Lorelei’s Sailing Adventures
Welcome to Episode 46
BALI TO SUMBA
At the end of Episode 45, we had returned to Lorelei where she was moored at Serangan Harbour in Bali. We had spent one week cleaning, scrubbing and getting her ready for cruising again in 2016.
Our location for this Episode of the Blog.
Our route for this Episode of the Blog.
It hadn’t been a good start to the year…..
We had a week of rain and floods before we left Australia, water damage to our house in Terrigal which we found out about the day after we arrived in Bali, terrorist attacks in Jakarta that was sending shock waves through Indonesia, and to top it off, stinking hot days with no rain and light East winds.
We were unable to leave Bali for the 1200nm passage east to West Papua due to the winter style Easterly trade winds, that were completely unseasonal as we should have been having monsoon west winds.
It was so hot it was just ridiculous!!!
When the locals are complaining then you know it’s hot.
It was only getting to about 36 during the day, but it wasn’t dropping below 30 overnight and the humidity was very high.
It was nearly impossible to sleep.
The fans through the boat ran on high 24/7 and the poor fridge and freezer compressors ran non-stop trying to keep the contents cool.
We were sucking a huge amount of power each day from the batteries and it was difficult to keep them charged despite the solar panels working overtime.
We were drinking about 4 litres of water a day each and still couldn’t keep hydrated.
Lorelei had her big canopy up and every other boat in the bay was the same with many even putting tarpaulins up to try and reduce the heat inside.
It was super frustrating but we just had to sit and wait for the change in season which would bring some much needed rain and west winds.
It wasn’t all bad, the surf breaks were still uncrowded and fun and we could go for a SUP or kayak to escape the heat.
Sometimes we get some really weird pictures from the contour camera when it is set on 1 frame per second.
Two weird ones are below from our SUP surfing over the shallow coral reef.
The summer time also meant lots of yummy tropical fruit that was in abundance and so cheap.
With unusual things like Dragon Fruit, Rambutans & Soursops as well as all the other fruits available year round, it made for some great fruit salad mixes.
Avocados were so cheap at around A$1.00 a kilo.
While we waited we also tackled other maintenance that we thought would have to wait until later in the year.
We had both outboards serviced, Paul did the main engine and we had the desalinator pump rebuilt.
Outside Paul also serviced all the winches and blocks.
The extra time also gave Lisa an opportunity to plan in more detail our travelling route and options for the rest of the year.
Lisa also renewed our customs paperwork that we thought we would have to do later on at the next big port.
Most days we would go ashore around midday to escape the heat and have lunch at our favourite place, Pima’s Garden Café in Serangan.
We could simply moor our RIB and walk across the road to get there.
Pima and Debbie are awesome hosts and Debbie showed us how to make Paul’s favourite dish, Tempe.
We went into Kuta for a shopping trip at one of the big malls and the security was a real shock. It took 2 car checkpoints and full searches to get into the malls parking area, followed by an airport style screening to get through the front doors. There was security with high powered weapons everywhere.
The downside of all that was the lack of tourists.
For sure Kuta still had its younger western backpackers who were prepared to brave the travel warnings, but Sanur (which has the more upmarket resorts and more suited to the older and family orientated tourists) was deserted.
We walked down the main the street in Sanur at lunch time and were shocked to see nearly all the café’s, restaurants and shops empty.
The taxis and car hire people were trying desperately to get a fare.
All along the beach side was the same; resort lounges, pools & chairs, bars & restaurants all empty.
We were taking to a local about it and he said it was many factors; the travel warnings, the terrorist attacks, the suspected attacks in Bali around NYE, the local gang war which was spiralling out of control, the AUD vs. USD (most Bali tour operator’s prices are in US Dollars) and the reluctance of people to book holidays many months ago with the volcano eruptions causing major delays at the airport.
So for us we decided not to tempt fate and stayed away from the more tourist areas in Bali.
Finally after another week of waiting the winds started to shift and along with that came the rain storms.
The day of the full moon is a holy day for the Balinese people.
They celebrate in the temples with prayer, offerings and traditional dancing.
The dance that is most common on the evening of the full moon is the Barong Dance.
Whilst Barong dances are performed daily around Bali for the tourists, we really wanted to see a local performance.
The issue was we were not permitted into the temple unless we were correctly dressed in traditional attire.
So we asked Pima and Debbie to help us.
They kindly fitted us out so we could attend.
We arrived at the temple early so we could get some photos of the dancers before their performances.
