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Archive for August, 2007

`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 15 of 24 … `Night of the Non-Dinner’.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

Leaving `LABUON BAJO’ – 5TH September … Arriving `Bali’ – 22nd September 2007

KOMODO DRAGONS-INDONESIA '07 062

*** `MV MATARIKI’ ON THE LEFT. ***

This was rumoured to be a beautiful, quiet, area with crystal clear water and a passage full of great coral … and the rumours were almost true. Here I found a small fleet of Rally participants who had also given the Labuon Bajo Dinner the flick.

That evening all in the Bay (`China Grove’, Australian …
`Amoenitas’, British … `Kirsten Jane’, British … `Enzwell’ New Zealand … `Déjà
vu III’ Australian and others) were invited by Tom and Rina, onto `MV
Matariki’, New Zealand … for a Sundowner! Now Sundowners are an event which
usually commence just before sundown … all participants bring their own drinks
and `nibbly’ plates, which they share and are gone by 20:00, at the latest …
usually! `Matariki’ is not a typical sailing craft… in fact it’s not a
sailing craft at all … it’s a 20 metre (about 65 feet) long, aluminium power
boat and could have fitted a hundred people on-board had they been in the Bay.
Tom developed a different notion about this `Sundowner’ and before long
had fired up the barbecue and had a few of the guests on-board helping prepare a
`feed’ for his guests. One thing led to another, with Tom breaking out Spirits
and Liquors of all different nationalities …
SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 013

*** A BEAUTIFUL LITTLE ISLAND CALLED SABAJO KEJIL. PERFECT CLEAR WATERS … STRONG `KILLER’ CURRENTS! ***

… and before the clock struck 22:00 Matariki was `RAGING’.

SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 009I could write a small book on the antics of the night … but have a feeling I must withhold, to protect the innocent (and the guilty). Sufficient to say: `Amoenitas’ dinghy was on-board Matariki at one time, with David climbing aboard waiting to be `launched’ back into the water, to help him home … and this duly happened!

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 14 OF 24 … Labuan Bago, a Major Indonesian Port’.

 ***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

LABUAN BAGO … (LAT: 08º 29 S … LONG: 119º 52 E)

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 061

*** LABUAN BAGO HARBOUR … A MAJOR PORT BY INDONESIAN STANDARDS. ***

Labuon Bajo is a major Port, by Indonesian standards … and was a centre for significant re-provisioning for the Fleet. Again bulk purchases: Water … Fuel … Beer and Coke etc. was provided by opportunists, with power fishing boats, and the hunger to earn a few Rupees.

Costs of basic requirements:

* Fuel (Petrol) … Rp7, 000 per litre. (AU1.00 per litre)

* 20 litre bottles filtered water (not distilled) … Rp14,000 per 20 litres (AU2.00 per 20 litres)

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 034

*** WHAT APPEARED TO BE A LARGE, MAYBE PRIVATE CHARTER GULET? ***

You must be on guard at all times to avoid stupid occurrences such as the following: My drinking water situation was rocketing towards desperation point (Déjà vu carries 400 litres in her main tank and another 60 litres in plastic jerry cans.) To top-up these on-board containers, via the Merchant, would take many trips … as I only had the three, twenty litre jerry cans.

Along came a Good Samaritan in the form of Warren, of `SV Shekinah’ (10 metre catamaran) from New Zealand … owned by a character who, originally, had an Eel Catching/Smoking business in NZ …

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 027

*** MY KIWI MATE WARREN WITH HIS PET PIG … WHICH WAS BARBECUED FURTHER DOWN THE TRACK. WARREN HAD NO MERCY FOR HIS PET! ***

Sound carries clearly over water and this is the only way Warren could have heard of my predicament (he was anchored 100 metres away.) He shouts across to me that he has six (6) containers for water which I can borrow … only trouble is, three are already filled with water! I hate riddles like this: If he gives me three cans filled with water, he will want the same cans returned to him, full of water … right? What the hell … “OK Warren, thanks for the offer, I’ll put your water into my main tank and fill all other containers on-board with filtered water and get your cans back to you!” (I was going to let the Merchant work out the `how-to-do!)

