Day 98, Year 3: Adunara Island to Flores Island

Day 98, Year 3: Adunara Island to Flores Island
Date: Hari Jumat (Thursday), Bulan Agustus 15, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: 40% Cloud Cover but Plenty of Sunshine; No Wind; Adverse Current
Latitude: 08 degrees 13.668 minutes S
Longitude: 122 degrees 45.984 minutes E
Location: Unknown Bay, NE Flores Island, Nusa Tengarra Province, Indonesia

Today was a traveling day from Adunara Island to Flores Island. We had hoped to anchor on the top of what is called the Scorpion’s Tail at the eastern end of Flores, but the anchorage was small and six boats already filled the space, so we trekked on around the Scorpion’s Tail and anchored on its southern side in an “unnamed” bay. The directions we had said to anchor close to the beach but it was low tide and going too close to the beach didn’t look like it was going to work for us if the winds
switch around overnight as they have been. But anchoring further out was difficult and it took us an hour and four tries before we were anchored securely for the night. The whole process wore us out, so we decided not to launch the dinghy and go ashore. But Scot Free II did go ashore and they are staying here another day. Donna found very large cone shells on the beach after we arrived today and she wants another day to collect, but we will leave early in the morning and head to a an offshore
island called Pulau Besar. We’ve heard conflicting reports about the snorkeling possibilities there, but we are hoping that the positive reports are correct and that we will get in another day of snorkeling before heading to the Sail Indonesia rally stop on Flores.

Our daughter Heather is probably starting her three-day walk from Foxborough to Boston about now. I said in last night’s log that Jed and Sam would be meeting her every evening, but that was incorrect. Jed and Sam are going to meet Heather in Boston on Sunday, so this will be Sam’s first experience without his mom. Heather was having “withdrawal” problems, but Sam will probably be fine. I’m sure Jed will be worn out by Sunday, but hopefully he and Sam will have a great three-day weekend and Heather
will have a successful walk. Heather, we are thinking of you. And Jed, we wish we could be there to help you with Sam. By Monday evening here, we should be in a location with cell service, so we are hoping we will get to talk to Heather and Jed and get a first hand report on the weekend.

080815 Day 98 Indonesia–Kroko Atoll, Adunara to Teluk Hading, Flores

Day 97, Year 3: Snorkeling, Snorkeling, and Then Snorkeling

Day 97, Year 3: Snorkeling, Snorkeling, and Then Snorkeling
Date: Hari (Thursday), Bulan Agustus 14, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Lots of Puffy White Clouds and Sunshine
Location: Kroko Atoll, Adunara Island, Nusa Tengarra Province, Indonesia

It was a snorkeling kind of day. But actually it was not all for fun. We started our day by completing the job of cleaning the bottom of the boat. We started yesterday, but it ended up being a huge two-day job. The last time the boat bottom was painted was in April of last year, so the bottom paint has really stopped doing its job. Loads of little sea creatures have decided to hitch a ride with us by attaching themselves to Windbird’s bottom, so it took two days of scrubbing to get her as clean
as she is going to get until we have a chance to paint the bottom. We will simply need to dive down each time we are anchored in clean water and do a little maintenance. Once we recovered from the cleaning, we then went snorkeling for fun. We are anchored right next to a pearl farm, so we snorkeled out to the huge line that holds the pearl farm in place and then worked our way back to Windbird. It is such a delight to be able to jump in the water and see such wonderful underwater life. Today
we saw more clownfish as well as three other varieties of anemonefish. There were lots of boxfishes and a whole variety of small, colorful fish, but one of the most interesting finds today was a sea squirt that looks like a small, bright yellow human heart with dark purple veins. Quite interesting. And there were lots of barrel sponges and a few rays. The great thing about snorkeling here is that there are acres of shallow water in which to explore. We took a lunch break and Scot Free II came
over to talk about our next few days of travel. And then it was back in the water for a late afternoon snorkel. I’m going to be sad to leave the little Nemos tomorrow, but I am hoping that I will see them everywhere we go. By tomorrow evening we will be in an anchorage on Flores. There are a couple of good diving/snorkeling possibilities so we are hoping to find another place to play in the water by Saturday.

We want to wish our daughter Heather good luck in her three-day walk for breast cancer. She begins her walk in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Friday. This will be the first time she has been away from Sam so Jed will follow with Sam and meet her every evening.
So good luck to you, Heather. We hope you have a wonderful weekend and that Sam hangs in there and doesn’t completely wear out his dad.

080814 Day 97 Adunara, Indonesia–Underwater at Kroko Atoll

Day 96, Year 3: Nemo Lives Here!