It also gave us time to have a look at the temple before it got dark.
Koffe the local Holy man took us into the temple and showed as around.
We were glad to have Koffe with us to explain about the people coming into the temple to pray prior to the dances.
We felt a lot more comfortable about walking into those sort of areas with him as a guide.
There were hundreds of the daily offerings still piled around the temple grounds.
A single child played quiet music as the people started to arrive for prayer.
We saw Pima & Debbie’s daughter (also called Debbie) and her family, so we decided to sit with them for the dances as Debbie is an ex-dancer and could explain many things for us.
We could see a dark storm front approaching and hoped it would not pour with rain on the outdoor performance.
We managed to see the first dance performed by 6 young girls without the rain causing any issues.
Half way through the second dance (which was a dance for both the boys and girls), the rain started to pour.
The musicians still continued to play under their covered area and everyone crowded in around them to wait for the rain to pass.
Sadly it continued and they cancelled the performance before the main barong dance started.
Paul was not happy!!!!
We’d been waiting for rain for weeks but why now??
Frustratingly, 5 minutes after everyone had left, the rain cleared and we walked home without seeing another drop.
The next day the west wind was coming, the tides were right and we left at 5am from Serangan Harbour.
It was to be a 60nm run up the notorious current prone Lombok Straight.
We started off slow but as the tide turned we were able to have current assistance as we made our way to northern Lombok.
As we sailed away from Bali we could see Mount Agung peeking out from the clouds.
We arrived in a bay in northern Lombok well before sunset.
We had anchored here before and it is a busy little bay with many boats moored that service the Gili Islands.
The downside is the area has the worst Mosque calls to prayer we have ever experienced.
The person doing the chanting sounds like an 8 year old boy singing karaoke to a song he doesn’t know the words to, whilst getting strangled…. It is just terrible.
Despite the horrendous wailing, the sunrise the next morning was fantastic.
With us being low on fuel and water, we headed for Medana Bay where we could hopefully get both.
The bay faces north and is notorious for swell invading the bay.
Sure enough as we approached we could see the yachts on moorings rolling violently from side to side.
The place is also known for inadequate moorings as many have broken with yachts attached. The one we were guided to was also tiny and would never hold Lorelei’s 28 tons in anything over a light wind.
So we vowed to stay for the day and be gone by 4pm.
Despite having sent 2 emails advising on fuel quantities and arriving at 9am to pay the Marina in advance, the staff advised the fuel would not be ready until 5pm.
We were not happy and after much discussion, the first batch arrived at 1pm.
It arrived in disgusting looking containers and we were not sure if there was more diesel, dirt and grime on the inside or outside of the containers.
Subsequently we had oily diesel all over our RIB and all over Lorelei’s decks. We were not happy!!
We waited in the restaurant and had lunch and played with 2 young puppies whilst it rained and we waited for the balance of the fuel.
By 5pm we still had no fuel. The Marina manager and other English speaking staff were nowhere to be found and the local staff who spoke no English were no help at resolving the issue.
Finally after 30 minutes and many terse words, the manager appeared.
By now the light was fading, the storms were coming, Lorelei was rolling gunnel to gunnel and threatening to break loose off the mooring.
We were getting anxious and angry.
It turns out that the Police had intercepted the men obtaining the fuel for us.
It is illegal for locals to buy fuel in bulk at the gas station and sell it to the yachts but it is the only option boats have for obtaining fuel.
There are no fuel depots we can go to and it is illegal for foreigners to go to the gas station to buy fuel (as it is subsidised), so we simply have no other choice.
With only one brand of fuel and gas station across Indonesia (Pertamina) the rules are strictly enforced.
It’s a ridiculous situation….
So in the end we demanded a refund and left at nearly 6pm.
It was a terrible and dangerous predicament and we were really angry at the staff for stuffing us around for so long.
We then had to navigate through coral reefs and islands for 1 hour at dusk with failing light, blinding rain & wind and getting violently tossed about.
We had a heavy north swell with south winds making for ugly conditions.
It also meant every bay in northern Lombok was exposed to the swell, so we had no option but to navigate around the reef entrance and tuck into the small south facing bay at Gili Air Island. It would give us protection from the swell but not the wind.
We were so happy to be in, covers on, and anchored up safe just on dark and before the next storm hit.
The electrical storms and lightning around us were amazing but we were confident we would be ok for the night.
WHAT A DAY!!!!!
Surprisingly we had a good night’s sleep and woke to a relatively peaceful morning at Gili Air.