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 045

*** A TYPICAL INDONESIAN OUTDOOR MARKET. ***

Within minutes Warren was alongside in his dingy with six cans (no question of me going to his yacht to pick the goods up) … here is a hyper-active Guy! Not only did he bring the goods to Déjà vu, but within seconds was tied along-side … had the cans (some English sailors call them Jugs) on deck and before I could say `Holly Cow Batman’ was emptying them into Déjà vu … here was a real man!

The day progressed … and Déjà vu was full of water and fuel and my wallet was echoing from that hollow sound of being empty.

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 057

*** TWO COLOURFUL MUSLIM WOMEN SHARING A SMALL BUS. ***

That night I joined `MV Sundance’, an American couple cruising the World in a motor/sailer … and `SV Circe’ … a Canadian and his wife, Joyce, also cruising the world … in fact 80% of this fleet were seasoned World Cruisers … (and I think it’s catching!) … for dinner at a Hotel called the `Eco Lodge’ … very good, but expensive by Indonesian standards.

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 053

*** ONIONS ANYONE? ***

Next day I moved Déjà vu across the Bay to a shallow position in Labuon Bajos’ main harbour. And within an hour, or so, who should be anchoring nearby … but my friend Warren of `Shekinah’. Soon after he was alongside in his dingy `for-a-chat’ (despite Warren having his wife on board … she was holidaying with him and the pig for three weeks) … I feel Warren was a very lonely boy.

Somehow we got around to discussing the previous days water juggling … and somehow …

Warren made the statement: “I just can’t understand why I (Lloyd) was so disciplined to the idea of wanting `filtered’ water for my needs? … He (Warren) gets his water from a Well at the Harbour!!”

The obvious question followed within a split second: “Where did the water I received from you yesterday, come from?”

Warrens reply: “The Well!”

I must have gone green as I had been drinking this water over the last 12 hours and I couldn’t believe I was still standing. “Warren, you dip-stick … that’s my drinking water and I would have refused to take it had I known it was Well water!” After a while he seemed to understand and then made a statement that he actually carried two water sources … one for drinking (filtered) and one for washing (the pig I expect) from the Well!

My job for that day was to then pump the main water tank dry … at least Déjà vu received an un-scheduled wash … add `bleach’ and bring the Merchant back to supply me another 400 litres of FILTERED water! A, big, additional expense for me.

SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 009

*** ISLAND OF SABAJO KEJIL WITH GREAT CORAL AND STRONG CURRENT … GREAT FOR `DINGHY DRIFTING’. ***

Back came Warren … I’d really seen enough of him for one day … and he put Rp100,000 in my hand to help with the cost of the water … how can you remain upset?.

SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 013

*** THE SMALL ISLAND OF SABAJO KEJIL WITH A NARROW PASSAGE AND STRONG CURRENT … GREAT FOR `DINGHY DRIFTING’. ***

Labuon Bajo was also a venue where Festivities were planned for the visiting Fleet. The only problem … nobody could pin down the timing and arrangements for the events.

SEBAJOR KETJIL-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 042

*** BEAUTIFUL CORAL GROWTH PHOTOGRAPHED WHILST DRIFTING WITH DINGHY. ***

Next leg … to Bali!

ooOoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 13 of 24 … `A Perfect Peaceful Bay’.

 ***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

Island of Gili Bodo … (LAT: 08º 22 S … LONG: 120º 00 E)

* 298 Nmiles from Bali.

At last we had found an island:

* Without a Fishing Village …

* No Kids and canoes …

* Crystal clear water …

* Shallow anchorage …

* And monkeys on the beach …

An ideal, peaceful anchorage! Three (3) nights were enjoyed here and I even ventured into the water `snorkelling’, which was a `first’ for me on this Rally. 