Day 96, Year 3: Nemo Lives Here!
Date: Hari Rabu (Wednesday), Bulan Agustus 13, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Lots of Puffy White Clouds and Sunshine
Location: Kroko Atoll, Adunara Island, Nusa Tengarra Province, Indonesia

Nemo really does live here. We have seen loads of anemonefish, but not until today have we seen Amphiprion ocellaris, better known as clownfish. The minute I saw them I went to find Mark and have him come photograph them, but he was far away, almost on the sand cay. When I reached him he was standing in the water looking at his underwater camera. It was not working. We had trouble with it last year and then sent it in for repair while we were home in the US. Instead of repairing it, we were
sent a refurbished one and it has not worked right since we reached Australia. We thought we had found the problem while we were in Lizard Island, but obviously not. This was our first time back in the water since then and now the camera is totally dead. The camera is an Olympus Stylus 770SW. As far as we know it is the only small underwater camera out there, but it is not much good if it doesn’t work. So until we can have a new one sent to us, we will have no underwater photos. Scot Free II
has the same camera and I am going to see if we can borrow theirs sometime tomorrow so I can get pictures of the long awaited Nemo. I will be heartbroken if I have to leave here without photos of this beautiful little fish.

So that was the good and bad news of the day, but then I have exciting news. Our son Justin and his wife Jo are definitely going to join us in Bali and sail with us to Borneo to see the orangutans. They have bought their tickets and will arrive in Bali on September 17 to spend almost a month with us. We are so excited that they are going to be able to join us. We will see Bali together, Borobudur in Java, and then head to Kalimantan (Indonesia’s part of Borneo Island). Heather, Jed, and Sam
don’t have their tickets yet, but they are definitely planning on visiting us in Thailand in January. So we won’t be coming home this year, but we will have some wonderful memories of family traveling with us in this very special part of the world.

The anchorage here is growing. When we came in yesterday there was only one boat. That boat left this morning leaving three of us here. Today three more boats came in, but I’m hoping that it will stay like this until we leave here on Friday. I hate to be selfish, but this is such a beautiful anchorage and I guess I want it all to myself. But there are perks to having others come. This afternoon Brett of Solan brought over a huge Horned Helmet shell that he picked up while snorkeling. He wanted
us to see it before he put it back in the water. This thing was way bigger than a football and was just beautiful. Just like two heads are better than one for thinking, I guess a group of yachties is better than just one so we can all share the beauty.

080813 Day 96 Adunara, Indonesia–Kroko Atoll Anchorage

Day 95, Year 3: Teluk Lewaling to Kroko Atoll

Day 95, Year 3: Teluk Lewaling to Kroko Atoll
Date: Hari Selasa (Tuesday), Bulan Agustus 12, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Sunny Skies with a Few Puffy White Clouds; No Wind When Needed
Latitude: 08 degrees 14.598 minutes S
Longitude: 123 degrees 19.464 minutes E
Location: Kroko Atoll, Adunara Island, Nusa Tengarra Province, Indonesia

We traveled from Lembata Island to Adunara Island today and our “new” Yanmar engine hit 3,000 engine hours. I call it new because it was new when we started this circumnavigation. But we aren’t even half-way home and 3,000 engine hours is a lot of motoring. But it has brought us to beautiful places to meet beautiful people. Tonight we are anchored near Kroko Atoll behind a little sand islet. It is a beautiful spot with active volcanoes looming up in every direction on the horizon. We have made
the decision to stay out here and live the good life while most of the other rally boats are just about seven miles away in the anchorage at Lewoleba, Lembata. When the seventy plus boats leave there, they will come here and there is really only room for about five boats, so we just wanted to beat the crowd to this little piece of paradise.

We went snorkeling this morning on the reefs under the awe-inspiring Ili Api volcano before leaving Teluk Lewaling. It was not the most beautiful snorkeling spot, but it was wonderful to get in the water again. It’s been a long dry spell since Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef. Even though I would not rate today’s snorkeling spot very high on a scale of one to ten, I always find it fascinating to search for new fish and delight in seeing old friends. Today there were lots of the ever present
bright blue starfish, but I also saw the brown and tan sea star with the scientific name of Nardo tuberculata. I first saw this specimen on the reef at East Hope Island in Australia. Today this guy was in a seagrass bed along with the blue starfish. Something new to us today that was in abundance was a soft pink plant-like animal that looked like a feather duster. The branches were in one plane like a feather and they swayed so beautifully in the water. But when I got back and tried to identify
the new citing it appears that it is a hydroid which strings humans with quite a punch. The string evidently produces a sharp pain something like an electric shock. Even in these warm waters, we wear our dive skins and gloves, so we are protected, but I will know not to dive down and touch this enticing creature. The fish life today was not so prolific, but the bright blue chromis and yellow-tailed fusiliers known as pisang pisang in Indonesia brightened up the grassy seabed. I saw two fish I
had not seen before. One was a small filefish with furry skin. At first I thought it had algae growing all over it, but then I could see it was part of the fish. A much larger new fish that was seen today looked like the other juvenile batfish that were swimming around, but this one was totally black with neon orange tips on its long, fluttery fins. I even thought I saw a bright blue vertical stripe on its nose, but I cannot find a fish that looks like this in any of my identification books.
I’ll keep looking.

