Anchorage off Lembata
Left Lowobeli for a ‘snug little anchorage’ 5 miles away which the major domo says only has 15 yachts in it but there is plenty of room.
Yesterday we went on a boneshaker ride of 2 hours each way to a whaling village. If you have any spare cash I should invest it in Indonesian suspension repair companies. It was however worth it; these guys row a hundred miles off-shore in this boat
to catch the enclosed whale
by leaping off the front end of their boat with a long spear! They catch about 30 whales a year unlike the Japanese who catch as many a day for ‘scientific research’ – I suppose I know the answer as to why we are so pathetic, but if we said ‘no more Japanese imports until you stop’ it would be over in 2 days. The only thing we export to Japan is money.
Lembata was very nice though a bit rough; the markets only seem to sell fish of an unknown vintage, beans and squashed tomatoes plus of course a whole load tat – who buys this stuff? The people however are delightful and food not too bad if you like noodles. Their chickens taste as though they clearly lead a healthy organic life and run several marathons each day. There is a commercial jetty at which several cargo ships lie alongside with nothing very much happening to them for days on end. Last night however they were all chucked out to. allow a cruise ship to arrive at 02:00 and sound its horn every ½ hour until it left at 07:00, for the cargo ships to return; I’ve no idea what the punters thought of their sleep deprivation but Clare says we’re all now used to the muezzins turning on their tape recorders (pl) at 05:00 anyway. Since the Island is 95% Catholic, I’m surprised they put up with it 5 times a day, but presumably force majeur applies.
We are the last to leave Lembata!
We have had a laundry mix up here and we lost a T shirt and gained a pair of very smart Calvin Klein boxer shorts (Medium sadly). I wanted to put out an ‘all ships call’ to organise a laundry swap but Keith said it was inappropriate use of channel 16 to talk about knickers so I had to rely on Chinese whispers instead! All is now sorted.