August 8th: Upped anchor at 5.30am and it was full of yucky, sticky mud (and god knows what else) Brilliant holding but very hard to get off the anchor. Job for the next nice anchorage is to put out all the chain and clean out the anchor locker. Also the bum of the boat has a coating of mossy growth on it, seems to grow really quickly. We last cleaned it at Lizard Island. Due to the Crocodile factor we won’t be able to do it again until we get to Kisar. It’s a 200+ nautical mile journey to Moa and we should arrive around 5.00pm tomorrow night. Jessie’s birthday! L Sad to miss everyone’s birthdays L
We were able to contact Maritime NZ on the SSB radio tonight. This is amazing, thousands of miles away and we spoke to a guy in Taupo. This is cool.
August 9th: We arrived into Moa around 3.30pm, it is a beautiful looking anchorage with golden sandy beaches, swaying palm trees and a nice shaped bay. However, there is fringing reef right across the bay. We anchored right near the reef and drifted back to 35 metres. Per had arrived ahead of us and had made contact with the local tourist representatives and met them on the beach. They invited us all ashore and had a big bus for all 6 of us, and gave us a quick tour around the village. It was very primitive, although there was a two lane highway complete with street lights all the way to the regent’s residence, which was a very grand building indeed. There was a smaller residence for the vice regent. There was a power generator installation which was switched on for certain times only, we had a quick tour. We then had dinner at a local restaurant which was chicken, rice and some spicy sauce too hot to eat. It was by no means a restaurant in our terms. However it was ridiculously cheap and Peter and Heidi paid, I think it $17 for 5 of us. Elizabeth had opted to stay on “Oda” as she wasn’t comfortable with the anchorage. It is very roly, and because we could only place the anchor at the base of the coral we were very nervous if the wind turned around from the West. Unfortunately once we were ready to go back to the boats the tide was out and the reef restricted us from getting back to the boats in our ducks. So we had to sit on the beach and wait for the tide to come up. The two tourist officials Ava and Ien, were absolutely gorgeous girls and waited with us. They were keen to come out to the boats tomorrow for some photos.
August 10th: Had a pretty bad night it was really roly and we were up and down checking to make sure we were not swinging onto the reef. We all decided that it was not a safe anchorage and we left at 1:00pm and headed to Leti Island which was only an hour North West. It was a good quick passage and the anchorage was so much better, flat calm and very little swell. There is a long concrete wharf. Elonnisa was already there. We thawed out the 5 kilo box of Prawns we had brought in Flinders Island off the trawler and I made 2 big bowls of crunchy noodle salad and everyone went for dinner on Stormvogel ( 4 boats)
August 11th: We went into the village and were escorted by 50 smiling, giggling children to the Harbour Masters Office. This was a surprise – the Harbour Master is a very friendly young lady. They could not have been more helpful and friendly. She tried to organise a car to take us to the next village but couldn’t locate a driver. Her husband took us for a walk to try and buy some diesel but that was not possible either. He also tried to help us with phone credit but that wasn’t a goer either. We went for a walk through the village, escorted by the hordes of children. They were lovely and just full of giggles. Back to the boats and we had Sundowners on Elonnisa, a 54” Benneteau, beautiful Yacht. Maus Kati and Solstice had also arrived and joined us all. It was very pleasant.
August 12th: The dreaded day has arrived, it’s my turn to be Net controller this morning. I didn’t sleep last night stressing about it. So anyway I did it. David from Diamedea had to relay for some of the far away yachts as I wasn’t picking them up but other than that it was OK. There was no emergencies and I was very thankful for that. We had heard from our Indonesian contact, Raymond that a 71 year old Yachtie had died but had no details. We did find out on the net that he died of natural causes so that was a relief. The harbour master invited all the yachties in for lunch at 2.00pm which was lovely, we had already eaten lunch but we went and took some gifts in for them also. They provided a lovely spread of very spicy fish curry, baked fish, rice and vegetables with fresh oranges to finish up with. It was a lovely gesture. Back to the boats and we had sundowners in the ducks with all the boats, which culminated with Per and Peter frolicking which ended up in Per diving in the water and Robbie trying to drench Peter and Heidi when we left. It’s quite lovely sitting there having a quiet drink on the water and watching the sun go down.
