Blog 72. 22 October 2019. Belitung to Gelasa and Bangka.
Sun 27 Oct 2019 08:58
With ordinary torch light and so many people, maybe a little overwhelming for the Tarsier
The following day, haircuts on the beach, another windy afternoon preparing the boat for going to sea again and a final supper shore.
Hair dressing salon on the beach
After important appointments like hairdresser, other jobs like preparing the boat for the 100+nm sail to Bangka, which we knew was a dubious anchorage. We decided to split the trip and spend a night at Gelasa, an uninhabited island that PawPaw had anchored off successfully. Wonderful snorkelling over great coral, some of the best yet and although the bay was a bit rolly, we had a peaceful night and an early start to do the remaining 62nm to Banka.
Local fishing boat well inside the reef. This was a good anchorage in that we were clearly anchored in sand beyond the reef and the holding was excellent
All motor sailing with very little wind en route to Bangka, with a new sort of FAD and some very odd looking boats which we discovered later were sifting the sand for tin, making for very variable echo soundings.
The latest fashion in FADS, much bigger than previous ones and clearly lived on
We knew the Bangka anchorage would be very dodgy, having very little shelter from any wind except the west and when a squall arrived just after we anchored, it was just like being at sea but worse. We anchored not far from Kandiba, who had arrived that morning’ and it was getting dark and too late to move, so we endured very rough conditions until the wind dropped at about 10pm, when the boat changed from pitch and roll to just roll. Yuk. So an early start and a WhatsApp from Raymond to say he had organised for us to anchor in the river on the north of the Island, some 50 odd miles on, but worth every inch we had to motor sail for a flat, safe anchorage.
A very nice, calm anchorage just off the main pier and the fishing “harbour” and....
Coming out to welcome us, the sea scouts in their rib, having a great time “helping” the yachts to anchor.
We were first to arrive to find Raymond already there. His plan all along had been to try and organise the locals to look after the boats in the river anchorage and to test its suitability for next year’s rally. The anchorage off the resort that we were meant to be in was just as bad last year and obviously unacceptable and we warned that we would discourage any other yachts from anchoring there. In the end, 10 boats came up the river while 6 boats arrived too late to move and endured one horrendous night and another slightly better night.
Tomorrow we go by bus for the welcome ceremony, about 90 minutes drive, so 07.30 on the beach ready to go.
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