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 008

*** IDEAL ANCHORAGE … PEACEFUL, CLEAR WATER, NO KIDS IN DINGHIES AND SHALLOW WATER. ***

 

I’m not very confident in the water and I blame my early upbringing where we lived far from the ocean. The only exposure to swimming was through Primary School Classes in the Swan River, Perth, Western Australia … ocean swell and surf terrified me! My lucky break-though came in my mid-teens when I met two guys who became my best friends (Kevin Ireland and John Fowler.) Both had grown up close enough to the ocean, to make them fearless in the surf … and they swam like seals. They eventually coaxed me into the surf at City Beach, Perth, Western Australia and a great deal of my confidence came from this experience. I never did gain `fearless’ status though!

And I could readily understand the distress of my German friend (below.) Here I did have a visit from a very distressed German lady …. who found herself short of breath during a snorkelling exercise? She was hanging off the transom of Déjà vu asking for help and it was my pleasure to be able to assist her. Having come aboard and regained her breath … her husband arrived in a dinghy not knowing she had been in difficulties. All ended well!

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 12 of 24 … `Full Eclipse of the Moon!’

 ***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

Bari Bay, INDONESIA … 28TH August 2007 … (Lat: 08º 20 S … Long: 120º 10 E)

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 013

*** FLOATING FISHING HOME … AT THE END OF ITS LIFE CYCLE. ***

This Bay could have been Heaven

… had it not been for the begging, harassing people visiting from the fishing village … main offenders being young males. This is the first time I’ve needed to become aggressive against such visitors and all other yachts experienced the same behaviour … bringing about a premature departure from the area.

We did experience a very rare phenomenon whilst anchored in here. Returning from a `Sun-downer’ drink on another yacht …

I was attracted to the colour of the moon … the entire Moon had turned a dusty apricot colour.

How weird, it must be a cloud formation causing it, thinks me! By the time I had returned to Déjà vu a sliver of white had started to show … and was growing in size. Then the VHF radio sprang into life and a friend asked if I had noticed the …

 `Full Eclipse of the Moon’? What a rare bonus …

LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 023

*** CERTAINLY IN NEED OF RENOVATION … ALL SELF-DONE? ***

An unusual aspect of this Bay was the huge collection of driftwood on the beach. The Bay was a natural catchment area for wood pieces of all sizes. Hundreds of large, whole, trees … and thousands of large sun-bleached logs, along with tonnes of smaller pieces, ideal for burning. Naturally, the locals have a plan for at least some of this treasure and work on it through the day.

ooOoo

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 11 of 24 … `Monkey Beach’.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN, AUSTRALIA TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

ENDE – MAUROLE TO `MONKEY BEACH’ … 25th August 2007  (LAT: 08º 23 S … LONG: 121º OO E)

WODONG BAY -18-08-07 INDO 069

*** THESE MASSIVLEY WIDE TRIMARAN FISHING BOATS BARELY FITTED INTO THIS BAY? ***

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*** KIDS OF ALL AGES CAME FROM THE `MONKEY BEACH’ VILLAGE. ***

This anchorage has a recognised evil entrance, as we were given five (5) way-points to wind our way through the reeves, to get to `The Beach’.

Déjà vu and I seemed to be doing very well, going from one way-point to the next, using the Chart Plotter and Auto Pilot to do the navigational/steering work … then, heading for the fourth way-point

Next morning revealed I had anchored in the nook of a coral reef, in a safe spot with plenty of clearance. It’s so much easier to navigate these `spiky’ areas in the daylight when you can see the shallows. Have I mentioned it’s absolutely, without doubt, essential and mandatory, to have Polaroid glasses for detecting shallow water … everyone knows that! On anchoring at Monkey Beach proper … I was advised one yacht went aground coming in here yesterday … and (during my stay) another certainly went aground leaving.

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*** KIDS JUST HAVING FUN! ***

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*** MY NEW FREIND PETER WITH HIS FATHER AND BROTHER. ***

From the viewpoint of the history of human development in Indonesia … the people in this area were by far the most primitive of any anchorage I had stayed at. They were all very friendly, young and old, tended to expect handouts, but not offensively clingy … but the visit by three canoes filled with teenage boys sporting nothing but their birthday suits, tended to convey to me we seemed to be in an area where civilisation was still blossoming … where were the caves! It was a hoot to see the same three dinghies hanging from the stern of a yacht on which a young girl resided? After a very short time, Mother was seen to bundle the blushing daughter (I couldn’t see any blush) away in their dinghy to another yacht furtherest from the boys! What a kill-joy Mother! You can let your imagination run riot here! What caused the sudden exodus of the Mum and Kid? … My guess; Maybe the sight of a young, beautiful, white girl, brought out the best in the young men … dare I suggest they may have been sporting award winning erections at the time of Mums departure … or, maybe … Mother was getting excited??

