Friday, September 11, 2009

WEEK 19 29 August - 4 September - Riang Bay to Labuan Bajo

Well who could have known that we would have been in that most serene silent peaceful place when our little Jackie went to heaven. Have always missed our puppies desperately and it is so hard to know that we weren't with him when he needed us and probably thought we were never coming back. As you may have noticed it has taken me a little while to get back to this blog.

Day 129 - Saturday 29 August -Riang Bay - Inca Village, Flores Island
08°16.682S 120°24.263E
We left at 7am wishing we could stay another day. From this peaceful start the day turned quite exhilarating! There was not a breath of wind so we were motoring when the fishing reel went off. Put the motor to neutral and the whole boat shuddered. There is quite a bit of junk in the water and we had gone over a big pile of old fishing net and ropes and crabs and stuff, part of which got caught on the fishing line and part of which had wrapped around our rudder and propeller. Peter managed to get the line in and get the bulk of the crap off the rudder but had to don goggles and dive to cut the rest off the prop. First time he has swum in 1.2km deep water!!! And he didn't need help getting back aboard either!! About 2 hrs later we could see boats and buoys further out and thought we were in the clear. Peter went forward to keep an eye out and while I was sitting pondering why our chart plotter had us going through the middle of an island Peter raced back saying stop stop stop!! Wacked into neutral and saw a net about 500m long running all the way across in front of us. Tried to go to port but forgot we had the self steerer on - Peter wacked it off and we went hard aport with a few metres to spare!!! We wondered why the fishermen hadn't waved us off. After that they started waving and chasing us but it turned out they wanted water so we gave them a litre. Came into Inca Village at 3.10pm and there were 3 boats already in so we anchored in 17m a little closer to the reef than we would have liked. I noted in my diary on this day that I was worrying about Jack and Rosie and missing them so much.
Miles: 40 Total: 3,545

Day 130 - Sunday 30 August -Inca Village - Gili Bodo, Flores Island
08°22.089S 120°00.917E
Left around 8.30am with waters so still it was hard to see the horizon. Avoided 3 buoys in a triangle which had a net in the middle - have become a bit paranoid!! Arrived Gili Bodo at 3pm - a nice little place with a white beach and monkeys on the beach. Found the channel through the reef but Whistle just went right over the top of it!! Our charts are really out - were heading for a reef today but luckily saw it in time. Got the devastating news about Jack - so hard being so out of touch. Had drinks on the beach.
Day 131 - Monday 31 August -Gili Bodo, Flores Island
Went for a snorkel - best coral so far and saw some fish we had never seen before. Had a barbeque on the beach and Jean brought a candle in and we burnt it for little Jackie. Thank goodness for the company of Jean and Dave.
Day 132 - Tuesday 1 September - Gili Bodo, Flores Island
Went for a snorkel and three men on a boat tried to sell us a heap of souvenirs - I bought a small box just to make their trip worth while. They came aboard and Peter was teaching them English and we had an enjoyable time with them. They gave us a small souvenir each which was pretty embarrassing. Had a fire on the beach - it was so hot we had to sit away from it but the atmosphere was there. A monkey came down and sat behind us on a rock and watched us. Meridian and Wave Sweeper also came in.

Day 133 - Wednesday 2 September - Gili Bodo - Labuan Bajo, Flores Island
08°31.020S 119°52.049E
Left at 9am and motor sailed with the wind on the nose and anchored at 2pm off the Eco Lodge about 2 miles south of the town. Boat boys came straight away - we looked for ours but they didn't come so we got Rum Le and Geoffrey - each boat gets a yacht to look after. They took us to town (25,000 rp return - about $3.20). We found our other boat boys and gave them some photos we had done off for them. Then we went to dinner at the Mata Hari restaurant - very good food. Sounds like a restaurant like home but it is just a rumah makarn - thatched ceilings and open air - really nice with ice cold beer. The rally people were meeting at The Corner which appeared to be European owned. A lot of tourists come here as it is the jumping off place for Komodo and Rinca. Our boat boys were waiting for us and took us back.
Miles: 20 Total: 3,565

Day 134 - Thursday 3 September - Labuan Bajo, Flores Island
Got 100 litres of fuel from our boat boys and then went to town to take our passports in for visa renewal. We had to give our passports in and wont seem them again for another couple of weeks which is slightly worrying. Walked down a very long street with very interesting shops which had everything from propellers to material to wireless microphones. Amazing what you can find there. Had dinner with Jean and Dave at a place called Persona or something like that - Balanise style and the absolutely best food we have had so far. Were joined by Meridian and Wave Sweeper and Brio who had finally got his engine fixed and made it here. Our boat boys were waiting for us and took us back.

Day 135 - Friday 4 September - Labuan Bajo, Flores Island
Went to town early and went to the markets by bemo (van) and Rum Le came too which was a great help. Bought pawpaw, potatoes, tomatoes, mangos, carrots, shallots, pineapples etc Left the stuff on the boat and did some food shopping as we had intended to leave tomorrow. Rum Le and Geoffrey took us back to our boat and then collected us again at 3pm and we went to The Corner to try to do some internet stuff - was very slow and then it disappeared. We took Geoffrey and Rum Le to the Persona restaurant with David and Jean. Peter had to explain to them about not smoking at the table and they took that well. They chose the most expensive meal on the menu - about $4.50 and thoroughly enjoyed it. Their meal cost more than they earn in a day!!

Fair Winds
Dell and Peter

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