Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rincha to Gili Air

With Ina's imminent departure from Bali in mind we reluctantly weighed anchor after a couple of days in Rincha. Next stop Gili Air - a small island in the strait between Lombok and Bali.

Unfortunately predicting the direction of the currents in the area remains as opaque as ever and we spent the majority of the first day fighting our way against an unfavourable current up Sape Strait, between Komodo and Sumbawa. Finally by late afternoon we'd escaped the strait, and with help from the tide, a gentle breeze and smooth sea cruised along the northern coast of Sumbawa. One of the benefits of a flat sea is there's little chance of spray and we took advantage to organise a DVD night. Balancing the laptop on the upturned fish box while we wedged ourselves either side on the cockpit seats.

After spending weeks not seeing other yachts it felt like the rush hour with, at one point, four other yachts within sight. After being overtaken by spinnaker flying boats, I was shamed into digging out the cruising chute and experimenting with the rig, adding the cruising chute to a poled out genoa and full main. Having negligible swell makes a huge difference in light winds and with all the sails we could raise pulling together we managed to make 5 knots+ in light airs.
Last night we caught a tasty looking Barracuda. Unfortunately Barracuda sit high up the food chain and tend to accumulate ciguatera in their flesh.However the toxicity varies with location. In some areas people eat barracuda with impunity, in other places they won't touch them. Without local knowledge it's impossible to know if it's safe to eat. We decided to keep the fish but delayed the decision for a day as we still had some fish cakes left from the night before.This morning just as I was about to wake Ina up for her watch the fishing line starting running out. We'd caught a small tuna. While I filleted the tuna, I put the line out again and quickly had another small tuna on the line. This happened three times, giving Ina an extra hour in bed, and giving us another excuse not to eat the barracuda.

Fresh fish is welcome as provisions are running perilously low. We've run out of onions, have one aubergine, a couple of wilting stringy green beans, half an Australian cabbage and three sweet corn. The sweet corn look as though they've been encased in resin and it's not clear if they're edible or meant as table decoration.

Another great benefit of the easy sailing is the chance to spend extended time in the galley. Today's feast was sashimi followed by sushi rolls and tarte au citron.
Ina's discovered it's possible to make ricotta cheese from powdered milk which holds out the promise of a mango cheese cake tomorrow. Can't wait...

Gili Air (10th September 15:30): S8°22.0' E116°04.98'

1 comment:

Matt Housden said...

Hi Nick
Thinking of you and really enjoying this. Love Mattxx