LEMBATA - INDO - 14-8-07 026

*** SOME CANOES WERE DRY, BUT THE MAJORITY WERE CONTINUOSLY IN `SINKING’ MODE. ***

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

*** KIDS FROM MONKEY BEACH VILLAGE … HARD TO READ THEIR EXPRESSIONS, MAYBE SOME ARE CURIOUS AND OTHERS UNHAPPY? ***

It’s always a winner with the Kids to take their photograph, which I did … and promptly left for my home-on-the-water.

 

 

 

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007’ … 10 of 24 …Ende – Maurole … (LAT: 08º 30 S … LONG: 121º 47 E)

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

ROLLY MAUROLE … Indonesia … 20th August 2007

WODONG-BAY-18-08-07-INDO-040_thumb.jpg

*** THE INDONESIAN NAVY WANTED TO LET THEIR PRESENCE BE KNOWN. ***

Maurole was a very shallow cut into the island of Flores … and as such, open to the swell of the northern Flores Sea. The Bay quickly received the knick-name `Rolly Maurole’ … as many yachts left the area due to the rolling discomfort of the anchorage. Déjà vu found a tight anchorage in a small Fishing Harbour at the Western end of the Bay … which had been emptied of fishing boats by the Harbour Master, to make way for some of our shallow draft vessels. Surge was not a problem.  

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*** DJV SPOTTED THIS FLOATING `THING’ IN THE WATER AND WENT TO INVESTIGATE ***

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*** THE ABJECT WAS A BAMBOO RAFT … THE PERMANENT HOME OF A FISHERMAN ***

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*** HELEN FROM `SV PIPING SHRIKE’ CHAPERONING THE REGENT. ***

Now, this gap varied in width and ferocity depending on:

(1) The tide at the time of attempting the leap!

(2) The height of the swell rolling into the Bay and onto the beach.

This was a structure with many variables … but the `Gang of Yachties’ saw the effort put into its design and manufacture … and overcame the obstacles of the Gap for the duration of their stay.

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*** ONE OF THE PERFORMING GROUPS. ***

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*** THE SOLID `LANDING’ FOR CREWS COMING ASHORE BY DINGHY. ***

The second night into our visit … a Gala Dinner, with entertainment was held under the thatched roof of the Meeting House … and was the best we had experienced!

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 9 OF 24 … `Maumere’ … but actually `Wodong Bay.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

`FLU-ON-THE-RUN’ … AND MAUMERE, INDONESIA … 18th August 2007

A couple of days later I anchored in a very small Bay called Tanjung Bay … and promptly went down with a severe dose of flu. At one time I thought I was suffocating to death as my throat was badly clogged with grunge. That was the first and only time I felt unwell on this trip … and I didn’t like it!

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* SWISS/JAVANESE RESTAURANT … WODONG BAY, INDONESIA *

MAYBE `MAUMERE’ … ACTUALLY, `WODONG BAY’

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* `ROLLY MAUROLIE’, INDONESIA *

 

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* NEW RESTAURANT/HOTEL … WODONG BAY, INDONESIA *

 

The next stopover for the Fleet was Maumere, however, as happens with many arrangements in Indonesia, we were given the wrong way-points and I ended up in a Bay called Wodong. As luck would have it, this proved a good thing for me … there were only half-a-dozen other yachts there and it gave me time to recover from my flu.

 

There was also a great little `Classic Indonesian’ restaurant run by a Swiss woman who had married a Javanese man … a union resulting in the birth of a very spoilt male offspring. The food was excellent (the husband did all the cooking) and cheap … and all crews from the yachts frequented this facility often.

