Location Report - Gililawa Laut
WE HAVE ARRIVED!!!...This is definitely Indonesia's paradise for water lovers. The water clarity is astounding...just like looking through gin or vodka....and the underwater life abundant!!! Wonderful coral gardens with loads of fish go for miles around 3 islands. Manta Rays saunter through the anchorage and local surrounds daily....turtles...and big bottle nose dolphins. Cheryl and I just came back from a dinghy scouting mission around all the islands...probably 8 to 10 miles of distance ... just checking out all the options; on our way back along the last part of the coast of this island, we had a pod of dolphins decide to play with the dinghy as we slowed down in the midst of the pod. They swam with us coming out of the water right by our hands and doing every kind of manoeuver around the dinghy. That is the closest we have ever been to so many dolphins...closer than in any aquarium water show (except when you get a chance to pet a dolphin at the side of the show pool)!
And then a bit further on, a manta passed us by. We will be exploring it all from within the water tomorrow rather than from the dinghy since we have chosen our priority spots and drift snorkeling passes.
This anchorage is rated 9 out of 10 in the book "101 Anchorages" and it is now obvious why so rated. There are quite a number of big live-aboard dive charter boats that come to this area as well (designs are similar to the big Turkish Gullets)....but there is plenty of room for all to enjoy. We don't have internet at this location but we understand from others who already Googled it, a search for Dive Spots around Komodo, Indonesia will return this area as the top diving in all of Indonesia. Some of our friends are already planning vacations back here when their world cruising days are over.....not a bad idea!!!...hmmmm??
We missed getting a chance to stop at Pink Beach but from the reports of others....it was not a big miss. The anchorage was difficult and worrisome because of it being rather deep and a lot of strong tidal currents flowing through the anchorage in every direction as the tides cycled through the 24 hours of the day. When we sailed over here yesterday from Soro Go, we had speeds over the ground of 10.5 - 11 kts as we timed the current correctly ...well almost...later it dropped to only about +1 kt of current pushing us but we at least never had any adverse current with which to contend. As we were arriving at Gililawa Laut, we heard from some other boats up ahead that the primary anchorage on the north side of the island was a bit crowded so we did a quick turn to port and anchored for the night in a bay on the south side. That meant, with the prevailing winds, we were on a lee shore and the wind got stronger early this morning....and since 4 boats departed the primary anchorag
e to continue their trek westward, we quickly weighed anchor and came around the 3 nm to the north anchorage....totally protected here from the normal winds/seas. Now, time to just soak up this paradise for the next few days...and ENJOY!!
Next commitment is for drinks and nibbles on the beach at 5 pm (45 minutes from now) to enjoy the sunset together...there are 14 boats anchored so it should be a good mixer. We know most of the crews....a mix of countries including Austria, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, UK, Australia, and 3 boats from Canada.
Cheers...until the next time....the Seamisters - John and Cheryl