Paradise has been great....but we must move on

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Tue 11 Sep 2012 17:37
Tomorrow morning we will start westbound again.We have about 250 nm to go to reach Bali. Our Visas expire on the 29th of Sept and it will take 5 days processing time for the Visa extension application to be processed. We have to apply for the extension in either Bali or in Lombok at Medana Beach.... where the next Rally event is scheduled for Sept 20th. Our short hop sailing plan to get to Lombok calls for 5 - 7 legs over 7 days or, tomorrow being the 12th, we have to get moving ..... or, we always have the less desirable option of covering a long distance with an overnite passage....which is not a very attractive option due to all the variety of poorly lighted or not lighted small fishing vessels and related hazards in the water.....not to mention, uncharted rocks and shoals.

This island is truly a water-lover's paradise: I will just relate yesterday afternoon by way of example: Cheryl and I went off for a couple of hours of snorkeling just after noon....easily done right from the stern of Sea Mist to reach some very attractive coral and lots of fish...small reef fish and bigger game. I swam with a turtle for about 20 minutes as it just stayed with me...or me with it as we leisurely paddled around. I alerted Cheryl who was a bit in the distance and she came by with her camera to capture the hawksbill in digital format with its unique shell colour pattern and its graceful movements. When we came back to the boat, I stayed in the water for the next couple of hours and scrubbed the water line....and while doing that, a friend came by in her dinghy to alert me to manta rays swimming close, I quickly left by hull scrubbing tools on the swim platform and caught up to the manta. There was another friend swimming with the manta and as she and I s
wam around the manta would very graceful keep changing directions and come directly to one of the other of us....or between us...just inches from touching us with its flukes...great experience. As the sun was getting late in the sky, it was time for sundowners on the beach with the outehr 8 o 9 boats now anchored here...but there was a competing force: HUNGER....we had skipped lunch in favour of one meal...early we had to opt out of the beach get together as several of our friends were encouraging us to join them....just can't do it all...even in retirement.

We have 2 options for the morning as we set out about 7 am; we may just go 17 nm to the next island and take in its snorkeling and reported stunning anchorage topography....or we may bypass Gili Banta and go about 55 nm to make up some distance....only the morning mood will tell.

Cheers, the Seamisters