 

A strange aside to this restaurant was the fact the couple were in the throes of moving to a new Restaurant/Hotel complex they had just had built for themselves. I visited this unit, which was only one kilometre around the Bay from the old restaurant and found the new one to be excellent … very modern, but designed to suit the Indonesian Village style … and had the combined facilities of a: Restaurant … Accommodation … and a Dive Shop business. This, also, was operated by the husband (he must be busy boy?) A great place to spend a week, or two, just `vegging’ out … and I have plans to go back one day?

 

The reason for the move … as the couple had been leasing the original place … was, the woman who owned the block of land on which the old restaurant was situated, had been made an offer from a lumber yard for the huge 100+ year old trees on the property and she had, therefore, ejected her tenants (the restaurateurs) … who subsequently offered to buy the restaurant and save the trees!

 

The owner was swept up with the short term gain of gathering in a few Rupees!

 

As the Swiss lady said: “Once the very large trees go … with the coming rains, so will a lot of the soil … so, erosion will be the enemy to deal with then … forever!” VERY BAD KARMA!

 

 

`MAUMERE’ … (LAT: 08º 38 S … LONG: 122º 18 E)

WODONG BAY -18-08-07 INDO 019

* HALF OF A VERY WIDE CATAMARAN … WODONG BAY, INDONESIA *

 

The Fleet anchorage was 15 Kilometres from the City of Maumere … a particularly grubby place with nothing I could see to recommend it! One brief visit was enough.

 

To be fair … I did miss the Local Festivities arranged for the Fleet, due to my stopover in Wodong Bay.

 

And one crew member was admitted to Hospital with Malaria.

 

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007` … 8 OF 24 … `Lembata, Indonesia and Whaling Village’.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

`WHALING VILLAGE’ VISIT … LEMBATA … 9th August 2007.

(LAT: 08º 22 S … LONG: 123º 24 E)

The Fleets next stop was the Island of Lembata … another fishing village west of the volcano. You were greeted with the strong northerly tidal movement through the entry passage, again … and once through, a turn to Port into a large Bay, took you to Lembata. I was greeted at that anchorage by a long length of blue nylon rope wrapping itself around the propeller of one engine, stopping it dead … and once freed I had great trouble setting the anchor.

* A FEW OF THE EVER-SINKING FISHING BOATS! ** AIR-CONDITIONED `TOOT’! *

Apparently the bottom was loose, slimy mud … or, covered with plastic bags?

Lots of `traps’ for personal injury here, as with the one to two metre deep, open drains … a menace beyond just the risk of stepping into one and suffering broken bones etc. … but also from a hygiene point-of-view.

 

These drains were the receptacle of much rubbish and you suspect, from the odour, sewage … but for months there has been nothing in the form of rainfall to scour them out. I may be repeating myself … but, please let me be in the deep ocean when the first rains come, as the seas close in are going to be intolerably filthy.

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* STRIPS OF WHALE BLUBBER BEING DRIED-IN-TH- SUN! *

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* A ROUGH-AND-READY TRUCK RIDE TO THE WHALING VILLAGE! *

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* ONE OF THE PRIZED WHALE-CATCHERS! *

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* THE SKELETON OF A WHALE UNLUCKY ENOUGH TO BE TAKEN BY THE VILLAGERS! *

Throughout the day this village and its residents provided classic ‘photo opportunities, without knowing it.

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 7 OF 24 … `Balurin Bay’ … The Bay of Anchor Drags!

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

BALURIN BAY … 8th August 2007 … (LAT: 08º 14 S … LONG: 123º 41 E)

Always thrills and spills when sailing with a large group and it occurred on the second night out from Alor, when a strong wind rocketed down from the mountains to push a few boats back on their anchors … yours truly included.

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* BALARIN BAY … IT LOOKS A GOOD ANCHORAGE … BUT ONLY FOR FIVE, NOT TWENTY FIVE YACHTS! *

This was the chosen anchorage of about twenty yachts for the second night out from Alor. What a glorious spot … in a large Bay, in the lee of a mountain range … and under the shadow of a `Live Volcano’! This was WOW stuff … a live volcano with steam and blowholes and all sorts of volcano bits and pieces. It did prove, however, to be a safe anchorage for about five yachts only … not twenty!

