North Bangka to Mesanak Island

Sat 29 Oct 2016 03:05
000:25.89N 104:31.43E

Monday, 17th we left Bangka en route for the Mesanack in the Riau group of Islands.  The route would take us back across the equator and into the Northern hemisphere again.  We set off with a good wind directly from behind.  Up went the mainsail and Syd poled out the genoa and we sailed a very nice 6-7 knots.  Not for long, the wind started to die and on went the motor.  Then we had enough wind to try again and it was yet another frustrating sail.  We crossed the equator at 4.00am on Syd’s watch and headed up between the islands of the Lingaa group where we managed to get in some decent sailing minus the short choppy seas.  We arrived at Messanack late morning and spent the rest of the day there.  The most interesting thing that happened there was that we managed to find a home for the ‘Turin Shroud’.  A local fisherman came past in his canoe and decided to engage Syd in conversation (pretty one sided!), a lot of pointing and arm waving went on and the fisherman left with a big sail on the front of his canoe and a big beaming smile.  Apparently he was going to use it to protect his home from the downpours which happen regularly in this part of the world.  It was a really good feeling getting a well deserved home for a sail which had got Gaviota across several Oceans, a genuine case of re-cycling (shame the Tate Modern won’t ever get it now!).

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