|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 directly for us (echos of worried friends - "... but what about pirates??") just to wave, say hello and take a photo. We respond by taking our own photos, much to their mirth and merriment!
|See his net?? Neither did we ... until the last minute.|
He has a flag up to indicate he has a net out!
We did have to reset the "Accident-Free Days on Popeye" to zero as Sean was whacked in the head with the jib halyard whilst dowsing the sail. It caused a small head wound that bled and bled and bled (as they do). Sorry Craig, the #4 now sports some lovely new art work ... but we managed to avoid splotches on the teak or coach house. ...and the Popeye cap rinsed out to look like new!
|A small incident requiring first aid...|
For the first time in our pootle down through the equatorial doldrums, we started to get a reasonably choppy sea. Not of Bass Strait proportions but enough for us to bash into and require clipping on when going forward. Well, perhaps not required but it saved the other having to turn back to pick up a man-overboard. The wind, about 20kn, was bang on the nose so the sails wouldn't be helping - we were having to motor. Nothing too extreme but we were happy to be approaching our anchorage ... and a straight-forward one at that.
Again, to our delight, there was another yacht in the anchorage. Cool Runnings (have a look at their blog), a Lagoon 400, hailed us on the radio as we approached and offered any assistance with us anchoring. The anchorage, although a lovely sweeping bay, was incredibly deep. We were still in 200m of water as we passed the headland. On our second attempt, we managed to hook the anchor - in about 20m.
|The Runnings Crew|
|Kids in their dugout canoe|
|They've come to say hello and check for handouts.|
As we go further east through Indonesia we enter what are referred to as "The Forgotten Islands." Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, provides very little support to the far reaches of the country with regards to government spending on infrastructure, education (and hence opportunities to learn English) and a transportation system, which limits the far-flung islands' ability to obtain supplies. It makes the islands learn to be self-sufficient, but we need to be able to get the essentials, such as enough usable diesel to get to Saumlaki, our Indonesian checkout point.
Wish us luck.