The only apparent safe place for me to drop an anchor was in the nook of this coral reef … as the water depth shallowed from very deep, to about 6-12 metres. My anchor was in the shallowest water of the fleet, as Cats seem quite happy to anchor in shallow water … and the shallower the water the better the anchor will hold (who said that?) But … there were yachts `packed’ all around and many of them were very new friends (had still only met a small percentage of the people on board the 110 yachts which started in the Rally.)

Within a mile or so, south, there is a mountain range … and early in the night a strong wind started to pick-up. Mountains do strange things to wind! When the wind climbs the face of a mountain, all is well. BUT, with the wind having climbed the hill and reached the TOP … it’s like a run-away hill-trolley … it gathers a great deal of speed down the leeward side. These speeding winds are called `BULLETS’ and they cause havoc to anchored yachts (well some at least) and Déjà vu was one of them!

Now, this is when I could do with at least one crew member, maybe two, on board … as I had the job of getting both motors in the water … starting them … getting to the anchor chain and bringing in the `bridle’ (this is when my trouble really started as the bridle had been under so much pressure through the night, I couldn’t undo the fancy knot holding it to the nylon anchor rode … I did have all my 34 metres of chain out, plus 20 metres of 16mm nylon rode.) A friend from Carnarvon, Western Australia, taught me a knot to use for tying a bridle to the anchor chain/rode? I use it often when I have all my chain out, plus a length of 16mm nylon rode. I’m not really sure about the nylon … it binds up a lot and is generally hard to handle! Anyhow, the frigging knot would not come undone (it was dark which made it worse.)

Anyhow, I had gone back to the cot at 04:00, pulled a pillow over my head (a bad habit) and dropped into a deep sleep. I was awoken by loud shouts and raced onto deck to find I was the anchor-dragging-culprit … fxck, fxck, fxck, do you know the feeling? Déjà vu had moved about 70 metres and was moving down the side of a `very expensive’ mono (Ian and Chris of China Grove) … the owners of which were on deck screaming and somewhat agitated.

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* EARLIER IN THE … A RACE WITH `CHINA GROVE’, WHICH THEY LOST! *

At this time an Angel came alongside in a dinghy … in the form of Darren from `Ovation’. “Could you do with a hand?” Didn’t have time to be too polite … “Come on up and steer the bloody boat with the bloody motors, the rudders will do nothing at this speed!” Here was a top-flight mono-yacht Skipper who had little experience steering catamarans by their motors … and he was being asked to steer one in a storm … for Darren, this was the time of a steep learning curve!

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* ANCHORING UNDER THE SHADOW OF A REAL INDONESIAN VOLCANO! *

I’d had my full share of that dark, crazy anchorage … so I took off for Lembata, our next Rally stop. I left much drama behind, as many yachts dragged and Darren was kept busy as a `Tug’ operator. It was a great relief to actually sail from that Bay, through the fumes of the volcano … what a great beginning to a new day!

I’d had my full share of that dark, crazy anchorage … so I took off for Lembata, our next Rally stop. I left much drama behind, as many yachts dragged and Darren was kept busy as a `Tug’ operator. It was a great relief to actually sail from that Bay, through the fumes of the volcano … what a great beginning to a new day!

PS. Next time I saw Darren, at a crowded restaurant in Lembata … I planted a large kiss on his sweaty cheek for the great effort he put into my rescue … his wife Toni promptly grizzled that it was her idea he go and help … so I planted a large kiss-on-her-lips … that was a lot more fun!

croker isl nt - june '07 031

* MY `ANCHOR-DRAGGING’ ANGEL HELPERS … DARREN AND TONI FROM SV OVATION! *

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`SAIL INDONESIA RALLY – 2007′ … 6 OF 24 … Kalabahi Island of Alor from `2nd August 2007.

***   FIRST HALF OF RALLY … DARWIN TO BALI, INDONESIA   ***

KALABAHI, ISLAND OF ALOR … LEFT AT 0630, 7TH AUGUST 2007

HOUSING, BOATS AND KILLER CURRENTS …

IMG_0487 Deja Vu

* Deja vu using wind and currents! *

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* LOCAL INDONESIAN FISHING BOAT WITH UNIQUE SAILS! *

WHERE TO BUILD YOUR HOME?

