Day 56

Still in Bali, we began today’s excursion with a visit to Tohpati Village and a large batik making craft shop and store. We saw workers printing material; others were actually painting designs on fabric; and still another woman was weaving the batik pattern on her loom. This was the most painstaking process, similar to weaving a hand-made Turkish rug. She may spend over a month weaving several yards of fabric. This was by far the most expensive product. After observing them for a while, we entered the store to browse around. I discovered what I thought were cute curved fans, but they were really fabric hats, which I realized after I opened them fully. We picked out a few attractive patterns for purchase- a novel gift.

We continued to the Royal Temple, Taman Ayun. Since Mac and I wore shorts today, we were handed green sarongs to tie around our waists. There were many visitors there with this fashion statement. Our guide escorted us around the sections of the temple, explaining that only worshippers were allowed in the innermost area. We were able to walk around the exterior walls and still get some nice photos. These temples cover huge areas and contain many statues and buildings. It is not at all like going into a cathedral- there is really no interior with an overhead roof.

We drove next to the temple of Tanah Lot, an hour away. This lovely temple is on the coast and part of it is on an island in the ocean. Again, inside is for worshippers only, but we took photos from several vantage points. This temple, as many of the larger ones, was constructed over 400 years ago. Tanah Lot was made from lava rocks and is black in color, next to a black sand beach. This was quite lovely.

We ran into lots of traffic returning to the ship as Bali is a very congested island. There was a small bazaar close to the ship, so we shopped around a bit. We were able to negotiate some pricing here and purchased a dragon kite, some magnets, and a t-shirt.

After a late lunch, we played trivia and, believe it or not, we tied for first today. Our score was terrible, but the questions were very strange and obscure.

The weather was hot and humid, so Mac wanted to relax a bit. I went for a swim in the pool and tried out the jacuzzi. Hardly anyone was there. Many were getting dressed for dinner. We went about 7:30 and ran into our neighbors across the hall, Rukt and Tenika from Holland. We decided to share a table and had a very nice dinner with them.

We finished after nine and went up to deck 11 to watch the ship leave the Bali harbor.  There was a Silversea and a Norwegian ship anchored nearby and we wanted to see them as we left. Silversea was ready to take our spot at the pier so they wouldn’t have to tender their passengers in again tomorrow.

Then something happened.

We were up on deck 11 watching the ship leave the narrow channel and begin heading out. Mac noticed the ship take a hard right to starboard for a few seconds. We were watching the other cruise ships anchored ahead of us and suddenly the bow of the Navigator swung right blocking my view of the other ships. That was strange, but then the bow turned just as sharply to the left. Next, we felt a bump and the ship jerked forward.

We said, “Oh oh, that’s not good” to each other. Mac said we had to have hit a sand bar; there are no speed bumps in the water. As we looked over the side, we noticed brown sand being churned up and the ship had stopped proceeding forward. This happened about 9:20 p.m. The engines were put in reverse, but to no avail- the ship was stuck! The captain announced almost an hour later that two small fishing boats were directly in front of us and had just put on their lights. The captain had to swerve to avoid hitting them and thus veered onto the shallow sandbar. The harbor pilot was still on board. Tugs were called back to see if they could pull us off and got hooked up, but they never really pulled. Seems that they were just in position should the captain need them. Personnel checked to see if the ship suffered any damage- it had not. The engines remained in reverse. Here we stayed for the next three hours until high tide, at 12:23 a.m. Almost on cue, the ship had a series of rocking and bumps for about 7 minutes. It is now 12:30 a.m. and we are being escorted by the tugs into deeper water outside the harbor so the ship can pivot and head back to the pier. Tomorrow morning, we will be further examined during daylight hours for any damage before we proceed tomorrow. We will have to see if and how this setback will affect our next port of call.

Yours in travel

Pat & Mac