The last 3 months have been uneventful excep for one thing, “rain.” I have lived at Lagon Dadap for 13 years and until this year never saw a drop of rain from May to October, yet this year almost daily rain. Conversely can we expect no rain from October to March next year? I hardly think so.
Sadly for all of us at the sailing club in August we lost the Hickeys. John’s Diplomatic tenure for ‘uncle Sam’came to a close after a year's extension spent on the front line in Iraq. John and Kathy have been some of our greatest supporters for 4 years and they have introduced countless guests. We are already missing them and I have a feeling Kathy is missing Indonesia. At the same time and equally sad, the Diplomatic Tom and Mary Spare returned to Washington. We signed up one new member in September, the family Domonic and Naila Hayhurst. We trust they have long and happy membership.
In August we had two families visit us directly from overseas, we collecting them from the airport. One from Amsterdam, one from Norway. They picked up our details from our website. This has been revamped and updated by our good friend and ex member Matt Marlowe, now back in the USA. Look us up, we’re on wwwtanjunglesungsailingclub.com.In Augustwe welcomed my son Bing, his wife Rozalind and daughter Tabatha. They have been before and it was Bing’s third visit.
We were full up for Idul Fitri and with me in England and Sophie on family cemetary duties it fell to our Cashier/Receptionist Idrawati to captain the ship. I'm sure she did a responsible job.
I kicked off Lebaran with the staff but after eight days of fasting had to sadly leave for England for my annual family visit, was this good or bad timing?
We are still experiencing last minute cancellations. The fact that we don’t ask for a deposit means painless cancelling can be made on the smallest pre text. All our food/provisions have to be purchased weekly, by myself. Cancellations mean a waste of food and money. If the problem persists we will have to request deposits from members and non-members prior to bookings being confirmed.
Coming up we have holidays for Idul Adha, 17 Nov., Muslim New Year 8th Dec., Christmas 25th Dec., New Year 1st Jan 2011. Book early if you wish to come.
On behalf of everyone at the sailing club we thank all our customers for their support and encouragement in 2010.
DAB, 22 Sep 2010
Please note booking numbers whilst Sophie is indisposed
However always best to e-mail :
From the last newsletter in April to mid June we have been incredibly busy at the Sailing Club but since then there has been a lull, the June/July school holidays necessitating most families taking their summer vacation in this period. From April to June we received school activity visits from 3 to 5 days each from Jakarta Int. School, Global Jaya, 3 grades from Jakarta Int. School, ACG and in June The Dutch School. We are highly appreciative of all their support.In May Tracy (U.S. embassy staff) and Jonathan Harding left for their new posting in Cyprus. They were enthusiastic members, we will miss them and we wish them every future success.
There have been 3 new members in the last 2 months, Joerg Hass from Germany, Keith Moody from Canada and Bill Lloyd from the U.S.A. We trust they will have many enjoyable days at the Sailing Club. During the slack period we have been refurbishing all the cottages, the restaurant, painting inside and out and replacing furnishings where necessary, which means the boat boys have been busy, even if the cooks aren’t.
On June 21st our General Manager Sophie’s mother passed away unexpectedly almost a year after her father’s passing. Naturally she is devastated and it will be a while before she returns full time to the Sailing Club. The entire Sailing Club staff (24 persons) drove to Depok, a 12 hour ‘round trip, in 2 Suzuki Carry’s to pay their respects on the “ 7th “ day.
This is my 13th year in Tanjung Lesung and the first time we are experiencing rain in July. Its certainly not raining every day but there is the odd thunderstorm each week. All preceeding years we have gone from April to October without any rain at all. There’s no mountain saga to report this time but your scribe and James Waite are planning our next vertical challenge! I had a very successful double cataract operation at the Jakarta Eye Center in June so after 60 years of useage have jumped on my rimless specs.
We have installed ‘Aqua Gallon’ water bottles in some rooms. Also we have small portable fridges available for baby food storage.
Finally. Last weekend guest Anthony Murphy on a visit to Krakatau reported some activity from the volcano. Remember you read this first in the TLSC newsletter not the Jakarta Post!
Please note booking numbers whilst Sophie is indisposed.
