Dragons....Dragons...and more Dragons....and wild boars, troops of big monkeys, deer...A REAL Wildlife Kingdom

Sea Mist > Sold to New Owners July 2016
John and Cheryl Ellsworth
Fri 7 Sep 2012 03:48
This anchorage at South Rinjah has been wonderful!! A few days back when the 10 of us took the day trip to the Komodo National Park on the other side of this island, we were tickled with the chance to see the dragons around the ranger station in the morning.....but that highlight of a day (including great company, terrific meal on-board the day-tripper charter boat, and all) was totally eclipsed by what we have been able to see/experience here over these last 3 days.

You look out at first light in the morning and you see wild boars roaming the beach beside you...sometimes a few dragons lumbering down the beach....maybe a few monkeys...or a whole troop. As the day goes on, more dragons come out and you see them asserting themselves with one-another using there mouth/teeth and the superior one always prevails as the inferior one ( or more) move off to the side or take a follow-on position in the stroll down the beach. We got some great photos.....it has been a long while since we have had internet that would enable us to post photos.....but hopefully, over coming days, that may change. In late afternoon, deer are added to the mix as they come out and stroll along one of the 3 adjacent beaches in this anchorage area.

The biggest thrill we had was at the end of the day yesterday: S/V Mojo had joined Destiny, Imagine and ourselves in the anchorage ....and Mojo has a crew of 3 Aussies plus one German girl hitchhiker/backpacker. Well they had caught a huge fish and brought a BIG fish head with them as they joined our couple of dinghies sitting off the beach a few feet from 4 dragons at the water's edge. They paddled their dinghy in even closer to the dragons and one of the 4 of them stood up and heaved the fish head at the dragons. Well, the Dragons went wild in a burst of speed to all get to the fish head as it struck the water and splashed into the shallows a couple of feet from the dry beach. But, although, the dragons tried to find the fish head, they couldn't smell it as it was below the water. After quite a time had elapsed with them pushing one-another around trying to find it, the one that was sitting with his tail on top of the fish head moved a few feet out of the shallows back onto
dry beach. That was all that our wild boys from Oz needed: one of them, taking a dinghy oar in hand for a defensive weapon, got into the shallow water...walked over to the fish head, picked it up and tossed it directly to one of the dragons. Well there was a wild frenzy as the 4 dragons went after that fish head hanging out of the one dragon's mouth. As he viciously fought the others off, he got a chance to gulp the whole fish head down his throat and that was that.....WHAT A SHOW!!! Almost like something out of Jurassic Park.

It is now Friday morning...almost noon...S/V Imagine left a couple of hours ago for the next anchorage (known as Pink Beach since the pink coral sand gives the beach this unique color) and S/V Destiny left about an hour ago. They are both reporting adverse current of from 1.5 to 3.5 kts against them; I am hoping to get the change in current direction in the strait and have it with me rather than against me so we have delayed our departure until just after noon for anchor up....we'll see what happens for us??? It is very difficult to accurately figure out timing of currents in the straits through the Indonesian Islands; the scientists/literature says that the timing relates to the UPPER TRANSIT (UT) of the moon so we study those tables related to a specific strait. It will tell you that slack water is UT + X hours...and it gives the timing of the maximum flow both directions and you try to work the timimg of your passage in the strait accordingly. But overall, the currents se
em to have a mind of their own and that is an understatement. The flows are strong.....they can reach all the way up to say 8 to 10 kts so it becomes very difficult to make headway if you get it really wrong. We will report later on how it went for Sea Mist.

An update since last posting: Destiny did not suffer any damage from the hard hit on the coral pinnacle as they arrived the other afternoon in this anchorage. The pinnacle is not plotted on any chart....and you can not see it on the Google Earth images that we have in our Raster Charts....so BAD!!!! They were very unlucky/lucky....I say "both" because if they had been half a boat length on either side of the pinnacle, they would never have known it was there...so that was bad luck to have struck it. I say good luck since they hit the center of the pinnacle with their full keel....if they had struck it a couple of feet either side of the center of the keel, it could have "holed" their boat...so that exact relative position of the boat with the pinnacle reef was "ideal" to avert any damage.

Must now get ready to lift our anchor; we have 80 meters of chain out as we anchored in about 30 meters of depth....not what we would want but that was the reality .....you may recall that there was a big 2 masted schooner live-aboard dive boat/ship here when we arrive and it occupied a lot of the anchorage with its swing on its mooring ball....so we had to keep clear of it....and it was getting dark fast so we did not dilly dally in getting ourselves safely anchored. Now 3 days later, we are hoping the anchor comes up without difficulty.....that would be a very deep scuba dive to free the anchor if it is caught down there. I have my fingers crossed.

CYL....ciao/the Seamisters