September 25, 2010-The Jetty at Teluk Bayur
Fishing boat at Teluk Bayur
The old wooden jetty was a wreck already but there was no other choice for a yachtie wishing to go ashore in Pedang’s Teluk Bayur since the surf on the shoreline is too huge to consider. However landing in the dingy at the Teluk Bayur jetty is a real adventure; the waves rise and fall about three feet and you have to time your leap from the dingy to or from the jetty, but you could do it if you were agile.
That was before last night when the big wave wiped out the whole jetty. It knocked the surface planks completely off the pilings and scattered them like pick-up sticks. To go ashore for our shopping trip in Pedang today we scrambled over the wreckage.
Scrambling ashore was a piece of cake compared to coming home because the local jetty workers decided to fix it while we were gone.
They were right on the job and they industriously attacked the ruined jetty with saws and new timbers but to fix it they had to dismantle the remains. By four in the afternoon there was no jetty, only the skeleton under which surged the whole Indian Ocean dashing itself on the rocks with a mighty power.
So I, being the designated driver waiting on Wings with the dingy, came in early and spoke to the jetty owner, “Sir, Madam is coming back in an hour and she can’t cross that ruined jetty. Can your guys help her?”
This is what I like about Indonesia:
He said, “No problem.” And when Judy showed up later with her bags of provisions the whole work team, about 15 guys, stopped work rigged a temporary walkway of planks for her to cross and the owner himself handed Judy to the dingy. It was still scary for her but she made it.
We have experienced nothing except the friendliest and most courteous treatment from all the Indonesians we have encountered in Sumatra. We love them.
But Pedang, which is the capital of West Sumatra, is still a difficult stop over. Aside from the adventures of the jetty the town is large and confusing. There are few stores where we can buy the provisions we need and the market is so huge even Pierre got lost. On top of that few people speak any English and our Indonesian is limited so asking is not usually productive. We have not even found Sumatra coffee beans but in truth we have managed to get most everything else.
We are here doing our last minute shopping before checking out of Indonesia for Africa, and that is something. The boat has been a problem with its minor breakdowns, and continues to be, but we cope, and we are on schedule.
So we are pretty happy.
We’ll update you soon on our actual departure date from Indonesia.
Fred & Judy (& Pierre), SV Wings, Sumatra
Click here for more images from our last stop in Sibolga
Click here for photos we took on the way to Pedang, which is across the equator