through the night. Most wind around 15-18kn as we enter the bays on Sumbawa
Full eclipse of the
(full) moon started about 1:00am and lasted till just before moon-set, so quite
a spectacular heavenly night at sea!
Just after sunrise
got to the NE tip of Sumbawa and entered the channel between sumbawa and the
dramatic double-peaked volcanic island of Sangeang.
building so stwoed the red metal diesel sails and hoisted the white flappy ones.
Great sail across the top of the Komodo channels for a few hours in winds
peaking at 18kn. Arrived at Banta Island in time for lunch. All the guide books
on board dismiss Banta as an anchorage due to the deep depths right up to the
shore, however a slow survey along the coast of the N bay at a safe anchoring
distance off the land and we found a coral atoll that topped at 15m depth
surrounded by 40-50m depths. After a few passes determined wide enough to drop
the anchor onto so contrary to those before us (particularly those that write
our Guide-Bibles) there is a good spot to anchor! (And at a depth that can
easily be dived on if the chain/anchor gets snagged on some
Water here is
exceptionally clear and snorkelling straight off the boat worthwhile. Not much
fish life but good coral colours and variety. This is another dramatic location
surrounded by steep hills (mountains) stright up from the beach. A party went
ashore for some climbing excercise and discovered the hills were higher and
steeper than when viewed from the boat!
Overnight here and
take off for Komodo Island tomorrow.