position 10 03.350S 20 S 123 13.190E
As it gets light a 5.30 I was up early and having emptied the jerry cans into the tank on Sunday I took them ashore after breakfast where Ayubs assistant Alex was on hand to take them on his motorbike to the gas station. Alex offered to run me to the market before filling the cans and I jumped on his bike for a fresh produce top up. The market started a couple of miles away and seemed to continue along little side streets for several more miles before the we reached the focal point- a small square filled with stalls. With some help for Alex who like Ayub speaks good english I bought more fruit and veg than I will be able to eat but the range was fantastic and prices from another time. With bike laden we returned to find Ayub on the beach and he showed me where I could get beer and wine and I found a shop selling hemp rope which I have been looking out for to wrap the mast below deck as the wood veneer is peeling. Alex returned with the full cans and we all 3 took them over to the boat for a coffeeand a cake from the posh cake shop.
Ayub on the left
They were both delighted to see the inside of a yacht and took
lots of photos.
I decided I should take Ayubs whistle stop tour of Kupang that he had mentioned in passing and so back ashore I paid Alex for his help and Ayub found a taxi-luckily the same one I had left my hat in yesterday. The tour involved quite a lot of driving out of Kupang- 1st to find a sugar maker down by the public beach. They collect juice from a palm tree by slicing the end off the fruit and collecting the juice in plastic pots while still hanging on the tree.
You can just make out the white plastic containers.
Then the juice is boiled down in a series of pots simmering over a clay tunnel with massive burning log inside.
The final produce are little disks of caramel flavoured sugar which you can make a drink with or use for cooking. They make a strong spirit with it as well but I didn't get to try any.
We had some fresh coconut water at a stall on the deserted beach
and then further out of town found a traditional instrument maker
It is called a sassando -this original version has 10 strings arranged round a bamboo pipe and the fan amplifies and enriches the sound.
This modern 30 string version is wired
to an amplifier and the young man played some nice tunes
including a couple of Beatles numbers.
I don't think the silly hat helps the sound -certainly my
attempts were clumsy. My fat fingers were not ideal for picking
out the notes.
The weaver was in the next room producing traditional cloth on a
hand loom. I bought a small piece for Diana.
We finished the tour at the museum- rather run down but two nice young girls showed us round and explained the exhibits. A little archeological section, a Magellan wall (he stopped in Kupang), some masks, wood carvings and weaving, pots and weapons and a bit on the war. A full blue whale skeleton in its own building. It felt due for an update and there are plans to do that and a model of the proposed enlarged museum in the foyer. We've seen so many really good museums and this was not in the top league, but worth a quick wander.
Back to the beach and a fond goodbye to Ayub. He is certainly genuine and determined to be helpful and get good reviews. He taught himself english from a dictionary and relies on the few yachts he acts for for his income. He won't get many now for the wet season so probably has a hard time surviving untill the new batch start arriving in April.
I had to make a rather undignified exit from the anchorage as the wind had swung round and I was hanging next to the fishing boat and at risk of taking a bash. I must have dragged at some point. The wind was a fresh easterly and I was able to drift while recovering the dinghy and outboard.
I am aiming for Rinca or Komodo -256 miles away.