Wednesday, August 20, 2008

285 degrees to Indonesia

It's been a busy few days, starting with a two day trip around the Kakado National Park (see photos in previous blog entry), final provisioning of fuel, water and food, then a dash around Darwin starting with the Indonesian consulate, via Australian customs and finally back to the boat, just in time to escape Fanny Bay with the last of the tide.

Fortunately the sights in the National Park were sufficiently diverting that I forgot to worry about leaving Kika uninhabited at anchor. My lack of concern proved justified, as when I tried to raise the anchor for my 9.30 appointment at the fuel dock, the windlass managed only 10m of chain before some unseen obstacle pinned me to bottom. I've been spoilt since leaving New Zealand as one of Charlotta's fortes was diving on jammed anchors. However help was at hand and with Graham from "Nomad Life" letting out chain to relieve the tension as I dived repeatedly into the murky water until I'd freed two weeks worth of chain knot circling an old abandoned mooring post.

A big welcome aboard to Svetlina, who on our first night out cooked a delicious lamb roast with gratin dauphinois. It looks like her French cuisine should make sure the Kika galley continues to raise its game. If nothing else I'm enjoying my new sous- chef position; helping with the menial tasks while the maestro(a?) provides the vision and execution.The wind so far has been "light and variable" - read "frustrating and slow", still it's great to be off again with landfall in Indonesia more anticipated than normal; friends already there have been sending enthusiastic reports back over the last couple of weeks.

We left 3-4 hours after Lasse and Ariel who are both smaller than us. Ariel are off to South Africa but we've booked a reunion next August in Falmouth. Lasse are heading to Indonesia so the race is on - just hope for some more wind...

Position @ 07:00 GMT (+9.30): S12deg 06.7' E129deg 34.3'
Distance to waypoint (channel between Roti and West Timor): 379

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