in front of the viewing area, too.
 Karen cooling off in the pool at the Eco Lodge in Labuan Bajo, Indonesia.
 My sarong drying near the pool, with the Eco Lodge in the background.
Main street in Labuan Bajo
 Jason and Lyn dancing, with Helane and Peter from Velella in the foreground.  They were all dancing up a sweat at our welcome dinner.
 Peter, Lyn, and Jason having a good time at the welcome dinner.
 Karen and Lyn dressed up in our Buton finery for the dinner with the President.  We never really had dinner with him; he ate in an air-conditioned room with the ambassadors and dignitaries from many countries while we balanced plates on our laps in a hot foyer in the gov't building.  Disappointing that he didn't even address us as the banners along the road and at all the events touted Sail Indonesia all over the country.
That is the President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in the blue shirt in the center of the photo.  He said "See you tomorrow" as he walked past us on his way out and that was the extent our interaction.  We thought he was coming to our gala dinner, but it turned out we were coming to dinner at his political reception for others; at least that is how it felt.  We weren't impressed.  We'd been treated like Super VIPs until now and we felt like poor relatives here.
Lyn with some of the dancers at the welcome dinner.  They had whips at the end of those poles and they danced and swung them at each other in some ceremonial performance.  Once in a while, they connected and drew blood.  They had swishy bells on their backsides that stood out like tails, too, but they never stood still long enough to get a clear picture of them.

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