Passage from Bitung to Wangi Wangi, Wakatobi - 21st to 25th August

Jeremy & Sally Paul
Thu 3 Sep 2009 04:46

Passage from Bitung to Wangi Wangi, Wakatobi – 21st to 25th August


Distance = 496Nm.  We set off from Bitung around 2pm after a supermarket trip and refuelling thanks to Oli.  Shortly after leaving Bitung, we entered some very choppy waters.  There was wind, swell and current against us and so we had to motor.  Astra was only making around 4 knots through the water due to the 2 knot adverse current.  The first night was pretty rough.


Day two into the sail (Oli’s birthday!) we crossed the equator and wished him a Happy 23rd Birthday!  Sorry to say this Oli but that day sailing was pretty damn boring!  Again a bouncy day with the elements against us, still we pressed further south. 


Due to the prevailing wind direction and swell, we had to sail to a small island in the southern region of Banggai, arriving there at 10am on the 23rd after a 245Nm sail/motor from Bitung.  We dropped anchor on the east side of this small island in 25 metres of water.  Shortly after arrival, Oli, Charlie and Liam took the dinghy ashore to see what the snorkelling was like and check out the beach.  They reported back saying that both were excellent on this tiny island.  The coastline was full of tiny sandy bays, caves and overhanging cliffs on this rocky island. 


A few hours later, everyone except Jeremy took the dinghy ashore for a few drinks.  As soon as they landed on the beach, a local boat went past and headed straight for Astra, the locals thinking that no one would be onboard.  Jeremy was rather surprised to see 6 locals board and sit on the aft deck.  Oli and Liam left the beach to assist Jeremy in whatever was going on onboard Astra.  After that, we decided to up anchor and leave the island due to the uncertainty of what these locals really wanted.


It was then a 249Nm sail further south to Wangi Wangi, an island in the Wakatobi district.  We tried to sail the majority of the way from Banggai to Wangi Wangi, having to repeatedly tack to sail into the wind.  At approximately 10am on the 24th, we caught a Dorado (Mahi Mahi) somewhere in the region of 25lbs.  During that evening, the wind died considerably and the motor went on for the last 60 miles.  We arrived in Wangi Wangi at 9am on the 25th and had to tie up to a mooring buoy outside of a shallow reef.