That changed at 10am when the hoard of large boats flew past us still going at 15 knots boat speed as they entered the harbour.
The boats have to be large and fast to transit the tourists quickly from Bali to the GiIli’s which is a 60nm passage.
They don’t use inboard engines and instead load the boats up with a stack of big outboard engines.
There were loads of younger backpackers transiting to and from the island.
Whilst it did rain a little, we were still able explore the island and swim.
Lisa was also able to repair our main halyard that had stripped its outer sheath on our first days sailing from Bali.
After being in the dirty water of Medana Bay and rolling violently, Lorelei’s hull needed a quick wash to get rid of all the brown stains, some of which were half way up the sides!
In the arvo we went across to one of the local dive boats to ask about buying unleaded (gasoline/benzene) fuel as in the end we didn’t get any from Medana Bay and were nearly out.
The friendly guy on-board made a quick phone call and before we could even motor the RIB to the beach, there were 3 guys sitting waiting with full jerry cans ready to go. Within 20 minutes we had transferred the fuel and the job was done.
And to top it all off, the price was 15% cheaper than Medana Bay had arranged.
We simply should have come here instead. Lesson learnt…
In the afternoon on the high tide we watched a large group of people onshore attempting to put a large newly renovated boat back into the water.
For over an hour they pushed & shoved, rocked it from side to side and levered it down the sand slope on make shift timber rollers.
In the end the tide dropped faster than they could move it and they reluctantly gave up.
The next day we pushed on again with the hope of edging our way further east.
Despite some early storms, the further east we went, the less storms and the better the conditions.
It turned into a combination of sailing and motoring but we had great current assistance so we pushed on overnight and travelled over 180nm in the first 24 hours.
Sunrise after our overnight passage
However the good conditions weren’t going to last and as we approached the Komodo National Park two things happened.
Firstly Paul started feeling ill and secondly, the wind and swell started to rise – a lot!!!
We only had 20nm to go to get to a very protected anchorage on Banta Island just outside of the Komodo National Park, so Lisa made a detour to go there.
The last time we were here (8 months ago), it was the dry season and the place look very arid. This time the islands looked awesome with lush green growth covering most of the islands.
Lisa’s detour turned out to be the right choice because by the time we arrived at the anchorage, Paul could barely lift his head off a pillow and the wind was gusting to over 30 knots.
By mid arvo the wind had picked up and we had strong bullets of wind hammering down the steep slopes and into the bay at over 40 knots.
We dragged anchor and had to reset – twice!!
The second time we had 80m of chain out in 9m of water which for us is heaps but we dragged again and the third time we ended up with 100m of chain in just 5m of water. If that wasn’t going to hold us, nothing was….
Ironically, a local fishing boat about the same length as Lorelei came in for protection and they also dragged anchor about 5 times during the day.
So we surmised the bottom mustn’t be that good for holding.
2 days later Paul was nearly back to normal and the wind and rain had eased.
So we decided to climb to the peak and started early at 7am.
Even at half way up the view was stunning but it was already starting to get really hot and humid.
By the time we reached the peak, the fishing boat had gone and left just Lorelei sitting in the bay.
The view from the peak was amazing.
On the way back down Lisa found a tree with some Preying Mantis on the branches.
The spearfishing in the bay was also excellent.
The clear shallow reefs had beautiful coral and reef fish in abundance.
It was interesting to see schools of Green Jobfish.
We see lots of these fish on the outer reef drop-offs but they are usually alone or in pairs. It was great to see schools of them swimming around.
Needless to say we were pretty rusty after not having speared for over 6 months. Our depths and bottom times were terrible!!!
However Lisa did well with 2 fish from 3 shots and we pigged out on yummy Coral Trout for dinner.
To try and escape the heat we would hang out on the beaches and swim in the clear shallow waters around the edge of the bay.
Paul found a pair of Azure Kingfisher’s sitting in the trees near the beach.
Before we left, Paul climbed up into the crow’s nest and took some shots of the bay whilst Lisa was swimming.
On the 4th Feb we left Banta Island and motored into Labuan Bajo so we could be in town for Paul’s birthday on the 5th.
We motored in with glassy conditions and great cloud formations over the islands.
We have a love/hate relationship with Labuan Bajo.
The town is a dusty, stinking, dirty, run down hole of a place and combined with that is the worst Immigration office we have dealt with.
Which is surprising considering it is a major tourist destination as it is the gateway to the Komodo area which offers a super modern airport, stunning islands, the Komodo Dragons and some of the best diving on the planet.
