Day sail to Wangi Wangi
Monday 14th August 2017
Distance run: 32 nm
We left Hoga Island around 0800 this morning, making our way back through the pass and out into deep water. Although the wind was forecast to drop, we had a good breeze off the starboard quarter all the way, gybing around the top of the island and arriving at the town of Wanci on the island of Wangi Wangi (the WA of WAkatobi) just after lunchtime.
We found the gap in the reef well marked at the end of a new wall and lined ourselves up to enter the harbour. Then Gino from the Wakatobi Information Centre, who has been driving everyone mad on the radio for the past week with his announcements, appeared in a dinghy and without a word boarded the boat, saying he needed to pilot us into the harbour. He climbed up on the bow step and started making hand signals for us to obey. It was really quite hilarious. We dropped the anchor in the space he suggested in about 10 metres, and then he told us to listen to his information. It was hard to keep a straight face as he lectured us on the cleanliness of the harbour and gave orders not to throw any rubbish overboard.
Finally he stopped talking and left and we were able to tidy the boat and enjoy a relaxed lunch watching the busy comings and goings of the harbour. Later we went ashore with Bob and Sue to take our papers to the WIC office, and then were escorted on a walk to one of the markets by a handful of young men who are students wanting to practise their English. They were very polite and friendly and their English was very good. One suggested he was our “bodyguard” , protecting us from the motorbike traffic, which actually didn’t seem such a bad idea!
The town of Wanci is the most developed we have seen since our brief trip to Tual, and we look forward to exploring it further over the next few days.