Passage to Maumere, Flores
Tuesday 22nd August 2017
Distance run: 218 nm
We set off at first light yesterday and headed out of the lagoon at Wangi Wangi and past numerous FADs into open water. For the first time in a very long time the wind would not be behind us for this passage as we were heading south towards Flores, a large island in the string of islands that stretches from north of Australia to west of Thailand. With the wind coming from the south east we were on a close reach as we rounded a large reef and headed towards Maumere, our next rally stop. It was quite a wet and lumpy ride until the wind came round to the east and freed us. With the sails eased the ride became much more comfortable, and we made good progress, keeping an ever watchful eye out for FADs and fishing boats. We were amazed to see FADs out in 2000 metres of water, and even more amazed to see open fishing boats tied to them in 2-metre swells.
As darkness fell, we knew we didn’t have a chance of spotting FADs in the inky black moonless night, so just had to keep our fingers crossed that one wouldn’t be directly in our path. As luck would have it, the night passed uneventfully, and by dawn we had made good enough speed to be able to make it to Maumere in daylight today, as long as the wind didn’t die away too soon.
It did die away sooner than hoped, but after a few hours picked up again and we got a few more hours sailing in before it died away altogether and we motored the last ten nmiles into the anchorage. Maumere is in a huge bay, and we spent the last two hours of the passage dodging dozens of FADs. There would be no leaving this anchorage in the dark!
We dropped the anchor mid-afternoon in 15 metres of water and dropped back towards the beach into 5 metres. Hmm, a bit too much chain, so we pulled up a bit. Within half an hour the wind had come round 180 degrees and we swung round into 25 metres. Now we were sitting in 25 metres of water with 40 metres of chain out. We would generally have four times the depth out, which would be 100 metres, but if we swung around again we would be on the beach! So we settled for 65 metres (which is still less than three times!), set the anchor alarm, and had an anchoring beer. A good, fast passage and only one night at sea. Cheers!