Position: 9º 2.802′ S 120º 56.73′ E
Making passage to Komodo from Ende. Our first day was calm and easy. The timing of everything seemed almost perfect, which is unusual for a first day out.
Right around dinner I was hailed by a passing cargo ship, ostensibly for a radio check. Here they say “Radio Check, satu, dua, tiga” (1,2,3). But what they really mean is, “it gets lonely out here, even with a crew of 16, wanna chat?”
Boy did they hail the right guy! I learned that the captain of VITI-01 has a three year old daughter who he hasn’t seen in two years. That she is (many times) beautiful. He asked about our voyage and exclaimed “FANTASTIC” (many times) when he understood that we sailed from America to Indonesia. He asked for all of our names, and remembered them later.
We talked about the sunset, and the grandeur of Flores. When I told him that I loved the beautiful people of Indonesia, I could hear the mile wide smile through the overdriven handset as he thanked me.
When dinner was served he thanked me for my attention and I wished him “selamat malam” (goodnight) and “selamat jalan” (farewell).
As his cargo ship disappeared into the fading twilight I noted how absolutely typical that exchange was for Indonesia.
All is well.