Additionally the local people are fantastic and very helpful and in the main street is Paul’s favourite local restaurant, Mama Warangs.
We have heard there are plans for the Indonesian Government to inject some much needed funds into the town to clean it up and modernise it for the bustling tourist trade.
For Paul’s birthday we went to Mama Warangs for lunch and pigged out.
As we walked home we spied a lady walking to the market with a wheelbarrow full of fish.
That night we enjoyed a fantastic harbour sunset with drinks on the deck.
The Phinisi dive live-aboards looked great lit up at night.
The next morning we managed to organise some diesel fuel after our aborted Medana Bay debacle.
Some of the local contractors who supply the dive live-aboards were able to help us and we were able to cart 600 litres of diesel (in relatively clean 20L Palm Oil containers) back and forwards from the wharf to Lorelei until we were full.
By lunchtime we were lifting the anchor and were out of there.
By now it was crunch time for where to go for the next 6 weeks.
Sadly there were still no reports of whale sharks in Triton Bay and it was still 1000nm to get there.
The other option was diving in Alor but we had already been there.
Both options meant travelling along the top of the Nusa Tenggara Island Chain.
The final option was to head south to enjoy more of Komodo in the areas that we missed last time, then to head to Sumba in the hope of getting more surf and a chance to go to the annual Pasola Festival which is on in Sumba around February each year.
It basically came down to surf or dive.
Paul left the decision to Lisa and after her wanting to surf every day in Bali, she chose to go surfing.
So south we went…..
We had to run south from Labuan Bajo and through a 4nm long but narrow passage that was notorious for current.
So we left at noon on what we were hoping was the correct tide for the passage.
We passed some picturesque terrain both on the mainland and the nearby islands.
We entered the passage and the current was fortunately going with us.
Coming out the other side looked amazing but the wind was coming up from the direction we had to go for the final 12nm.
So we found a quaint little bay at Pungu Island (just off the side of the main channel) and pulled in for the night.
It was a stunning place.
It was our friend Nathan’s birthday (he joined us in Komodo 8 months ago) and we said we would have a drink for him in Komodo at sunset
– so we did.
– so we did.
The mangroves around Pungu Island looked great for a kayak so early the next morning we went and explored.
We passed a small fishing boat and a few of the young kids on-board hitched a joyride.
The next day we headed to the southernmost bay on Rinca Island.
On the way down the rugged coastline, Lisa spotted a large white object thrashing around in the water.
We came in closer and it was a very large Manta Ray with at least a 5m/16ft wingspan.
It was doing reverse barrel rolls as it fed on the surface.
Whilst it wasn’t worried at all by Lorelei and we were about to hop in with the underwater cameras, a big rain storm coming down off the mountain had other plans for us.
We had to abort and get the land cameras inside and the hatches closed before it engulfed us.
We had to abort and get the land cameras inside and the hatches closed before it engulfed us.
Rinca Island is the most popular island to view the famous Komodo Dragons.
The southernmost area has a no anchoring policy so we tied up to a huge mooring in a protected little bay.
We were stoked to look up and see 5 large Komodo Dragons wandering up and down the black sand beach just 20 meters from Lorelei.
So we jumped in the RIB to go check them out.
Our experience was very different from 8 months ago.
Back in the winter it was breeding season and the big females where making their nests while the large males were fighting amongst themselves for mating rights.
The rangers informed us we might not see many big ones.
We did see lots of smaller ones but only one big female making a nest and a big male whilst on our own at a remote beach a few days later.
Because of the mainly smaller sized Dragons, we were a little blasé about them. We had camped for many years as children in places where there were lots of Australian Goannas and the smaller Komodo Dragons were just the same, only a little bigger.
This time with the Dragons was a very different experience!!
A 1.5m/5ft Dragon compared to a 3m/10ft Dragon is no comparison as the bigger ones are a lot more imposing and are prepared to hunt an adult human.
There were 5 Dragons on the beach and 4 were very big males all over 3m/10ft long.
Lisa was adamant we should stay in the RIB just off the beach and take photos which we did, but soon Paul had other ideas.
He went up onto the beach and all was good until the hunter became the hunted as the 4 males closed in on him.
He assumed they wouldn’t go onto the rocks and into the water.
All too soon he was wading back to the RIB with Lisa saying something like
“I told you so….”
“I told you so….”
But he did get some great photos and it did bring them down to the water’s edge.
