The island of Banda - 30th July to 3rd August

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Thu 3 Sep 2009 04:45

The island of Banda – 30th July to 3rd August


Astra arrived into Banda at 4pm on the 30th and dropped anchor in a large bay with approximately 40 other yachts.  The anchorage was very scenic with a large volcano towering over the island.  The island was a complete contrast to Tual.  We were free to do as we wished and explore at our own leisure.


We befriended a large powerboat, Georgia II, owned by a group of Australian pub owners during our time on the island.  During the first night on the island, the boys went out for dinner with the owners and crew from the boat.  The boat seemed to be the centre of attention for nightly parties over the next few days.  Saturday, 1st August (Sally’s pre birthday night) saw a huge party lasting right through the night onboard the powerboat.  The owner was kind enough to provide alcohol to everyone onboard with Sally managing to obtain an endless supply of champagne.  Sally’s 49th Birthday was celebrated in style whilst dancing and meeting dozens of other yachties from all over the world.


It wasn’t all partying during our time on the island of Banda.  We, along with several other yachts hired a local boat for two days to take us on diving trips to two smaller islands off Banda (Hatta and Ai).  We borrowed equipment from Alain of Babagnaff to allow us to make a couple of dives during each trip to these smaller islands. 


We made a couple of snorkeling trips to a lava flow from the recently active volcano on the island.  The lava field had made its way into the sea causing an abundant coral garden just below sea level.  The snorkeling here was extremely impressive and the visibility was superb.  The dinghy ride from Astra’s anchorage to this site was very scenic, however very long and with 5 of us in the dinghy; it took around 30 minutes just to reach this snorkelling site.


The tiny island of Banda had a great deal of Dutch influence with many impressive buildings and gardens.  We all spent the first half of Sally’s birthday with hangovers from the previous night on Georgia II and had to force ourselves to meet with Peter and Virginia from Saildance for lunch to celebrate the occasion.


During our time on Banda we met a bunch of people from the two yachts, Felicity (Loz and Lachy) and Layaleeta (Les, Sky, Trent, Dam, Anny and Katie) who were following each other around Indonesia.  They were a young, fun bunch who were keen to party every night and this was to be the case for many nights to come.