We sailed from Rinca this morning heading north past Komodo before turning west for the rest of the day. The first pass that we sailed through had strong currents and Laroobaa scooted along at 14kn! Exhilarating stuff.
As we sailed in the hot hot sun with little wind we had turned on the engine and motor sailed for most of the day. Extinct but very impressive volcanoes flanked our passage left and right - there are hundreds of active and extinct volcanoes here - no wonder it is so hot near the equator.(!)
We arrived at our destination, Wera, around 16.00. We had one other yacht for company, the Catamaran 'Nautibouy Too' (this yacht can motor at 20kn and sail at 17kn - 62ft and beautiful...) This Moslem village is known for boat building using traditional methods. Three one hundred foot boats are currently under construction propped up by growing trees on the shore. The sand is black from the volcano. We were greeted by dozens of kids shouting 'hello mister'. Women ran over to Juliette and Hugo pinching their cheeks for good luck, sniffing and kissing them. The kids were overwhelmed as 20+ people thronged around each and we struggled to keep order.
The village was a surprise - tar sealed roads between small houses neatly built in rows with open sewers for general rubbish and toilets apparently plumbed separately. Each house had electricity, some had TVs. As we arrived several cattle were being offloaded from a boat. Half an hour later one was carried up the street by four men - throat cut in the Halal manner. There are no banks, no restaurants, no supermarkets - this is primitive and basic. Small shops, the front of homes, selling mango, eggs, noodles, aubergine and other unknown greens.
We came across an old lady sitting alone, tied into an ancient weaving contraption. Using what appeared to be local wools she was creating an amazingly intricate tartan - fine lines running parallel and perpendicular - she was clearly a master of her craft. Simonne's eyes lit up - this would be a meaningful purchase. The lady however had different ideas. She scowled and gesticulated for us to 'get lost' she wanted nothing to do with us. We left, a little shocked. It is so unusual for us not to be welcomed everywhere and later this caused some introspection as we acknowledged our arrogance. Who do we think we are to think that everyone is going to welcome us into their village? We come bearing what? Western influence like the lollies that are now rotting the kids teeth, we bring tobacco and it is killing their men and denying food for the family as hard fought ruppiah are wasted. These people are lucky to earn $1 per day and they have a way of life that has looked after them f
or hundreds of years. The Dutch took what they could over hundreds of years of oppressive rule and these remote villages have every right to have no respect for or welcome the white man - and he would be arrogant to think otherwise.
Wera has been fascinating. Tomorrow we will up anchor at 05.00 and head 100NM to 'Scar Reef' Hopefully we will have tide with us, as we did today, as 100NM before nightfall is a big ask - maybe we will leave a little earlier - we have a full moon and weather permitting, it could be excellent.