We went around to a second bay and had a walk up a water course.
Sadly Asia’s affinity with plastic doesn’t discriminate where it ends up and the once pristine beach is now covered in tonnes of plastic garbage.
We did however find a wild deer in the bushes and Paul was able to get a series of shots before it took off.
We went around to a third beach where we found a lot of activity going on and some big Dragons.
We managed to watch a Dragon fight which was quite brutal.
Soon we realised why they were fighting when under a tree we saw a wounded Deer.
It had a large wound on its neck and its eyes looked really spooked.
The deer were put onto the island many years ago as food for the Dragons.
Once a Dragon bites a deer, it takes about 3 days for the poison to finally kill the animal. The Dragons simply stay close to it after the initial bite and wait for it to succumb to the poison before eating it.
We assumed some of the Dragons were hanging around for a possibility of a free feed and others were not happy about it, hence the fights.
As we were heading back to Lorelei, we could see lots of Monkeys (Long Tailed Macaques) walking down to forage on the beach and we even saw a large Pig wandering across the rocks.
The next morning, the place looked like Jurassic Park in the eerie early hours with the fog and clouds covering the mountain slopes.
We were going to go diving but we both couldn’t be bothered dragging all the gear out for just a few dives so instead we went kayaking and took our snorkelling gear with us.
We found an awesome current filled pass with loads of fish and tonnes of bait fish schools from the surface to the bottom. In the shallows we could lie on the surface and were very surprised to see unusual critters like Blue and Black Ribbon Eels, rare Nudibranchs, Frogfish, Lionfish, Turtles, 3 species of Shark and loads of fish species.
Just on dusk the predatory fish came into the bay and caused havoc amongst the bait fish schools sending them boiling up to the surface.
That evening and all night it was so still.
We woke to a glassed out bay with clear skies which was so different to what it was like just 24 hours prior.
After breakfast we pushed off for a 24 hour run south to the SW side of Sumba Island.
It was still mirror flat as we motored out of the pass.
We could already see the high peaks of northern Sumba which were 60nm away with the clear conditions.
As we were halfway across we motored into a huge pod of Dolphins and False killer Whales. They happily hunted together around Lorelei as we stopped to take photos.
Just as we were exiting the pod, Lisa spied a Blue Marlin free jumping around the front of Lorelei. By the time Paul had grabbed the camera and run up the front, it had gone.
At 5pm we motored down the west coast of Sumba.
The setting sun cast a glow onto the coastline and we got to view our first traditional Sumba Houses with their tall thatched roofs.
As we ventured further along we could see whole villages set back from the coast with the distinct roofs peeking through the trees.
We had trolled lures all day without success but just before sunset one of the reels started screaming with line rapidly peeling off the spool.
15 minutes later we had boated our first Mahi Mahi for the year.
Wow, what a crazy 48 hours we had as far as the huge variety of wildlife we had seen. We were amazed when we started reciting the list.
The overnight run along the south western Sumba coastline was pretty calm with little wind, clear skies but no moon.
We had current assistance the whole way and where due to arrive 5 hours earlier than expected at 3am. So we simply dropped all sail except for the headsail and ghosted along at 2 knots for the last 10nm so we arrived at 8am with enough light to motor into the bay and anchor safely right next to the Millers Rights surf break.
The sunrise on the cliffs with the surf break below look great and there were 4 surfers already out.
In the bay were lots of fisherman in small dugouts but for some strange reason they all wore Santa hats.
With the spring tides that day we had a very low (0.1m) tide at 6am and again 6pm so we slept for the morning and went for our first surf at 2pm.
We simply dived off Lorelei and paddled over to the break.
It was pretty good but a bit full and a little bumpy with the light arvo wind.
And best of all – we were the only ones out as the other 4 surfers had just gone in.
Millers Right is the most popular wave in Sumba but it is more popular during the end of the winter trade wind season around September.
However there are waves all year around.
It is the remoteness of the area and the lack of facilities for surfers to have ease of access to the break that makes it uncrowded.
For us it was a big gamble to bring Lorelei here.
It is a rugged and remote area, there are few (if any…) protected anchorages and the surf breaks all face south to the exposed Indian Ocean.
We had to watch the weather very carefully and make contingency plans in case of unsettled weather.
However the gamble had paid off even on the first day with a super fun and uncrowded surf.
The next morning it had got bigger and was epic.
We watched the 6 surfers (4 from yesterday) get a local dugout to paddle them out at 7am.
