A slow and uneventful passage brought us to the
island of Lembata. Many of the fleet had opted to visit Alor, further west but
we decided we were partied out and wanted swimming rather than beer. We anchored
in the south of the island in an attractive bay but were unable to land due to
the swell that was crashing spectacularly on the beach. Consequently we headed
north the following morning through a passage with a strong tide that meant we
were travelling at nearly 10 knots for a while.
Our anchorage was to the
north east of the island of Adunara and we were in sight of 3 volcanoes. One had
river of semi molten lava running down its flank which was very obvious at night
and this one appeared to be steaming gently.
I suspect, however, that
what appears to be smoke is in fact a cloud formed due to the heating of the
moist air above the volcanoes hot crater. Neither volcano is supposed to be
active according to the US Geological Survey.
It was good
to be able to swim again and Peter did some good bombs.
The reef was mostly in
good condition but there were few large fish and many just a few centimetres.
The locals were out in force everyday using every method they could to catch
chap was catching octopus by hand by feeling around under likely
We were visited a number of times by
locals, some on the scrounge but mostly trying to sell fish, bananas,
pearls or other types of jewellery..
This is our banana
salesman in one of the smallest canoes we have seen here.
I was tempted to ask for a go in his
canoe...but all their canoes look as if they may harbour all sorts of bugs that
might make their home in bits of my anatomy.
There were many soft
corals with delicate colours
and some young
staghorn coral, home to many seeking its protection.
Some of the most
beautiful creatures were the masses of impressively coloured sea
anchorage provided some relaxation after the urban grime of Kupang.
Annoyingly we had a couple of
minor disasters. I managed to drop the filler cap for the diesel tank into 22
metres of water...irretrievably deep. Fortunately the cap for the holding tank
fits so we used that and now have a large cork plug there which is an excellent
fit. More annoyingly was that I seem to have broken Lorraine's camera by taking
it too deep whilst taking this not very special photo.