Cruising Bali To Surabaya (Java)
We arrived back to Bali from Kuala Lumpur. A visa-on-arrival gave us another month in Indonesia before we had to renew it again. It was finally time to leave Bali. We prepared Thorfinn and shopped for supplies, before heading to Kuta to say goodbye to some friends. After playing a few games of pool with Nick at the Rooster Bar, we bid him farewell and popped over the street to say goodbye to Agung and Ari our wonderful massage ladies. We love Bali and enjoyed our time here but we were well and truly ready to continue our journey.
We left Serangan and motor-sailed to some tiny rock islands off of Candi Dasa. We put on our snorkel gear and got in the water to clean the bottom of the boat. (The growth of barnacles and weed, from spending three weeks moored in Serangan was unbelievable!) We had cleaned the propeller and rudder, and part of the hull, before the current became too strong and we had to give it up. When the tide came in, it became a very rolly anchorage, so we got very little sleep before getting up the next morning to finish cleaning the hull. We were on our way again by 0900, ready for an overnight sail.
We motor-sailed throughout the night with thunderstorms on the horizon; a slight change of coarse had us miss the worst of it. We arrived at Pulau Giligenteng and put our SUPs (stand-up paddle boards) in the water and went to explore. On the way back to the boat we had a visit from some locals that had been out fishing and we managed to express our desire to buy some of their octopus, so they followed us back to our boat and we purchased four octopus which I then pickled.
A couple of days later we moved on to Pulau Kambing (Goat Island) and anchored there for the night. It was a Friday night and the Islamic ‘call to prayer’ went on for about five hours. I usually find it very relaxing when we are sitting off an island listening to it. However, it sounded like there are at least three or four mosques on the small island and that they were having a ‘battle of the call’. It was extremely noisy!
After dinner a storm was brewing and the wind had changed direction so we decided to move to the other side of the island. It was pitch-black and the water around this island is littered with buoys and boats so I had to make-like a figurehead and hang off the front of the boat looking for anything that was going to obstruct our voyage. The lightening was all around us and I am not ashamed to say I was terrified! Not one of my better experiences.
The next day we went to Surabaya. The Suramadu Bridge, which we passed under, is rather impressive as is the copious amount of Naval ships in the port.
This port is one of the busiest in Indonesia and we couldn’t find anywhere to anchor near Surabaya so we crossed to Madura and anchored near the ferry terminal. We had a visit from someone selling diesel so we filled our jerry cans and then went to shore for a look around. No one really speaks any english apart from ‘my name is’ which is how they ask what your name is. I know quite a lot of Indonesian Bahasa now and we enjoyed a few stilted conversations before we asked where to find a warung. We followed the pointing fingers to a tiny warung with delicious Bebeke Goreng (fried duck).
To see where Surabaya, Madura and all the other places are, check out our map at:
We were in Surabaya to extend our Visas, but we had arrived late Saturday afternoon and on Sunday the office was not open, therefore we could do nothing about it until Monday. Sunday we caught the ferry to Surabaya for a look around.
We met a man, Arni, and his daughter. We took them for a coffee and he offered to show us around but we prefer to just explore the place for ourselves.
Surabaya is one of Indonesia’s major shopping destinations and it has many opulent shopping malls. We went to Grand City and had a look around the shops and let our ‘inner child’ have a play at an amusement parlour! Later we went on to Tunjungan Plaza for a look around and treated ourselves to a movie. At Rp35000 (about AUS $3.50) it was so cheap and they don’t blank out the swear words here like they do in Malaysia!
The labyrinthine roads of Surabaya, congested with cars, scooters, trucks, vans, becaks (rickshaws), and people pushing hand-carts, wound their way though a myriad of incongruous buildings. Large fancy homes pop up between ramshackle huts, and the slum areas along the train lines sit not far from fancy sky rise buildings and shopping malls. The roads in this city (the second largest in Indonesia) are so perplexing that even Dwayne couldn’t work out where we were most of the time. Public transport such as trains and buses were not easy to find, they did have bemos (mini vans) but no one spoke English, so we caught taxis each day. Luckily the taxis are very cheap.
Monday morning we started the arduous saga of extending our visas. We looked up the address for Kantor Immigrasi (the office of Immigration), caught a ferry to Surabaya and then a taxi a long way out of town (out near the airport) to the Immigration Office. Once there, we waited for about an hour until we were called to the desk, where we were told that we needed to go to another office. A couple of minutes later we were walking in the rain trying to catch another taxi. Wet, and a bit disappointed, we caught a cab to another immigration office where we were once again told we were at the wrong place. They gave us the address for the correct place and we once again set off to find a taxi. After a few hours of sitting, filling in forms (buying “black pens” and getting our passports photo copied) we were on our way back home.
We were due back at Immigration two days later when we thought we’d be picking up our passports with the extended visa. We arrived at 0800 and after several hours of waiting, paying and having photos and fingerprints done (biometrics) we were once again on our way…. without our passports. We were due back at Immigration at 1500 the next day to pick them up. Feeling a little despondent we caught a taxi to Tunjungan Plaza, had lunch and watched a couple of movies.
The next day before picking up our visas we went to the Submarine Monument for a look inside a sub. Dwayne was interested in taking a look at the sub as he had just finished reading “The Terrible Hours” a true story by Peter Maas about a sub that went down in 1939 with 33 men on board, and the miraculous rescue that followed in an era when there were no actual methods of deep sea rescue.
Below – Dwayne wanted to have a look at the motor so he just removed a panel. Wtf!
The submarine is the KRI Pasopati. It is a Russian submarine built in 1952 and has been with the Indonesian Navy since 29th January 1962. In 1990 it was retired and was open for the public on the 15th of July 1998. The sub has seven rooms and we got to take a look in them all. It was well worth the small fee for a look around.
In the afternoon we picked up our passports, did a little shopping and headed back to Thorfinn to get her ready for our next voyage….. on to Pulau Bawean.
In Surabaya we found a tiny back alley warung where we ordered Kare Kambing (goat curry), it was delicious. The goat skin in it was a little off putting for me but the texture and taste of it was fine. It was tasty and tender.
On a walk around a small part of Madura we had some very yummy sate ayam (chicken sate). While we ate we had many visitors come up for a chat. They all called the sate “Madura Sate” as though it was their specialty (I think this lady’s sate were very popular) and they were very interested in how we enjoyed them. We of course told them they were enak sekali (very delicious), as they were.
Travel notes (February 2015)
Ferry between Surabaya and Madura – goes frequently between the hours of 0600 and 2100 and costs IDR5000 (about AUD $0.50). Snacks, drinks and toilets are available aboard. Its about a 45 minute trip.
Extending visa if staying in Surabaya or Madura you need to visit –
Jl. Darmo Indah 21
Take all the relevant paperwork and a black ink pen. Black pens are for sale there and there is a photo copying service. The process will take 3 to 4 days.
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