When we reached our new anchorage, there was only one other boat here. It was CanKata from Canada. Shirena and Scot Free II had sailed here with us and CanKata called and invited all of us to come over for sundowners. We had met Darrel and Loretta on one of our inland tours while in Kupang, but it was so nice to spend the evening with them and with Tina and Robert on Shirena and Gerry, Donna, and Klinton on Scot Free II. CanKata has been here for a couple of days and they were able to report
to us the fantastic snorkeling opportunities here. Evidently I am going to see lots of little Nemos in the next couple of days. I can’t wait to dive in early tomorrow morning.

090812 Day 95 Adunara, Indonesia–Evening Visit on CanKata at Kroko Atoll
080812 Day 95 Indonesia–Lembata to Kroko Atoll, Adunara

Day 94, Year 3: Villages and Volcanoes

Day 94, Year 3: Villages and Volcanoes
Date: Hari Senin (Monday), Bulan Agustus 11, Pada Tahan 2008
Weather: Sunny Skies and No Wind
Latitude:08 degrees 17.560 minutes S
Longitude: 123 degrees 37.893 minutes E
Location: Teluk Lewaling, Lembata Island, Nusa Tengarra Province, Indonesia

Today was V Day-vistas of villages and volcanoes . . . and at the end of the day a very special visit to the village of Dikasare in Teluk (Bay of) Lewaling. We started our day motor sailing west across the top of Pantar Island and then hopped across Selut Alor to the north shore of Lembata island. Lembata is named Kawula on most charts and Lomblen on others. Everyone today refers to it as Lembata, so that is what is used here. Whatever the name, our trip across the top of the island was fascinating.
The land drops sharply into the sea from the top of Mt. Kedang towering 5,000 feet high. There are no places to anchor on this north coast as it is much too deep right up to shore, but obviously supply ships get in and out of each of the little seaside villages. Actually, they weren’t so little. It is amazing how many homes are in these “middle of no-where” villages. We could see the perfect volcanic cone of Ili Api, also known as Mt. Warian, as we sailed along. Ili Api is just shy of 5,000
feet and it dominated the view most of the day as we puttered along the north coast. Just before the mountain, we hung a left and went into a huge bay that juts inland. Sailing in under the smoking cone of Ili Api was quite dramatic. The larger and deeper bay is Teluk Welenga but we turned to the east and entered Teluk Lewaling. The only information we had about this area was a handwritten note scribbled on one of the copied charts we bought in Darwin. For one anchorage area it said “pretty
coral, no people, lots of bommies” and for the other it said “a few houses, mangroves, and sandflies.” Well, we chose the latter for tonight, but that was because our friends Jean-Pierre and Colette on Safina were there and radioed to us saying it was a good anchorage and a nice village. We needed to see Safina to loan them our back-up camera. They bought a new camera in Darwin but the battery charger doesn’t work and without that they can’t use it. Anyway, we got the camera to Safina and then
went to shore to see the village.

As it turns out, the village where we are anchored is the village that rally participants will be visiting on Wednesday. Dikasare has 100 houses. Ninety homes are Catholic and ten are Muslim. A young man who could speak English met us at the beach. He learned English while working on a project in Malaysia and he took us to meet the head of the village. So we got a head start on the rally with a personalized tour and a wonderful weaving demonstration. The head of the village told us that they
would exercise for us. We finally figured out that meant “practice.” Cruisers who were here this morning got to see the cotton being picked, but we got to see it combed and spun by hand. We actually got to see the women build a loom from sticks and string and then we watched a woman as she threaded the loom. The process of dying the thread was explained and we got to see the plants that are used for dying. We also got to see how they tie the plastic string around the threads before it is dipped
in the dye to make the designs. This is one process where a picture is worth a thousand words. If I ever get to a high speed internet location, I’ll post these photos first. The ikat weaving process is absolutely fascinating.

So tomorrow we will go to the anchorage with the “pretty coral” but as much as I love snorkeling, today’s accidental village visit is going to be hard to beat. But every time we think we have seen the most spectacular, there always seems to be more.