Fishing huts on sandbar

* FISHING HUTS ON SANDBAR … ONE STORM WOULD REMOVE THEM! *

The winds and sea are very slight and I had to motor almost all day (apart from 2-3 hours when we (Déjà vu and I) enjoyed a 10 knot NE’er. Boring information really. Quite a few of the fleet anchored at mid-day, which I thought a waste of good time.

So, tomorrow I expect more motoring with our destination being an island called Lembata. We are getting reports of theft from yachts here in Lembata and yachts are leaving as a result?

The fleet is having trouble connecting with Brunei Sailmail so my communications are a bit dysfunctional.

SINKING FISHING BOATS …

LEMBATA - INDO - 10-8-07 026

* THE CONSTANTLY SINKING FISHING BOAT FLEET! *

These small dinghies are usually crafted from a single tree trunk … with the boat-builder using a number of hand tools … primarily a flat faced tool, similar to a mattock, attached to a pick handle and swung much like an axe. A new dingy came along-side at an anchorage called Monkey Beach … in company with two other dinghies … and I was told `in private’, the new dingy was only two days old and wasn’t any good … it leaked … well, well, what a surprise!

These designs were the outrigger style with the outrigger being a length of 150 mm diameter bamboo and the collection of tree/bush knuckles used to connect the outrigger to the canoe defies description by word … I did, however, take a few photographs and will forward them to those interested in Indonesian dingy design!

NOISY SINGLE CYLINDER DEISEL ENGINES …

Another `constant’ amongst Indonesian fishing boats above the dingy size … say, 6 – 13 metres … was the addition of a single cylinder (made in China) diesel motor … the bigger the craft, the bigger the single cylinder motor. These motors were attached directly to the propeller shaft … no clutch, or gearbox of any kind … therefore, the craft had to be pointing in the general direction it was to travel, to avoid hitting obstacles … such as Sail Indonesia cruising yachts … before the motor was started! And to come alongside without major collision, required the motor to be `cut’ 30-40 metres from its destination (i.e. a Sail Indonesia cruising yacht) and most of the time paddles were employed to get alongside. If a craft had to nose into a tight berth, with the need to reverse out … they would drop a stern anchor about 20-30 metres from the berth … and come time to reverse out, would simply pull the stern anchor in … clever little devils. One of our yachts wasn’t so lucky and a large hole was expertly punched into its side as a result of a `T Bone’ collision from a poor approach by a supplier of fuel! I often wondered how the Insurance Company reacted to such a claim Cause of collision. “Rammed by out-of-control fishing boat acting as a fuel supply merchant!” Most of our supplies came to us via this method and a `fee’ is applied for this service.

These boys were also the `Middle Man’ in the trading of pearls and I’m certain, made handsome profits. They did from me!

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* LABUAON BAJO-INDO SEPTEMBER 2007 … LARGE BOAT, BIG NOISE! *

With larger craft (ferries which ran regular services to outlying villages and heavily laden with people) … around 15-17 metres … where more speed and therefore, more power was required … just stick-in another motor and duplicate the prop shaft rig etc. … put the second propeller shaft through the hull at a different angle! Now, with two engines under full power, we had a SUPER noise … and lots and lots of dirty diesel fumes, as I suspect the fuel is poorly filtered and the diesel engines received little sophisticated servicing. The exhaust dirt was hard to hide, as the entire craft is black with soot!

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* ALOR – INDONESIA – 4 AUGUST 2007 … ISLAND COMMUTER FERRY. *

BEWARE … MANY LIGHT HOUSE ARE NOT FUNCTIONAL …

A good time to note that many navigation lights in Indonesia do not work! A little further down the track, the navigation beacon; on a significant island (again inhabited by fishermen’s huts and families) had been removed entirely, leaving just a large concrete block base. A nasty situation if you are relying on them at night.

They are showing on your Chart Plotter!

posted by admin in INDONESIA 2007 ... Asia,Island of Alor, Indonesia,SAIL INDONESIA RALLY ... 2007 and have No Comments