Passage pics and update

Fri 18 Nov 2016 10:19
05:27.377S 122:37.263E

Silver seas and brewing thunder heads.

Having made it safely past the various obstacles we arrived in Bau-Bau, Sulawesi just before dawn and, as soon as we were safely anchored, we sank into a deep catch up sleep, from which we were rudely awakened by knocking on the hull. It was someone from the harbour master. He wanted us to move, we were too close to the ferry, and he wanted us to go to the harbour master office “For copy! Copy!”. We upped anchor and moved then gave him photocopies of everything we could think of, from passports, through boat registration, to inside leg measurements and he was happy. He had things to file so that was all right.

Flying fish runways messing up the lovely smooth surface.

Next day we got ourselves ashore in search of diesel. We were aware that this might be difficult. There used to be a law in Indonesia that made it illegal to sell fuel to foreigners, it’s been changed but the news doesn’t seem to have been broadcast. The Italians on Gioel, who we met in Wayag, told us how they even took a customs officer with them to the petrol station to explain it was OK, and they still wouldn’t sell them diesel. In the end they had to fill the customs man’s car and siphon it out into jerry cans - they can’t forget the sight of the customs man in his fancy uniform sucking on a tube to siphon fuel out of his car for them!

Indonesian fishing trawler - this one had a light!

However, we were in luck. Firstly, when we landed on the ferry pier, there was a man who spoke a little English and who wanted to chat. Phil got him to understand what we needed. He asked the police man who had a hut just nearby who called a friend and an hour or so later 25 assorted containers full of diesel turned up. Most were old vegetable oil containers, most had caps, some just had plastic bags tied on with string, but only one was actually sealed. The other caps just acted as splash resisters, as soon as the containers were tilted the diesel just poured out. It took 4 trips in the dinghy to get them aboard and everything got slick…

Whilst we were waiting one of the chaps gave Phil a lift on a moped to an ATM, then took me to the fruit market so we could re-stock. We badly needed it. It feels sad when the only thing left in the fruit net is an onion. Off we went in the thick of the traffic, ignoring red lights, going on the wrong side of the road when it was convenient and hearing the calls of “Hey Mister!” at every junction. It seems a white haired whitey on the back of a moped was an event worthy of comment in Bau-Bau. 

So, here we are, all refuelled and ready to go again but at this point I need to make an explanation. We were going to head for Kalimantan, to see the orangutangs, and then go on to Singapore, but we’ve needed to change plans. Remember when we left Wayag and headed South again, stupidly on a Friday? We had that little incident with the broken forestay? Well I didn’t want to worry you so I failed to mention that in the process of sail recovery Phil managed to acquire a hernia. A bit of a nuisance really as it meant that he couldn’t do all those sailory type things, like pulling ropes, lifting things or winding winches. In fact, for the first few days he basically had to lie down as much as possible. He’s recovering well, has worked out ways of doing things without putting strain on his stomach muscles, and has been able to climb in and out of the dinghy and such but sometimes Herman the Hernia pops out when he’s doing nothing more offensive than standing up, or washing a few dishes. So, clearly, we need to get it fixed. Phil went to see the doctor, but there’s no safe place to leave the boat here so we’ve been OKed to sail to Bali, where there’s a marina and big hospitals, on the understanding that I do all the pulling type stuff. So, yet again, we’ve changed our plans and it looks like we’ll see a little more of Indonesia than we intended to!


Some of the Strange Things we’ve had to dodge and the warship that circled us and radioed us for our details. Happily he didn’t want to stop by for ‘copies’!