<table style=”width:194px;”><tr><td align=”center” style=”height:194px;background:url( no-repeat left”><a href=””><img src=”” width=”160″ height=”160″ style=”margin:1px 0 0 4px;”></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”text-align:center;font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px”><a href=”” style=”color:#4D4D4D;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:none;”>080811 Day 94 Indonesia–Pantar to Lembata</a></td></tr></table>

<table style=”width:194px;”><tr><td align=”center” style=”height:194px;background:url( no-repeat left”><a href=””><img src=”” width=”160″ height=”160″ style=”margin:1px 0 0 4px;”></a></td></tr><tr><td style=”text-align:center;font-family:arial,sans-serif;font-size:11px”><a href=”” style=”color:#4D4D4D;font-weight:bold;text-decoration:none;”>080811 Day 94 Lembata, Indonesia–Dikasare Village</a></td></tr></table>

Day 93, Year 3: Leaving Alor and Heading West

Day 93, Year 3: Leaving Alor and Heading West
Date: Hari Minggu (Sunday), Bulan Agustus 10, Pada Tahan 2008 Weather: More Sunshine and Fluky Winds
Latitude: 08 degrees 21.816 minutes S
Longitude: 124 degrees 05.778 minutes E
Location: Blangmerang, Panta Island, Nusa Tengarra Province, Indonesia

There was once again a mass exodus early this morning of rally boats leaving Kalabahi. I think there were about 40 boats in the anchorage, and the only one that stayed behind was Mike on Good News. He was visiting an orphanage today and delivering clothes and school supplies. I gave him some of the little practice books that I had to give to children and I think some other cruisers did the same. It took about an hour and a half to get out of the long, thin bay leading out of Kalabahi and back into the main pass. We are getting a little better at timing our passages and had less current against us today. But there was almost no wind. I heard a cruiser say yesterday, “If thou art sailing then thy wind and thy current will surely be against thee.” I might have my ‘thous’ and ‘thys’ and ‘thees’ in the wrong places, but you get the idea. So Windbird, the motor sailor, decided to go the 36 nautical miles to Blangmerang instead of head on and yet into the further anchorage after dark. Only Shirena and Scot Free came to the same anchorage with us. A whole slew of boats had planned to anchor just north of where we are on the southern tip of a small island. But when they got there it was totally untenable so they went on but were going to have to sail through night. Shortly after we arrived here, Tina of Shirena, Gerry and Donna of Scot Free II, and Mark and I got in our dinghy and went over to the village. It was a huge village with hundreds of people. This side of Pantar is very dry, so there is not one blade of grass. The village was laid out in a rectangular grid with semi-paved narrow streets and concrete sidewalks. The homes were all single-story concrete block or brick and mortar, with lots of people in each tiny little home. Most roofs were corrugated iron, but the homes did not look like there was any furniture inside. There were at least four mosques in the village and most people we met appeared to be Muslim as the women were all wearing a head covering. No one could speak English and none of us speak very much bahasa Indonesian, but we walked and took pictures to the delight of the people. They love having their pictures taken and looking at the images. At one point, I had stopped to take a picture of a mother and her baby in a doorway, and when I went back to the sidewalk, I was met by a parade of Muslim women all carrying beautifully wrapped bowls of food on their heads and the men carrying live ducks, chickens, and goats. They motioned for us to join them and Mark really wanted to go. But this time I was hesitant. I’m sure it would have been an interesting feast, but since the animals were still alive, it was obviously going to be a long time before dinner. If we joined them we would have had to eat and drink whatever they offered. The food would have been fine, but the drink could definitely cause a problem. Beer and Coke are the only things we can have when ashore, and I am absolutely positive that neither was going to be served. And we didn’t bring any mosquito repellent and it was getting late in the day. So we continued our walk but did not follow the parade. We made our way back out to the sailboats and Tina invited us all aboard Shirena for sundowners. Robert had stayed on the boat to work on their autopilot which is misbehaving. Shirena seems to be plagued with electrical problems and this time there is bad connection somewhere and he just can’t find it. But regardless, we all enjoyed our time together and we headed back to Windbird just in time for evening prayers being blared from the speakers on the roof of the mosque by the harbor. It is a new experience for us to measure the time of day by the call to prayer, but that is a fact of life in Indonesia. I think we are starting to come down from the fast pace of life we experienced in Kupang and will move at a slightly slower pace until we reach Bali.

080810 Day 93 Alor, Indonesia–Leaving Kalabahi
080810 Day 93 Pantar, Indonesia–BlangMerang Village