|The kids from Pantar|
|The Market at Balaurin|
We made an early morning departure from Alor and pushed tide for the entire day. At one point we were actually going backwards. Well, we were going forward at 5 knots but the current was stronger than that so we were going nowhere. We anchored in a nice protected bay on the island of Pantar and were swamped with kids wanting handouts and they were starting to become a bother. We stayed an extra day to do some engine maintenance and were bothered that whole day also. The next night was a neat little spot by the town of Balaurin. We went to visit the town in the morning and we think that the school was let out, and a national holiday was made just for our visit. We had easily 50 kids in school uniforms walking with us through the streets just wanting to be in our presence. It's as close as we ever felt to being a 'Rock Star'.
|Some school girls in Balaurin|
|They made a Local School Holiday for us|
|Pretty simple housing|
|Very creative way to bundle two coconuts for sale at the market|
We were going to do the standard 30 mile day to the next little bay but instead opted for an easier 10 miler and went to the town of Lewaling. The anchorage was calm and protected. The village was small and lacked the normal plastic trash strewn everywhere. We opted to stay an extra day and made the plan to try to have some town ladies make a beach barbecue for us. Ray from PARLAY speaks some Indonesian and was able to locate the town chief who then arranged with the ladies. This is a good way to help the local economy, have a nice evening on the beach, and eat what the locals eat. This turned out to be one of the best things we have done so far. It was so original, the towns people were thrilled to do this for us. The cost was $7 per person and we think the proceeds were going to help with construction costs for the Catholic Church.
We left the following morning and opted to anchor at the town of Sagu on Adonara Island. Our anchorage of choice would have been Gedong but it has limited space for about 4 boats and there were already 6 in there. Sagu was a little choppy but turned out to be fine.
The next day we had great wind and made some good distance to anchor on the island of Pulu Besar. This is a small Muslim fishing village, quite protected and cute. The prayer caller did not even have a microphone. Just used his voice. Go figure. The fishing fleet of Put-Puts, as we call them because of the loud air cooled one cylinder diesel engines, left at sundown and came back in at sunrise and hopefully caught their catch on the reef that night. They seemed to be quite loud and happy about things that morning on the beach.
|Preschool in Lewaling|
|We invaded the old folks Blood Pressure Clinic|
|Our little buddies|
|The Catholic Church|
|The Lewaling Beach Barbecue|
|A great local meal. Check out the coconut spoon to eat it with.|
Kolisia to Labuhan Bajo
|Volcano by Lewaling|
|Fishing Village on Pulu Besar|
|The waterfront of Kolisia|
The next anchorage was another 30 mile leg to the town of Riung. We anchored in nice hard sand in front of town by the floating dock and ended up staying 2 days. We went to dinner the first night with the usual suspects from LUNA BLU, ALUA, and LAZY LADY. I had the dingy tie up all figured out and knew that we would lose a meter of tide before we got back from dinner. Well, nothing happens fast in Indonesia and dinner took four hours and the poor dingy was high and dry at 8PM. Accomplished a little electrical work the second day and took the dinghy out to some islands and went snorkeling on the coral. Dagmar and Christoph from FLOMEIDA arrived and we went to dinner at Murah Muriah, the best Indonesian restaurant we have found so far.
The next leg was another 30 miles to Lingeh. We were apprehensive about going here because other sail blogs had written about mobs of aggressive children and adults coming to the boats wanting handouts. As is more the rule than not, don't believe everything you read. The children were very polite and came with things to trade. A much better situation than we encountered at Pantar. We ended up with 3 coconuts, 30 bananas, 5 eggplants, and a bag of tomatoes. We traded away some solar sidewalk lights, a few old catalogs, fish hooks, and my hat. The catalog went to a kid named Ricky. He spoke the best English of all the kids and probably has a much larger vocabulary now thanks to Whitworth's Marine.
We then went 39 miles to a highly praised island anchorage called Gili Bodo. Once again, don't believe everything you read. The anchorage was real deep, the
anchor just bounced along the coral bottom and
never stuck in. The winds were blowing
hard into the little bay, and the island was on fire. Like really on fire. Wind fed flames, smoke, and ash were blowing
all over. With all these things working
against making this a good place to spend the night, we left and headed to
Labuan Bajo. Fortunately we had enough
daylight and good wind to go another 16 miles and arrive before sunset.
|These were our 'fans'. The football game was secondary|
|The dinghy dock in Riung. Tortuguita on the right|
|A 'Spider' Boat in Riung.|
|The usual suspects at dinner in Riung|
|Gotta have that Satellite Television|
|Kids in Riung|
Labuan Bajo is the biggest town since Kupang. We saw a few jets arriving and there are quite a few resort/lodge places on the beaches as we headed toward out anchorage at Waecicu. We grabbed the last of the moorings with help from Peter and Nelly on ALUA, and went to dinner at the Sylvia Resort with the usual suspects plus DANA FELICIA and FLOMEIDA. The rest of the Rally fleet is 2-5 days behind us.
|The 5 Star Restaurant Murah Muriah|
|The ubiquitous Fish Trap Buoy|
|Ricky (front) and his brother. He thanks Whitworth's|
|I traded my hat for tomatoes.|
|Boat kids in Lingeh eating the last of our Australian chocolate cake|