Passage from Hoga to Taka Lambaena, Bone Rate (Tiger I slands) - 1st to 3rd September
Passage from Hoga to Taka Lambaena, Bone Rate
We set off around noon on the 1st to head to the next main island along the Wakatobi group called Tomia. It was a 28Nm motor due to the lack of wind on this pleasant afternoon passage. We anchored in around 20 metres just off the main town on the island in a very rolling anchorage that was open to the swell from the south. Oli, Sally and Liam went ashore to buy fruit and vegetables, however failed as the islands main market was closed for the day.
When they returned after their motorbike ride around the island, we set sail to an atoll called Karang Kaledupa some 15Nm miles away. It was very late in the afternoon when we set off which meant that the majority of the short passage was in the dark. Approaching the atoll in the pitch black via an unmarked pass in MaxSea was rather scary to say the least. We had to follow the route that Cookie Cutter had taken when they arrived in the daylight. The boys spent the last hour on the foredeck with the searchlight trying to locate the bottom. We eventually arrived at 9pm and tied up to a red buoy next to Cookie Cutter.
The atoll did not have a great deal to offer in the daylight the following morning, so we set off on the 160Nm sail south west to Taka Lambaena, Bone Rate. It was a very comfortable passage that day sailing at a reach for the majority of the time. Several hours into the passage, we hooked into a Marlin which gave an amazing aerial display once hooked before the hook pulled out from its mouth. This got the boys very excited indeed! The wind died throughout the afternoon and into the night gradually slowing us down.
At 7am on the 3rd, we were still 40Nm from the atoll sailing at a rather slow speed of around 3 knots. At 8am, the engine went on for the remainder of the passage. That morning, with the rods out, we went through numerous flocks of diving birds and shoals of feeding fish on the surface, yet we caught nothing. At one point, the surface of the water was bubbling with the shear volume of fish which seemed to ignore our colourful lures. Around lunchtime, Charlie caught a small Wahoo which was too small to eat and so it was thrown back.
We eventually arrived at the atoll of Taka Lambaena around 2pm that afternoon and had to wind our way into the shallow lagoon passing numerous coral heads along the way. That afternoon, Sally and the boys went for a dinghy ride to the beach by the local village on the island. As soon as they landed on the beach, the whole village came to greet them clearly showing that hardly any yachts had passed through here before. The entire village seemed to follow them around as they wandered through the island. They then took a dinghy ride to the outer part of the atoll near the drop-off and spent some time snorkelling. The water was crystal clear and the individual coral heads were full of life. That evening, we sat watching a rather special sunset and throughout the night, we lay there listening to the wailing from the islands mosque.