Day motor to Benan Island
Thursday 12th October 2017
Distance run: 34 nm
We set off early for the short trip to Benan, so that we had time to sail slowly if there was even a breath of wind. There was just enough wind to keep the genoa full, but it wouldn’t have got us there this side of night-time, so the engine stayed on anyway. We slowed down at one point to allow the storm cloud we could see directly above Benan to either finish its job or move on before we arrived.
It was another squally trip that kicked up the shallow sea into a short sharp chop, and we were glad to arrive in the anchorage in the early afternoon. The boats were every which way with the tide turning and reversing the current between the islands, and it took us two attempts to get the anchor down in a spot with enough swinging room between us and neighbouring boats. Then the rain started again, and just kept on all afternoon and into the evening.
Margret on Unwind had called to say the rally dinner would be at 7 p.m., and we left it right up to the last minute to decide to go ashore. Happy that the anchor was set and holding, and with the rain finally beginning to ease off, we headed ashore for our last rally event, a pleasant evening with a simple meal of chicken and rice and entertainment in the form of singing and dancing by the local children.
We have decided to give the actual last rally stop in Tanjung Pinang a miss as our visas expire on 18th October, several days before the rally festivities end. We are not going to pay 800,000 rupiah (about £50) to extend them for the sake of those days. It also seems that Tanjung Pinang does not have the best of anchorages for private yachts being a busy seaport. Instead we will go to Nongsa Point Marina on the island of Batam to check out. The formalities there apparently only take a few hours and are done by an agent for a reasonable cost. And while that is being taken care of we will be able to relax, tied up in a marina berth for the first time since Cairns. Sounds good to me!