Every island in Indonesia so far has been filled with smiling locals trying to help, a lot of “Halo, mister” and locals taking 10 times more pictures of us then us of them. It gets pretty difficult because not many people here speak English. In fact I’d say the most remote islands in the South Pacific have more English speakers then here in Eastern Indonesia. Its all good though. We get by by drawing pictures and lots of hand gestures. Our sherades skills are getting better by the minute out here. It may take 5 minutes to get something like “what village to you live in?” across. Most of the time they just smile back and say a long drawn out “yeeeeeesssss” with high raised eyebrows.
Sorong was no different. Every single person you pass smiles says halo mister and gives a head nod in your direction. The town is quite dirty with rubbish dumps on every corner providing food for the rats, cats and dogs that roam the streets. These piles eventually get burned, I don’t know by who but I have a feeling its either a random passerby that decides the piles are a bit too high or the town pyromaniac who is in heaven.We anchored about 250m East of the police dock at 00’52.91 S 131’15.12 E The holding was really good. Image years and years of decomposing rubbish and sewage that builds a super thick mud on the harbor floor that will hold on to your anchor like a magnet. Getting into town was a pretty intense mission, especially at high tide. An old wooden pier comes out just near the police dock. Half of the supports are broken or missing and the top planks are few and far between. You need to leap over certain areas to avoid falling through into the delicious soupy goodness of the water below.
Then it’s a 5 minute walk down a muddy alley that smells like old shrimp paste, dog food and fish food all in an oven..mmmmmm. The Saga supermarket can be found by going left at the end of the lovely smelling alley then right passed the huge pile of rotten garbage and right again at the main street.
It wasn’t all bad though. Like I said before the people were amazing. We made a few friends at the Saga Supermarket, some who spoke a bit of English. We ended up going to that store 4 times and every time one of our new friends would walk up with a big smile and ask what we were looking for. We would try and explain something like sushi paper for example. We were then led to a pasta cutting machine… A normal provisioning that would take a few hours turned into a few days. We met a young girl by the name of Fidi who really took a liking to Josje. She spoke the best English and really helped us out. She even gave us a discount and a stuffed animal for spending so much money there. After the first day we felt like high rollers. We would walk out and would have one of the workers waiting for us to load up in the back of his truck and drive us to the dinghy waiting on the broken down pier.
My favorite thing about Sorong was directly across the street from the alley. Zen massage. Where an hour long rub down would set you back 100,000 Rp (about $10). It was complete with a body wash at the end and some delicious ginger tea. They are not shy, they get right in there. The little Indonesian man that took care of me didn’t hesitate to massage my ass or move my balls to the side when my inner thigh needed some attention. This is probably not a place for you if your uncomfortable being naked and getting a massage by another man. Josje, Nina and I went and all had amazing massages. Nina was the only one that got an offer for a happy ending but for some strange reason she turned it down. Sorong was a whirlwind of provisioning, night watches for the 4 thieves out of the whole town and crew flying in and out. Hurricane Nina left us after a 5 week bikini sailing adventure and Josje sister, Phoebe (dubbed Fibizzle) flew in.
Its gonna be really interesting. Phoebe has never been on a boat smaller then a ferry, snorkeled once when she was 11 and is now ready to sail Raja Ampat and learn to scuba dive! It feels good to be out of the city and away from the smell! Northern Raja Ampat is now in our sites. “So Long Sorong” – Phoebe Leyten