August 13th: Escape arrived early morning, organised a skippers meeting on Southern Star at 11:00am and the ladies went into the village to purchase some fruit and vegetables. Thanks again to the wonderful Harbour Master she had organised for some fresh fruit and vegetables to be at her office for us to purchase. There is apparently a market but it’s at 5am in the morning. Way too early for us now! Not a lot but we got Bananas, Oranges (they call them lemons and they are green but they are oranges as we know them) Kan Cun a leafy green spinach like vegetable that Robbie watched the chef in Saumlaki cook, and some Bok Choy. Also a Pawpaw. We all had a walk through the village again. The houses are mainly concrete structure, unpainted, no grass but some shrubs. There’s a lot of little shops selling mainly dried foods, one main one that had big garbage bins full of rice, uncovered. Not a very clean environment though. I have caught the cold that’s going around so not feeling very well, had a very quiet night.
August 14th: We departed Leti for Romang Island around 9.30am. Solstice were also following us but it took them a couple of hours to get their anchor up. Oda and Stormvogel are leaving tomorrow. Conditions were good for the 45 nautical mile passage except for my head cold and my continuous running nose. We made contact with David and Andrea from Diamedea prior to our entry to the bay and similar to Leti there is fringing coral and the depths drop off very quickly. Robbie is cooking a roast chicken dinner and a loaf of bread as I type this, his TLC while I am not well is just lovely! Arrived in Romang around 3.30pm, it’s very windy and has a similar wharf and Harbour Master building as Leti. No problem anchoring, David and Andrea came over for a couple of drinks. Awesome sunset.
August 15th: Feeling pretty crap with the cold and fighting off sinus. Gert & Mies from Kiwi Blue came over with a cake of chocolate for me, Lil, Ken & Anne from Moonbeam came over with some vitamin C for me. They had a tour through the boat and we gave them some Bananas. We went into the village with all the others and walked up the steep hill, walked through the church which was absolutely beautiful. The villager’s dry cloves and they saved for 15 years all the funds from the cloves to build the church. The cloves are used to put in cigarettes. The village was quite empty as a lot of them had walked 12 kilometres to the next village to attend the Independence Day celebrations. We brought some oranges from the locals and the others brought some honey. We saw one of the bees and it was huge, 6 times bigger than ours. Came back to the boat and we slept for 3 hours. I woke up feeling much better. We invited David and Andrea from Diomedea over for dinner and a game of cards.
August 16th: Moonbeam, Kiwi Blue, Soul Sacrifice and Solstice have all left the bay. Gypsea Rover arrived around 8am. We are departing for Wetar Island this morning. Bryan & Paul from Gypsy Rover came over for a cuppa and as soon as they left we upped anchor, around 11.15am for Wetar Island. It will be an overnight passage. It started out very uncomfortable conditions but as the day went on it got calmer and calmer. It was the nicest night passage we have had to date. The sunset was stunning and the moonrise was magnificent. There was little wind, and calm seas, perfect Southern Star weather. We arrived into the anchorage called L abuhan Air Panas on Wetar Island, a beautiful bay with golden sand, coconut trees, calm crystal clear water AND a CROCODILE! We sat up on the fly bridge with our breakfast enjoying the peaceful bay with crystal clear water, perfect for a swim, and I saw something floating slowly in the water, looked like a stick. It wasn’t bending just floating straight. I wondered why it wasn’t getting washed onto the shore. Robbie grabbed the binoculars, and it was indeed a crocodile, about 2.5metres long! We watched him complete his patrol of the bay and decided we were so pleased we had spotted him as we would have definitely swum as the water was so clear, we could see the bottom. Phew! We went and had a nice Nespresso coffee on Diomedea and then took the duck into the bay to try and find the hot springs. Well we found it, complete with water buffalo. There were a few villagers around but they were very timid and did not speak English. Andrea had some stickers for the few kids but they were too shy to take them. There were a lot of goats and some 2 day old kids which were frolicking and playing. We had a walk through the village and then on the beach. There was a creek on the land side of the beach with definite crocodile slide marks. Time to go back to the boat. We had lunch and a snooze and then Andrea and I did each other’s hair colours. We discussed cutting but I can’t draw a straight line let alone cut one so I bowed out of that gracefully. Kiwi Blue, Soul Sacrifice & Moonbeam arrived. We ended up having sundowners on Southern Stars upper deck with Andrea & David (Diomedea), Gert & Mies (Kiwi Blue), Ian & Angela (Soul Sacrifice), Ken, Lil & Anne (Moonbeam) everyone had a great time and after they left we watched a very scary movie called Insidious. It gave me Goosebumps. Not really a good idea.