Free Spirit and Impulsive
Set out on the Timor Sea
North-west from Darwin’s Cullen Bay
We both felt young and free.

Our first landfall was at Kupang
On Timor’s south-west coast
But the customs there wanted recompense
(50% of the worth of the boats).

So we only stayed for a Bintang
Nasi goreng and chicken satay
We wandered and dodged the bimos
And slipped away early next day.

We anchored at Sumba’s port, Waingapu
(a small fishing port) for a rest
Ate fish on the wharf and toured in cars
To the thatched village out to the west.

The buses were crammed, the paddy fields shone
The school children went in bare feet
The Sumbanese smiled and welcomed us
It was hardly a terrorist beat.

Rinca still has monitor dragons
We saw them, and their tracks, on the sand
You couldn’t rely on the chart here
(The radar had us on land).

The steep rocky south coast of Lombok
Opened up to a calm, sheltered bay
It was like the Pied Piper of Hamlyn
As we drew out the children to play.

If you thought we’ve all been fasting
You’d be wrong: we’re very well fed
Both our yachts boast multiple chefs’ hats
And extensive supplies of red.

Still, we managed to dine out at Bali
(We also managed repairs)
The girls broke the world shopping record
For clothing and jewellery spares.

As we dodgemed our rafts down the Ayung
Jill’s grim equanimity showed
When the peleton joined us at Ubud
Our hand-slapping friends lined the road.

At the Gilis we jogged and swam and ate fish
And snorkelled and drank Bintang
The stress levels fell so dangerously low
The alarm on the stress machine rang.

Once we dodged the Bawean bombies
We anchored inside the reef,
Shared a blue heaven drink in a tiled family home
(Normal tummies were quite a relief).

At Kumai orangutans put on a show
One gave kidnapping Susie a try
We slept on the longboat A deck
Spotted monkeys and then the firefly.

Then off round the south coast of Kalimantan
For a rest stop at Serutu
It’s a calm sunny day, not a pirate in sight
Perhaps you would enjoy this too.

At Serutu Island we went ashore
Again we were met on the beach
Old huts, a new mosque, but still no sign
Of what radical imans teach.

We goose-winged our way through the South China Sea
(This address may be fashionable later)
At least old King Neptune thinks it should
We toasted him at the equator.

We’re heading tonight to Mesanak Isle
Tomorrow it’s Singapore
We think we’ll enjoy the Raffles brunch
But of course one can never be sure.

We won’t miss the crack of dawn prayer calls
(Wouldn’t pass at the Aussie races)
We will miss the “hellos” of greeting
And the welcoming smiling faces.