Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gili Fast Boat or is it Wet Boat?

Bali, Indonesia - We left the Gili Islands Tuesday to head back to Bali by fast boat. There are several options for getting to and from the Gili Islands with the fast boat being the quickest and most expensive option. The fast boats are really speedboats 25-35 feet with several large outboard motors that seat 20 to 30 people.

On our last night the wind really picked up such that we had 4-5 foot choppy seas. That might not sound like much but that was in addition to the normal swells. The swells here are pretty unbelievable. As I mentioned in a previous post Indonesia has some of the greatest currents around as it is where the Pacific and Indian Oceans meet up. The Pacific Ocean is several feet higher than the Indian Ocean so that coupled with the thousands of islands that make up the Indonesian Archipelago create rivers through the islands.

The swells seemed to be about 100 feet long and 20 feet deep and on our way out to Gili we would gently ride up and gently ride down but on the journey back the swells were accompanied by 4 to 5 foot chop which made it quite a bumpy ride

The currents between the island we were on, Gili Trawangan and the island next to it, Gili Air about a half mile away were as bad as anything we saw on the Mekong River.

So our fast boat left about 1130am for the 2.5 hour journey back to Bali and it was an adventure. We were going across the chop so by the end of the journey I felt like I had a compressed spine.

At one point I was taking note of where the life jackets were and wondering if I could use my belt to secure Betsy and I together in the water but we made it back with no issues and I have a feeling that the waves were nothing out of the ordinary as none of the boat staff seemed particularly worried!

On Thursday we head to Singapore for one night and then on Friday we head to Sri Lanka for our last month of travel. Sri Lanka will be a nice change from Southeast Asia and we are really looking forward to it.

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