Life in Indonesia
Harvey & Sue Death
Thu 16 Aug 2018 04:16
Life in Indonesia
We left the hustle and bustle of Kupang and headed North. It was a short
overnight sail, again with no wind and with the company of 4 other Oysters.
We arrived at first light in Kroko Atoll in the Solor group of Islands.
There are over 18,000 islands that make up Indonesia and with only 6 weeks
to explore we'll just skim the surface, but we're basically heading west
until we reach Bali and Lombok which is where we'll depart from.
After the chaos of Kupang, this anchorage was an oasis. A white sand fringed
reef protected by a backdrop of smoking volcanos. There was no habitation on
the island but a few local fishermen stopped by and offered us their nights
catch. We bought fresh lobsters and that night on the beach we cooked them
on an open fire at an impromptu beach BBQ with the others.
After a couple of days in this wonderful bay we moved on as we had a time
schedule to follow in order to be in Labuan Bajo to meet Grace who was
arriving on the 12th.
We day sailed along the northern coast of Flores, stopping for a night or
two at anchorages where we were usually the only boat. Sometimes there would
be a village tucked behind the palm trees on the beach and the local boys
would paddle out in make shift canoes, using chunks of driftwood as oars. We
gave them pens and sweets and T shirts. One day, our crew Steve went for a
walk on the beach and, like the pied piper, was soon surrounded by a crowd
of youngsters from the village. Being tall and white he was like a celebrity
We stopped at one beach that had a small, basic hotel with a dive centre and
did a couple of dives with them.
After an idyllic week of bay hopping we finally arrived in Labuan Bajo which
is on the west of Flores. As the main launching point for the Komodo Park,
the town wharf is full to bursting with day charter and live aboard diving
boats. The town itself is relatively westernised as it has to accommodate
many divers and dragon spotters.
We anchored with the others slightly outside of the town by a very yacht
friendly little resort. We hired a driver for half a day who took us into
the local fruit and veg market where we bought fabulous fresh produce.
In Labuan Bajo we were reunited with the boats who left Australia a couple
of weeks earlier than us that we hadn't seen for 6 weeks. We were able to
catch up with them during a beach party put on by the resort.
After a long journey with three connecting flights Grace arrived on time.
The next day we set off to explore the Komodo park. There are five islands
in Komodo that are populated by Komodo dragons. We anchored by the main
Komodo island and with 2 guides set off on quite an arduous hike to the top
of one of the hills. Walking on the islands without a guide is prohibited
and would also be really stupid as Komodo dragons are carnivores and can
reach speeds of 20km/hour. At the top of a hill there is a memorial to a
Swiss tourist who wandered away from his guide on a hike never to be seen
again, all that was found of him was his camera and glasses!! On our walk we
came across three Komodo dragons that had just killed a deer and were
heartily devouring it.
We also dived in the Komodo park, a local dive company picked us up from our
boats and took us to the dive sites. The currents in between the islands can
be fierce so diving without a guide and their local knowledge would be very
dangerous. This was world class diving - the water in the park is crystal
clear and it has the most colourful and diverse coral in Indonesia also some
of the biggest tropical fish we had ever seen. On one of our dives there was
a moderate current flowing and we went with it, flying along a coral shelf
teeming with wildlife.
We left Komodo yesterday on an overnight sail and we will continue heading
West, day sailing along the coast of Sumbawa and Lombok until we reach Bali
where we are due to pick up Alice and her boyfriend Matt on the 25th August.