[OcelotNews] Ocelotians in East Timor //WL2K

KD7NDG at Winlink.org KD7NDG at Winlink.org
Fri Jul 28 20:29:00 PDT 2017

Dear Friends & Family,     30 July 2017, en route to Kupang, SE Timor

A lot of water has passed beneath Ocelot's keels since we last wrote.  In a series of day-sails we made our way 500nm from Tual to the new country of Timor Leste (East Timor) and its capital of Dili, just north of Australia.  We sailed (as opposed to motor-sailing) most of the way, taking advantage of the strong SE winds.  Sometimes it was wet and sloppy in the rough seas, and sometimes just a glorious reach doing 7-8 knots.

We arrived in conjunction with 8 racing boats from Darwin and were invited to participate in day tours, dance performances and a gala dinner.  All good fun!

Timor Leste has an interesting recent history.  After WWII, the Portuguese were given back the NE end of Timor island.  But in 1974, the Portuguese were having problems at home, so they divested themselves of pretty much all their colonies, including Mozambique & Timor Leste.  Within a few days the Indonesians invaded & took over, much to the dismay of the predominantly Catholic locals.  The US has a poor history here, as then President Ford gave tacit approval for Indonesia's invasion.  There followed a bloody 25-year guerilla war before the Indonesians finally left - but they burned everything before they went, leaving Timor Leste as one of the poorest countries in the world. It is slowly recuperating, and there's lots of money pouring in from NGOs.

Surprisingly, Dili has enough internet connectivity that we were finally able to update our website:
- Rainer has added a few rather high-bandwidth pages (http://svOcelot.com/Rainer/Rainer.htm ) showcasing his amazing underwater photography and video capabilities.
- Sue updated our Indonesian Diving page (http://svOcelot.com/Underwater/Diving/diving_indonesia.htm) and added a new Nudibranch page (http://svOcelot.com/Underwater/Nudibranchs.htm) to our Underwater Critters section.
- Jon updated our Cruising Indonesia pages (http://svocelot.com/Cruise_Info/Indian/Indo_NE_Cruising.htm)
- We've (finally) illustrated & posted our recent newsletters (http://svocelot.com/Landfalls/Newsletters/Indonesia/11ToSulawesi.htm - use the nav-bar on the left to switch between them).
- Last but certainly not least, Sue's 4th(!) edition of Take A Walk, her Seattle Walks book, is finally out.  There's a link on our (somewhat revised) homepage taking you directly to the Amazon page, where either paper or electronic versions are available.

Meanwhile, more repairs were necessary to dear Ocelot.  A very rough passage from the Kai Islands to the Tanimbars ripped one of our trampolines.  Closer examination revealed that much of the stitching was rotten.  But we were lucky to have cruising friends on Complexity (from Seattle!) to help out and provide Tenara (Gore-tex) thread and a tough Sail-Rite sewing machine.  They spent 2 full days helping us completely restitch both tramps, in hopes that they'll hold together for many more years!

We also received new flexible solar panels and Lithium (LiFePO4) batteries for Ocelot, brought to us from Darwin by a cruising boat, so Jon had lots of electrical work to do.  And our new sails arrived from Sri Lanka 3 days early, thanks to DHL.  

Besides all this, we were able to get new visas for Indonesia, so we're once again underway, heading to Kupang, on the south-western end of Timor island. 

So for now it's "adeus" to Timor Leste with its quad-lingual culture (Portuguese, Tetum, English, and Bahasa Indonesian), great coffee, European wine and cheese, New Zealand lamb, local pork, casual dress codes, and wonderfully welcoming people.

We didn't begin to see all that we wanted to, but we'll be back!  

Fair Winds & Calm Seas  --  Jon, Sue, & Rainer    s/v Ocelot
http://HackingFamily.com    http://svOcelot.com
Skype: sv-ocelot   US Worldwide Phone: +1-206-923-9714

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