Thursday, September 04, 2008

Maumere to Tatawa Besar via Batu Boga

After a manic morning making the final rounds of the port officials, replenishing our water and diesel supplies and for Ina booking her flight back to France, we eventually escaped the busy town Maumere and set sail for the short hop to Batu Boga.

Ina again took on the captain's role. The downwind sailing in the strong SE wind was less of a challenge than the windward-beat into Maumere but we still had to thread our way through the off-shore reef north of Maumere, holding our nerve as the depths dropped below 3m, but thankfully emerging unscathed.

The anchorage in Batu Boga was less than 25 miles from Maumere but couldn't be more different; a perfectly protected anchorage nestling in Frisian spotted hills with a couple of huts ashore and shared with a couple of fishing boats and the first yacht we'd seen since our landfall in Nemberala.
The perfect antidote to Maumere. Perhaps we were desperate for a chance for someone else to talk to, as we didn't waste time putting the dinghy in the water but swam over as soon as the anchor was down to meet the Ulla and Peter from Sweden on their yacht Lovina for a great evening exchanging Indonesian experiences.

Ina's flight is out of Bali on 15th September which forced us to focus on how to spend the remainder of the trip. We decided to spend time in the area around Komodo and a few days in Bali. With the decision made, we set off for an overnight sail to Komodo.The sail to Komodo was uneventful, though enlivened by a large school of porpoises who lazed around with us for a few minutes.
The light wind encouraged us to be more creative in the galley; Ina perfected her bread-making skills with some yeast Ulla had provided. We also attempted to make the most of the oddly shaped cuts of meat we'd bought in Maumere, the highlight of the day - a pressure cooker version of coq au vin.The light overnight winds meant that we weren't going to make our chosen anchorage off Komodo before nightfall, but with the bay dotted with islands it was easy to locate an alternative. By 4p.m. we were anchored and drift snorkelling past stunningly vibrant coral with dinghy tied around my waist.Worth a mention were the first couple of turtles we'd seen in Indonesia, and grids of long spined urchins. After painfully stepping on an urchin in the Carribean, I'd kept my distance, but studying them in this strangely regular grid formation they were stunning, dotted with varied coloured florescent spots and appearing as alien mines with lights indicating their clock was ticking...

Batu Boga (3 September 17:30): S8°27.65' E121° 56.6'
Tatawa Besar (4 September 15:00): S8°30.46' E199° 42.79'

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