Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Crewless in Lovina

After waiting in Lovina over the weekend for Margreet to retrieve her passport from the authorities, on Monday we discovered that it would be at least another three days. There was also an added complication of an impending visit from her sister, which meant we'd struggle to arrive in Singapore in time. Reluctantly we decided that it wasn't going to work.

However my unanticipated extra time in Lovina was put to good use, once I discovered good quality affordable seamstresses ashore. Together we constructed side screens for the bimini and mosquito nets for the hatches - I found the materials (Sunbrella, grommets, thread and webbing) and provided the patterns, while they did the work... It's been on the job list since Panama where I acquired a roll of Sunbrella material and a sewing-machine, but the tropical heat and nocturnal mosquitoes have caused some re-prioritization of the list. Now I just need to improve the windscoop and use the remaining material in a deck-awning - probably just in time for my homecoming...

Still passport-less, but with lots of enticing food from Carrefort in Denpassar, Margreet headed back to Lovina to wish me well. Now I've another excuse to catch-up with Antares so we can share the "Brat Rollmops" - (sardine-herring fillets in vinegar) and other Dutch delicacies now filling my fridge.

With a fruitless last minute crew-marketing bitz in Lovina and feeling that I have stuck around Bali for long enough, I decided on Tuesday to head-off single-handed. As I was making final course checks, I knocked a bottle of water over the computer which promptly died. Now I know that this wouldn't have delayed Chichester, Knox-Johnson or Moitessier or other heroic single-handed sailors in whose wake I presume to follow, but they didn't have a ravenous blog expecting frequent updates. Fortunately by mid-day the tropical climate had worked its magic on my sunbathing disassembled laptop and it sprang back into life, enabling me to raise anchor and head NW for the 380 miles to Kumai river in Kalimantan.

There were ominous dark clouds over the Balinese mountains as I left, but apart from an impressive electrical storm during the night, the wind has been light and variable - consistent with most of our Indonesian sailing to-date. Fortunately there's been enough wind to sail, although I'm not expecting to set any records on this passage - the speed frequently hovers around 2-3 knots. Still good to have a gentle introduction to my first multiple day single-handed passage.

Position @ 9.00am 8/10/2008 S7deg 02' E114deg22'
Distance to go: 300

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