Showing posts from June, 2017

Pulau Babar - 7° 51’ 57” S 129° 35’ 26” E

If someone said, “visiting a remote tropical island,” what images might that conjure up for you?  Palm trees on a deserted white sand beach?  Loinclothed men with matted hair and spears in dugout canoes?  Bare-chested women with grass skirts, barefoot, standing in front of a bamboo and grass-thatched dwelling?  A roaring fire on the beach, a whole wild boar on a spit, turning slowly to the rhythmic beat of hand drumming?  As we approached Pulau Babar, we had only the slightest idea of what we were in for. Tepa, where we anchored. When we arrived, we were tired.  We had done three 11 hour hops and then a 30 hour crossing that was particularly bumpy and hard-going.  We rounded Pulau Wetan and had the fishing village of Tepa in sight.  It was a somewhat sheltered bay, comprised of a village of thirty-five or forty decrepit-looking concrete and tin-roofed buildings and a substantial concrete jetty that went well out into the bay. We dropped anchor by noon and managed to secure th

Tanjung Tutundiruru, Wetar - 07° 51’ 12” S 125° 49’ 31” E

What a magical anchorage! White sand beaches, palm trees and best of all, a ‘flat’ bay. The waters here are very deep. Up to several thousand metres deep. And often the anchorages rise very steeply so we drop the anchor in 20m and as Popeye swings, we see depths from 50m to 5m. It often feels like we are bivouacked, clinging to the edge of a cliff with our fingers crossed. This wonderful anchorage rises sharply then the bay opens up and gently rises from 30m to the beach over several hundred metres. We dropped the anchor in 10m and, other than tide, we saw little deviation from this. Onshore was a tiny village. Water buffalo and goats combed the beach and the sounds of children laughing floated across the water. The stars were brilliant with two solitary lights in the village (and our anchor light) being the only light pollution. And quiet. No karaoke, no mosque, no fishing boats buzzing past ... Despite the 25kn katabatic bullets coming over the hills, we slept extrem

Lembata - 8° 22' 06" S 123° 24' 35" E

After such a fabulous evening with the Running’s crew, we were quite sad to head off in different directions (we were even sadder when Cool Runnings emailed us to say they had met up with Eric and Brigitta on Ariel IV and were timing their departures to leave for Africa together!). We bashed our way into a big swell, stayed well clear of Kroko Atoll and entered to Boling Strait.   We have deliberately stayed to the north of islands as we have worked our way across from Bali so this was our first real taste of the Indonesian Throughflow . We found ourselves screaming down at 10.5 kn, which meant we were helped along by at least 4 kn of current. And this strait is one of the mild ones! We rounded the headland and bashed across the shallow Leba Leba Bay into a head wind. Tucking inside Awalolong Reef, we anchored under two smoking volcanoes. One in the east to complement our sunrises and one to the west for the sunset! The volcano to the west of Popeye A beautifully calm

Tanjung Gedong - 08° 04' 38" S 122° 50' 43" E

Damo Bay - beautiful anchorage but a nerve raking entrance in low light We decided to day sail across the top of Flores without much land-based exploring, as none of the anchorages had any substantial settlements.  We would head to Lewoleba on the island of Lembata, just enjoying the anchorages overnight.  We previously had a couple of gorgeous, but gnarly, anchorages so we were looking forward to tucking in behind Tanjung Gedong, a deep but straightforward anchorage.  Tanjung means 'point of land' in Bahasa Indonesia. Batu Bago (or Bago Rock) very deep until the end - but watch out for the shoal and the finger reef We passed smoking volcanoes, watched pilot whales and dolphins frolic and came SO close to catching on a fishing net that the floats scraped along the side of the boat. We still marvel at the flying fish and just how far offshore fisherman come in their tiny boats.  We have also become used to large fishing boats suddenly changing course and coming dir