Our position is 04:26:17S 122:56:42E
Ambon gave us more wonderful experiences and a little excitement.
The excitement we could do without, but at least it did not harm us. The chosen anchorage was generally bad. Off this rather exposed beach (see previous position) were not only the yachts from the Indonesian Rally, but also 14 yachts from the Darwin to Ambon Race. This is a traditional regatta which is again gaining popularity after the unrest of 99 and onwards. At least two, possibly more boats from the Race ended up high and dry with some resulting damages including rudder failure. We were woken and 0330 by a Pan Pan call from a boat that had gotten off the beach, drifting helplessly without rudder. We spent a few our in our dinghy in torrential rain trying to help out. It was pitch dark of course, but we succeeded in helping the rudderless boat to a new and better anchorage. Then we spent an hour more to get another boat off the beach, though with yet another boat's stern line around the prop. Mayhem.
This anchorage is a lousy one, and Ambon is not the best place to fix resulting problems.
The Rally boats anchored more wisely further out. We spent some uncomfortable time there, but only our pride got hurt. The landing in a dinghy was generally impossible without getting soaked in brackish, very dirty water. That Necessity also got caught in an enormous sheet of drift trash is another story. It did no other damage than leaving a "fatish" bathtub rim on our nice white boat.
Terrible you think. No, only Indonesian. The people are still wonderful and entertain us 14 hours a day with music, dance and very good food. Or simply by their curiosity and interesting discussions. The kids are in a league of their own. We see the oddest places including a dozen very big and fat eels that come out out of their dens to be patted on the back and beg for raw eggs. Not that they have to beg very much since their keeper keeps them fed and shiny. They share their sacred domain in the little crystal clear stream with dozens of swimming kids and women washing clothes. Much more will be posted on our regular web site once we find some Internet. Internet with sufficient bandwidth has not been available so far.
Well, you understand why we need some rest. We are tucked in between a small island and Buton together with our companion Blitz and our friends Dave, Andrew and Bromwin. We are waiting for the sun to set so that we can all share a customary G & T and exchange news and views. There is enough to talk about.
Eva and Jan Fr.
See also www.sailaway.no
Tele +6281343437578 (now and again)
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com