Thousand Islands

Mon 9 May 2011 09:44
May 4th 2011
Anchorage in the lagoon off P Genting Besar 5:37.1S 106:33.24E
Indonesia is a nation of islands, and this chain: the 'Thousand Islands' is spread out in a line north of Jakarta. Despite its proximity to the Capital the area is relativley unspoilt, although many of the Islands are privetely owned, with big houses, jetties, and guards. Most of the Islands have encircling reefs, with no anchorage possibilities, but this hole that I'm in (it's 22 metres deep!) is a good find, thanks to the Sail Indonesia Organisation that we sailed with last year. No other yachts anywhere at all, but lots of local fishing boats, all quite friendly. a very peaceful anchorage, with those lovely turquoise colours on the reefs themselves, as the sun goes down. A long trip here from the Bangka Strait; after my adventures with the boiling batteries (still fine, touch wood), and the ploiceman, there was a very hot day motoring down the featureless Strait, enlivened only by a carpet of floating logs, all sawn, and obviously escaped from a pretty big ship. They were mostly in big clusters, but several submerged 'growlers caught us, but I dont think any more than cosmetic damage was inflicted. When it got dark I headed for the south shore, anchoring in pitch black in about 6metres of mud, and from my charts about a mile offshore. Oddly I was invaded by small flies, dozens of them, and my mosquito netting quite ineffective. A niusance, but they didn't bite. In the morning (05.30) I was a little shocked to find myself anchored about 50 metres from a fish trap: these are big things, on stilts. Nets are spread between posts driven into the seabed. Walkways go over the posts, and there is a hut where all the gear is stored. At first I thought how lucky I was not to have hit it, then I thought how fantastic that I managed to get so close, purely by chance to the only fish trap for miles around! Still, it explained the flies! After that early morning start it was a 36 hour sleepless slog down the Jave Sea, with the usual nightly worries with thundersqualls and fishing fleets. No wnoder this anchorage seems so very pleasant!