It's three months since the last newsletter and in that time we have been very busy. February 15th was Chinese New Year, February 26th the Prophet’s Birthday and April 2nd Easter. We had a full house for all these holidays, in fact ‘overflow’ which we accommodated at ‘Blue Fish’ or Lagon Dadap Villas. The Nyepi holiday fell on a Wednesday and no one seemed to notice.
It has been good to see our regulars. Vincent and Rosalia Nicod and the two girls, one over from Leeds University, Cathy Hickey and the girls with Amy Martin. John Hickey is still dodging the flack in Iraq. Kevin and Chris Rae, the McAllisters, Jonathan and Tracy Harding, Trevor and Ade Day, Gavin and Sarah, Nick and Petty Elliot and the boys, James and Ophelia Waite, David and Yanti Deziel with new offspring Nadine, Kathy and Grant Mackay, AnnieAndrews and Debbie, Richard and Diana Cook, and many more. New comers have included Jane Betteridge from the Dutch school, the Revered Hatfield and family, Chris and Dina Briggs and Volker Bromund and family and others we apologize for missing out. It was good to see some old friends return, notably Ross and Jane Coleman now based in Penang and Debbie now teaching in a school in Germany.
In March came the wedding of members Liam and Keyren. Sophie was responsible for the very considerable organization and the whole weekend proved a huge success with outside marquee, decorations provided by Dadang and his group of boat boys, champagne cruise, band and regional food delicacies served from stalls in the restaurant. There were masses of fantastic food and even a square “designer” wedding cake. This was our second wedding here and anyone considering a wedding in Indonesia would do well to consider us. Great location and inexpensive.
We had the Australian Int. School in March, North Jakarta Int. school due next week then comes Global Jaya (70 persons), ACG and Nederland Int. School.
A chance remark to James Waite of the New Zealand Embassy, that a visit to Panaitan was preferable to a trip to Ujung Kulon, resulted in the “Commonwealth Expedition” to the uninhabited island of Panaitan on the Western tip of Java with the intention of rediscovering a Hindu temple on the summit of Gunung Raksa. Years ago I had read of this temple and in fact saw a drawing of it, perhaps done during Sir Stamford Raffles tenure. James Waite and his sister Julia are both experienced hikers/ mountaineers back home in N.Z.We brought Dadang along armed with parangs to provide physical support. We chartered a boat to take us from the sailing club the four hours to Panaitan. The boat was used for cooking meals and sleeping of which I got none most days sleeping on the deck in the rain!
The west coast of the Island has no sandy shore line, the dense jungle starting at the water’s edge. On arrival, late p.m. we did a coastal recce to determine where we could commence the assault early next morning. At 7.30 a.m. four of us canoed ashore from the Mother ship. Dadang led the way slashing through the undergrowth. It proved to be a difficult 4 km climb since there was no defined path or access to the summit. We had to overcome many crevasses, say fifty metres high, steep and slippery up and down. This went on for hours. It was quite dark on the ground and one could only occasionally see daylight because we were surrounded by very tall trees. Animals and birds were in abundance, monkey, mouse deer, large deer,snakes, insects etc., so natural it was I wouldn’t have been surprised to see any type of animal.
James had a good orienteering eye as an experienced climber and his instincts proved correct and they eventually found the temple site. After four hours I was having problems and without help all round would not have made it. Luckily we took ropes and these were attached to trees higher up so I could haul myself up. At one stage I was roped to Dadang in the chain-gang mode. Luckily my 80 kg never slipped to take Dadang's 60 kg with me. The shrine was difficult to locate since only a statue of Ganesha, the Elephant-like son of Shiva remains. Said to be between 600 and 1000 years old, the type of statue predates anything from the Hindu period in Indonesia. There was a complete absence of rubbish of any kind and the surrounding jungle was completely undisturbed. I had read that twenty years ago a New Zealand survey team had visited and from the evidence not many outsiders had been there since. The descent was equally tricky especially me wearing trainers for the first time in my life and with minimal eye sight. On the descent Julia gave me much needed encouragement. Yes I was pooped.
We were met on the shoreline by the boat crew who no doubt had heard me shouting, “where are you” and “wait for me.” Overall up and down had taken over eight hours. On reflection we had taken some chances. Panaitan is a large, 25 x 15 km densley foliated, uninhabited island so a snake bite or broken limb so far from civilisation (say Tanjung Lesung) would have presented major problems and if one got detatched and disorientated without food and water I can’t see how one could survive.