Paul soon followed and met the group who were fantastic people and made a great vibe out in the surf.
2 were girls from California, 2 were a Dutch couple (all who were learning) and there were 2 other older Aussie guys who live in Bali and had flown across for the swell pulse.
Paul got some super awesome and very long waves.
Lisa was a bit intimidated by the size and sat on Lorelei taking photos.
A very stoked Paul after riding a fantastic and long wave…
The next days that followed were simply a 2 hour surf in the morning followed by a 2-3 hour arvo surf until sunset.
Paul rode 4 different boards over 8 sessions depending on the conditions.
Day 4 started out nice but turned into a wild day.
The morning surf was normal but at 1pm the storm clouds started to roll in.
This is normal in monsoon season but usually they come at around 3-5pm, not 1pm.
The storm hit with a vengeance and the wind came from every direction over the course of an hour. It was very heavy rain and winds up to 35 knots.
By 3pm it was all over and Kat and Tera (the 2 Californian girls) paddled out to look at Lorelei before we went for a surf.
Lisa didn’t go.
Half way through the surf, the side of the cliff that we were surfing under sheared off causing tonnes of rock to hit the rock shelf below. The noise and dust cloud was huge.
We looked back to Lorelei to see Lisa running around on deck and seeing if we were ok.
As it turns out, there was an earthquake and Lisa felt it right through Lorelei’s hull and the locals were also in onshore running down onto the beach. The surfers didn’t feel it and therefore weren’t too concerned about the Tsunami possibility which was what Lisa and the local villagers were most concerned about.
Fortunately there was nothing significant and the evening was a calm one with a beautiful sunset.
Yet another action packed day in Indo….!!!!
With better light the next morning we could see the true extent of the rockslide. The trees on the top of the rubble pile used to be attached to the other clump half way up the cliff face in the photo below.
The wave below gives and idea of where we were surfing and the immense size of the slide.
By then the swell had dropped, the girls had gone to the airport and we left the bay to head further SE along the Sumba coastline.
In the eerie early morning, the southern part of the bay looked foreboding and there were local fisherman motoring home in the confused and bumpy swell.
As we headed further down the coast, we could see more recent rock slides and assumed they were also from the earthquake.
By 2pm we had reached another surf break called “The Office”.
We headed into the small cutting in the reef to look for an anchorage but it was small and there was an old tug boat already moored taking up most of the area.
Additionally there were onshore winds & swell and it looked rolly, shallow, tight and just not safe. The waves with the onshore conditions also looked small and very average so we aborted.
We managed to find another small inlet 2 hours away on the SE coast so we went there and anchored for the night.
At 5pm we were visited by the police armed with old handguns stuffed in their belts.
They couldn’t speak a word of English so Paul had to explain in Indonesian where we had been, what we were doing and were we were going.
We were like a sideshow and had about 6 fishing boats doing circles around us with gawking but very friendly locals on board.
We pushed off again at 6am but going up the coast we hit current in the super glassed out conditions.
It was surreal how flat it was.
Subsequently with the currents we weren’t going to make Waingapu (the main town on Sumba) by nightfall. So with the super flat and glassy conditions we pulled up along a 10nm long sandy beach and stopped for the night.
The landscape looked completely different on the east coast as it had long white sandy beaches with large grassy areas behind and ranges further in the background.
It was very different from the south and west coasts that had steep mountainous areas with cliffs right down to the water’s edge.
Once again Sumba turned on another amazing sunset.
The next day we had a late start and a lazy 3 hour sail into Waingapu Harbour.
It was a little smaller than expected and the bay was lined with wharfs filled with small freighters.
We managed to find a safe anchorage deep into the bay and just behind the 2 main wharfs.
Just on sunset we watched a small freighter arrive and attempt to moor alongside another freighter of around the same size.
It was a case of touch parking as it collided first with the freighter it was docking alongside, then the one behind and finally the tug boat moored alongside the back freighter.
We watched a fishing boat miss the channel markers and run onto the reef and at dusk we saw the kids scramble onto the bow of one of the freighters and jump off it into the water.
Talk about crazy harbour antics…..
We have left going ashore, assembling our mountain bikes and starting to explore the area until tomorrow…
You’ll find out how we went in the next edition of our blog.
So that’s it for Episode 46 of our sailing Blog.
What started off as a slow and frustrating start to this blog (and the cruising year), has certainly finished off with a couple of fun and action packed weeks on board Lorelei in Komodo and Sumba.
Paul & Lisa Hogger