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Published: August 23rd 2014
Going East with SUNDOWNER
Finally we make it!!!! For me this is the First time cruising with our SUNDOWNER. A 48ft motorsailer-catamaran . But Reinhold already did many cruises with his previous boat. We started the cruise on the 16th of March 2011. This time we go East. FLORES. We always dream to go to Flores. We planned to go around Flores with our motorbike but never make it. Until we have this boat where the fun begun.
Labuhan Poh, South Lombok
We left Serangan Bay around 6am. We went slowly due to fuel saving consumption. We reached Labuhan Poh afternoon. We come to this place quite often with charter guest. Drop the anchor and stayed over night. Good anchorage. It’s mud, perfect for our anchor type.
Gili Air, Lombok
The next morning at 8 am we headed Gili Air. Arrived at 3 pm and grab the mooring. The harbor charge Rp. 50,000 per day for the mooring. We met our neighbor Lambo, a small Phinisi. They left Gili Air to Bali that night. We had a BBQ and then went sleep early since we have to wake up early next morning for a longer trip.
Bedil Island, West Sumbawa
We left Gili Air very early. This is where the challenge begun. We did or (me especially) our first night sailing. We took shift. And when my shift came, 7pm – 12 midnight I hardly can steer the boat. We do not have an autopilot yet. So we had to be concentrated 100%!f(MISSING)or steering. My eyes can not be far from Compass and the GPS. It was dark and I could not hold the course. The boat went zig zag. Reinhold was trying to get some rest on the bench at the back and I did not stop bitching around and yelling that I could not hold the course. Then he stood up and again teach me how to steer. I managed steering for the next 4 hours. Arghh…. There is always something for the first time in a life.
After more than 24 hours passage finally we reached Bedil Island. What a wonderful place. White beach and snorkel just around the boat. This Bedil island now become our favorite place. It is our paradise. We stayed over night there and the next morning when we want to get off the anchor, the trouble begun. I had almost the anchor up but then the anchor winch was loose and I dropped more chain to the water. And seems like the anchor was tangled around the reef. I got panic and nervous attack. Reinhold pulled the anchor with the engine and luckily we made it.
Badas Harbour, West Sumbawa
Anchor up and we set to go to the Badas Harbor as we worried about our fuel. It was only 14 mile from Bedil Island. We went along the coast. The scenery pretty nice and clean. We arrived at Badas around noon. We approached some fishing boats and asked how they can help us to get the fuel. Then we dropped the anchor and couple minutes later a boy came with canoe and offered the service to get the fuel. So we agreed with the price, Rp. 6,000 per liter including the transport. The boy gone and I got ready and went to the shore. But confusingly I didn’t find the boy who offered the service and the mobile was not active :-( So I got a ojek and drive to Amir house. Then I handed the cash and went back to the harbor where the Harbor-Master already waited for me to do the harbor clearance. I went to the boat to get the papesr and went to the office of the harbor-master. Rp. 100,000 for the harbormaster and we got the clearance paper up to Labuhan Bajo. Half an hour later we got the fuel.
Danggar Kecil, Sumbawa Besar
We went to the next destination, Danggar Kecil. It is not so far from Badas Harbor. The island is look similar as Bedil island. We didn’t go for snorkeling. Just relaxing at our Milano chairs. While I prepared the dinner, a fisherman came and asked weather we have Cigarette. Unfortunately we don’t have any. So this went to my notes block. Will get cigarette for fish barter. The island was quite busy with fisherman. But was safe.
Labuhan Situhoh; West Komodo
After night sailing again we arrived at Sangeang Mountain around midnight. As this is the first time for us so we did not want to take any risk. We circled around Sangeang with one engine on idle. Wait until we could see something. When the sun rising we continued the trip to Banta Island. But was stressful. Tried to get place for anchor, unfortunately could not find anything safe. The area is rocky, we even saw sticking rock on the surface far from the beach. The island is stunning. White beach with perfect scenery. But then we decided to go to the next island, Komodo. The current was so strong. We almost can’t make it. The boat almost went backward. But we didn’t want another night sailing. We checked out one Bay called Labuhan Situhoh and it was good. Even little bit choppy but the landscape is amazing. We were trying to look for white clear water for anchor but quite difficult. However we just drop the anchor and pulled out more chain.
The next day we left not so early since the next bay is not so far. Went along the rocky coast with strong current. We reached the next bay by noon followed by a local boat. They were screaming on us and offered us a mooring. But we decided to do anchor. The place is peaceful and very calm. The water look little bit green more like a lake. Not for swimming but restful.
Labuhan Bajo; Flores
The following day we set the course to Labuhan Bajo. But the current against us was too strong. It was low tide. We did not make it. This time our boat really went backward. Then we went to Nyanyi Bay and grabbed a big mooring. We waited till high tide. So we could do maintenance of our engine. Had a problem with the remote cable. Was hard, really hard. We tried to take the cable out, put WD 40 and greased them. But still can not run smooth. We give it up, installed them again. Made our quick lunch and left with the high tide. During the trip we saw incredible landscapes. So many island close side by side. White beaches. Perfect for snorkeling and diving. Just 1 mile before we reached Labuhan Bajo harbor, we were excited to see our former neighbor in Serangan Bay (Bali),
Boat. We entered the harbor and greeted by Vincent and Miete, the crew of
. With big happy smile face they guided us to a free mooring. So here we come. Labuhan Bajo was our main destination. Had a little chat with them then they gone and we were busy with our own things.
