Tanimbar Islands

Lars Alfredson
Sat 30 Mar 2019 19:53
POS 07:58.69S 131:17.35E

Saumlaki, Pulau Yamdena

We had decided to have another go at getting an visa extension for Urban. We therefore headed to Tanimbar Islands some 240 NM SSE from Banda.
We soon picked up a fresh westerly wind, having a great sail doing 10 kts at times. Day two of our crossing the wind died and we were motoring again. We ended up approaching Saumlaki in pitch dark avoiding all the wooden fishing platforms anchored all over the bay.

On Saturday morning we moved closer to the town and headed ashore in search of the immigration office. A sweaty walk later and some help of google maps we stood outside the office. A knock on the door and nothing happened. Testing the handle, locked. Shit! Several knocks later a young officer opened the door and let us in.
Now a long discussion started about a visa extension for Urban. We finally had to accept that the information we had from embassies and web pages etc. was wrong. There is only a few big airports that can issue the extension that he needed.
Urban had to leave the country to apply for a new visa.
We decided to head for Timor Leste (East Timor) some 350 NM to the west. Now the long procedure of clearing out started. All the visas was cancelled, new crew lists written. Stamps, lots of stamps. Customs office contacted and visited for more paperwork.
When this was going on it started to rain. The rain got heavier and heavier and heavier until it was a river outside. Ivan was getting more and more upset (left his hatch open).
Paperwork done they wanted to inspect the boat. The rain finally let up and we could get back on board. One soaked cabin! More rain, more waitng before I could take the officers ashore.
A drink on board and dinner at a hotel a walk around the market and we were done for the day. After Ivan pumped up his air mattress to sleep on.

Sunday morning we left for Timor and I managed to hit one of the fishing platforms on the way out to sea. And it is not April 1 until tomorrow!