moved NE in Indonesia
Tucked up in Kalabahi, Alor after a 24hour sail North East. All was well, even 18kts of beam wind overnight till we nearly got here when it all went pear-shaped (but not for us!).
Coming into the channel we went east of an island when all the rest went west because it was shorter. They hit the most awful currents and were going backwards, one chap at 2500 rpm was doing 7.5 over water and 1.2 over ground. We were much luckier and had at most 3.3 against us and even a few minutes with us! As a result, almost for the first time, we arrived ahead of many of them.
Alor is a bit rough but they are all v/friendly except the guy who did us out of 10lt fuel.
They even served us noodles for lunch, which we shall repeat today, despite it being Ramadan.
Kupang was fun but both towns have open drains down the side of the road and hundreds of motor bikes carrying children, babies, chickens and even goats. Not many crash helmets.
CQIP (Customs, Quarantine, Immigration, Port Authority) had set up stalls in a building on the seafront. Rather like a school fete. The whole clearance was completed in less than half an hour, producing 4 photo copies of all our boat papers passports, cruising permit etc. and leaving with reams of officially stamped paper.
There was a good protection racket with boat boys who carried the dinghy up the beach and looked after it for £3 a day. They also mended our outboard engine picking up 35 kg and running off with it on their shoulder. It seems to be working.
Since the Bali bombings it is illegal to carry fuel in jerry cans…as there are no fuel docks this makes refuelling yachts a bit tricky and involves an understanding between the boat boys and the polis. For a couple of days there was no fuel but then by paying 50% more than the pump price all was well…Diesel is still only 50p a litre so we are not complaining.
Here in Alor they have constructed a floating dinghy dock with a rickety plank to the shore….the whole thing is like a bucking bronco when the wind gets up and I have to hang on to one of the boat boys to negotiate it…I saw someone else crawling . The pontoons in Turkey were 5* in comparison.
Stuart can do photos easily but this my first attempt; they are jumping crocodiles in Darwin, so here goes, sorry if it doesn't work