With help from Miete’s uncle, Yacob we got the fuel supplied. We went with motorbike to the fuel station and chartered a bemo for the fuel. Yacob fee is Rp, 1,000 per liter. So it cost us Rp, 5,500 per liter. Both fuel tanks are full and we can relax.
Labuhan Bajo is quite a
big little city
. Trans Nusa Airline fly daily. Around 2 hours from Denpasar. Sisca, our maid managed to buy and sent the remote cable via Trans Nusa. We installed the new cable and it’s running normal again. Another relief.
We craving for the good food already. I went to market and get some food-stuff. You can get many kind of veggies. Chicken is also available daily on the market. But beef only on Wednesday and Saturday. So our new friend Yacob ordered for us one day in advance and we got it the next morning. The meat was good and tender. Almost same quality like what we got in Bali.
We didn’t go around the city much. We had one time dinner at the Lounge restaurant. Had pizza but that didn’t impressed Reinhold much since he was disappointed not get Bintang Beer. The holy drink for him
We stayed on a borrowed mooring for 6 days. The people are friendly. The neighbors are helpful. But the Harbormaster is quite complicated. They came and check our boat for clearance. And as usual Rp. 100,000 for the paper.
Enough relaxing, we continued the trip and left Labuhan Bajo and said goodbye to our dearest friends Miete and Vincent. They greeted us back with
have a nice trip
. We went to the next Bay, Seraya. Only 6 miles from Labuhan Bajo. As usual we had trouble to find a good anchor place. Island in Flores are mostly rocky. Went from corner to corner and finally -with doubt- we dropped the anchor at the fisherman village which is usually a good place. A couple hours later we had thunderstorm, strong winds and heavy rain. The anchor didn’t hold. We went sideways close to the jetty on the Island. I put on my raincoat and started to pull the anchor up. Then we went back to Labuhan Bajo in heavy rain and bad visibility. I called Miete asked weather any free mooring in Labuhan bajo and lucky we got one. The same mooring which we borrowed for the last 6 days.
The next day we left Labuhan Bajo and set the course to Riung. No rain, no heavy wind and we did night sailing again.
Riung is popular with it’s 7 islands. They are really spectacular islands. This time we do not have any problem with anchorage. It was on sand & grass. We fell in love with this place. We stayed 9 days.
Second day in Riung I went to the local market. It was quite far. About 20 minutes with our small dinghy. Went with ojek to the market and expecting a real market like in Labuhan Bajo. But the market was empty. Only 2 people selling very basic veggies. I bought some and asked about chicken and beef. They said they sell only life chicken and I have to cut it by myself. I never execute any chicken in my life. So we went the Ayam Pedaging and got 3 life chicken. The ojek boy was helpful. He prepared hot water and cut the chickens.
Another challenge is to get the Gas LPG. In Riung people use kerosene to cook. But we were lucky. Adam helped us to get it in Bajawa. Which is 1 hour from Riung. That was the most expensive LPG we ever paid. It was Rp. 260,000 including the fee for Adam. But at least we got it.
And we had a wonderful dinner on he remote island. Chicken Fondue!!! Nothing more perfect than this…. Then we continue to be lazy persons for the next 7 days.
Kalao Toa, South Sulawesi
We went up to South Sulawesi. We set the course to Kalao Toa. Was also 24 hours passage. Again heavy rain. And my mood swung up and down. I thought its better to stay in the house, curled up on the cozy sofa and watch DVD rather then got wet all nite long since we don’t have side covers for our fly- bridge. Well….. sailing its not always about good time. Its about experiencing any kind of condition. Cool breeze or strong wind. Blue sky with sun shining or heavy rain.
We arrived in Kalao Toa around 7am. The weather was not that good. Grey smoky sky and choppy anchorage.
Couple hours later we had guest on Board. Nurly. Guy in middle age. Told us that about 7 years ago he was a captain of fishing boat. They went to Darwin and were caught by marine police and put him in jail for about 1 month. And the boat was destroyed. He told so naive to us that he didn’t even know that they were fishing in Australia water. He said they just go with compass and do not have any sea chart. Believe or not.
He was so impressed with our boat. Loved the music we played. And fell asleep on board for about 2 hours! And I don’t know what to do. Then Reinhold just said straight to him that we wanted to get rest and asked him politely to go.
Since then we were very careful to invite people on board.
Pakardi, South Sulawesi
We left not so early. We arrived at Pakardi around 11am. Was beautiful. We stayed 2 nites there. Watched DVD after dinner. Got accompanied by fishermen who anchored next to our boat.
To be continued…….
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