Some notes on Panaitan. Two hundred and fifty years ago, sailing ships used to stop at Panaitan to kareen their ship’s hulls and take on water and supplies. Captain James Cook’s “Endeavour” called twice and his journals revealed the water was not of the best quality and they took on large fowl and small turtles. At the time there was a King of Panaitan and a population of 1000’s and an island with little to offer this puzzled Cook and his naturalist Sir Joseph Banks. Further enquiries reveal they were all there to escape the tigers on the mainland peninsula ten kilometers away!In earlier times the island was known as Prince’s or Princep Island.
Our newly created spa is proving very popular and is used constantly. We have installed water stands in some cottages and for customers with babies we will supply small refrigerators. Currently we are replacing the older bed mattresses. In May we are totally occupied on weekdays so my cataract operations are now planned for June.
Ninety percent of our customers pay their bills in cash but some pay by credit transfer. Invariably this leads to us chasing payments sometimes for many weeks or months. It's usually the same people. We are not in the business of financing vacations and if this trend continues we will have no alternative than to request a 50% accommodation deposit into our bank a/c before confirming a booking. This will also stop the frivolous way some people cancel at the last minute.
Finally the weather has been exceptionally good the last three months. Not many hours of rain and good clear sunshine most days. I personny have not felt a mosquito for a month or so.
Its three months since the last newsletter. It was warm and sunny in October but now the whole of Java is waterlogged although here at T.L. we seem to be faring better than Jakarta. It is cooler and some guests like that. Here, in between the showers we’ve had blue sky’s and plenty of “Matahari”.
We had a minor earth tremor in November which was enough to convince me we needed to rebuild our ten year old boat shed. This is now completed, the new building is more efficient and stronger than its predecessor.
The other major addition at the club is the new SPA housed in a traditional Javanese gazebo and virtually on the beach.
In January we welcomed a charming Bolivian family for a few days. It’s worth remembering it takes over two days to get from La Paz to T.L.! This was the 67th Nationality to visit us.
In November, “meow” the club cat produced four kittens, so we now have six “kucing” and not a lot of rats.
Driving back from Jakarta in the dark at the end of November we were hit by a huge storm in Panimbang. I drove until stopped by a meter depth of water, then holed up in the local petrol station forecourt and slept in the car overnight.
Problem was about a hundred local kampong residents, who’s houses had been washed away, had the same idea.
At round midnight the sailing club boat boys showed up unannounced with our rubber boat on top of a truck and announced their intention to paddle myself, Sophie and all the weekend food stuff we had purchased that day in Jakarta back along the road the five miles to Tanjung Lesung! Perhaps the fact that the week before I had given a talk on “initiative” prompted this.
In spite of all the gloomy weather forecast no one cancelled and we ended up having a superb weekend. Thanks everyone.
I visited the “Blessed Isle” in December where even in the ‘Sunny South’ the temperature dropped to -8º C before wind chill and topped up with heavy snowfalls. In short it was hell, or the opposite of it! The weather eased for one day before it repeated itself and that was the day I exited Heathrow for Jakarta. Was I pleased to get back? I was unable to have my projected eye operations within my December time scale so here I am in Indonesia looking for alternatives.
In my absence the G.M. Sophie ran the show alone and clearly did a highly competent job which encompassed a month of many visitors, and three public holidays including Christmas and New Year.
On a final note, payments. We are unable to accept credit cards because we don’t have a land phone line. So we only accept cash. We would prefer payments to be made on check-out rather than later by Bank transfer because there’s nothing more embarrassing a week later to have to remind guests that their payment has not been received.
The club’s annual membership subscription for 2010 was due on 01.01.10 and we have circulated everyone twice. Remember, up until 31.01.2010 the annual subscription remains at Rps. 2.000.000, from 1st February 2010 its Rps. 2.250.000, Members departing Indonesia in less than a year can prorata their dues.
D.A.B, January 2010
Foot Note: I am still looking for long term interest/participation in the sailing club, after my recent visit to my family in England I know my time here is limited. Should no one come forward then I have no alternative than to close the sailing club because it could not operate successfully without senior management. This is a highly successful up and running, on going business with an established clientele loyal staff and a cooperative landlord. It would ideally suit an expatriate 50 to 60 years old with an Indonesian connection. Should someone out there be seriously interested please phone or text Sophia Fabiyanti on 081385151999.