Banta Island

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Wed 15 Jun 2011 11:56
08°24.1549',  119°18.8424'
Thur 16/6/2011
On/Off sailing through the night. Most wind around 15-18kn as we enter the bays on Sumbawa north coast.
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.
Wind started 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 coral).
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.
SJB 17/0100z