Monday, October 20, 2008

North coast of Bangka

I should have easily made it to tonight's anchorage on the north coast of Bangka, but the regular thunderstorms I've started to rely on for decent wind, didn't arrive until well into the afternoon. I spent the morning alternating sailing attempts with motoring. The result was that as I turned west along the north coast of the island, I realised I still had 12 miles to go with only an hour and a half of light left at best. Even the most reckless banker wouldn't bet on an 8 knot average with half a knot current against us.

While bracing myself for another sleep-deprived night at sea, I noticed an island no more than 5 miles ahead. It looked as though I should be able to anchor in its lee. I went down to study the charts surprised that I hadn't spotted it earlier. Turned out that both the electronic chart and the Admiralty chart of Bangka showed no island and no clue that there might be an anchorage here. That said both charts are littered with "Inadequate Survey" warnings, but missing an island seems a little slack. Undeterred, but more cautiously I pressed on towards the uncharted island.

As I drew near, some poles emerged from behind the island. The binoculars revealed the poles to be masts with ten yachts anchored in an uncharted bay sheltered by the uncharted island. As there are so many yachts here I presume the anchorage must appear in 101 Indonesian anchorages. I've belatedly discovered that my copy only extends to anchorage no 73. Anyway it makes for a more exciting life this way.

I dropped anchor just after the sunset, relieved and looking forward to an undisturbed sleep.

North coast of Bangka: S1deg 30.29' E105deg 52.7'

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