Leg 9: Darwin to Lombok

Take Off
Jörgen Wennberg
Mon 11 Sep 2017 13:59
The week in Darwin is soon over and we have had a lovely last week in Australia. The day before the start we had our usual Skipper’s Briefing, this time held by Mr World ARC himself, the brain behind the sailing around the world, all the arrangements, the activiities, the contacts and helping us to experience this great adventure in the most smooth way possible, Andrew Bishop.


Right after we celebrated Dietmar’s birthday by having German bratwurst. There was a van just outside with the speciality German bratwurst. Dietmar being German, Emma surprised him by inviting us for a German bratwurst. We also welcomed our new crew member, sister Mado who came last night and will be with us until the end of our Lombok week. 2 weeks together ;-).


The morning before the start, Mindy and Galen came by to say good bye. They have been with us since Musket Cove and are a lovely couple, with a great sense of service and passionate about their job. Yes we are going to miss them very much!

Leaving Cullen Bay Marina we went through the lock again getting out to the sea ready for the start.

As we had to pass the lock very early in the morning due to the tide, we had breakfast out at sea.

The start of Leg 9. Below left we have Toujours Belle and Arabela and below right we have the fleet’s most beautiful yacht: the swan Cesarina.


Mado already at ease behind the wheel.

Now for the presents from aunt Mado. Inez got sticking earrings and Alex a portable microscope!


Alex got quickly the feeling of how to use the microscope. Wonder what he found on Inez’ back?

We had a nice first sailing day together with the spinnaker, however right after start our AIS stopped working? Then came the next problem, the motor. For some reason it overheats and we can only run it for 15 minutes at a time. 

Relaxing time after our first day at sea together. 

The day after was a lucky day as we got the privilege to be accompanied by many jumping and playing dolphins at the bow of the boat! Wow so much fun!


Happy dolphin watchers.


Yet another lovely sunset...


… being quickly followed by a bright full moonrise. 


The day after was another lucky day! 

Since we started our sailing adventure in October 2014 we have managed to catch 2 fishes: Nils catching a mahi-mahi in the Atlantic Ocean (October 2014) and Edward catching a yellow tuna fish in the Pacific Ocean (March 2016). This after losing a whole fishing rod, plenty of lurs and many many many lines! So our fishing track records are nothing we are proud of and we are still trying to learn how to fish. However we have lost hope and rarely let the line out… This particular day Jörgen gave it a shot and let the line out…. and it snapped, real hard and holding to it! We jumped to our feet, curious of what had been caught on the line…. and judge our surprise when we saw it was a MARLIN!! Jörgen worked a while on it and the best way to get it up on the boat was to worn it out. It fighted and fighted but it was really hooked on, so we waited. 



The Marlin has been dragged quite a long time now so we guessed it should be dead by now, however we did not want to have a sprattling Marlin at the back of our boat so we took serious precautions and marinated it with vodka. Mado spraying and pouring into all the holes she could find on the fish.


A very very very proud Jörgen. His first fish ever caught and he catches a 25-30 kilo Marlin!


This is what is left after cutting all the meat off. Jörgen let the head hanging on the fishing rod wanting to keep the sword. The head was swinging back and forth and suddenly there was no head ?!? None of us heard any noise, it was just gone. Louise’s theory is that the head was a bit too heavy for the fishing line to let it swing back and forth and after a while it snapped. Jörgen’s theory is that a shark took it…. I guess we go for that one. 

A nice tête-à-tête. 


Some daily sailing routines.


A day at school.


School brake.


The reward after a day of school.

Mado washing dishes.


Thanks to the great idea of Mado letting Alex do the morning roll call, Alex has now found a new activity on board which he does perfectly well. Every morning we are in contact with the rest of the fleet. We call each other at 9 am and give each others positions, wind speed and wind direction. Alex is now really good at it. 


The next day started a series of interesting happenings. In the morning while we turned the water maker on we could smell like a burning smell. The brushers for the electric engine that we bought in Darwin were not the right size. So we turned off the water maker, made sure we had enough water to Lombok, turned off the water pump and sent a mail to Pär Lindkvist (our next crew coming in to Lombok from Sweden) for him to bring new brushers with the right size.

The day after, Saturday 9th of september, we called the “Black Saturday”…

During the morning while sailing, with no warning or heavy waves or strong wind, we heard suddenly a heavy “DUNS!”. We were all down in the galley and looked up through the hatch. To our surprise we saw that the bom was hanging loose !?! We ran up on deck and discovered that the goose neck (the part fitting the bom to the mast) was broken which is the reason why the bom was hanging loose. Apart from not being able to use the bom and the main sail, the most dangerous part is the risk of the bom banging into the mast. As we have a carbon mast, the slighest sharp banging from a wrong angle can tear the whole mast apart! So we had to act quickly.


We managed to secure the bom with a sheet to the broken goose neck and squeeze it on deck in order to prevent it from hitting the mast.


So our next call to Pär Lindkvist… “Can you please bring along a new goose neck?”. However this was a bit tricky. We are Saturday and Pär is leaving Sweden on Monday. We first called our eminent off shore help, Mats Runström, who has good contacts within Seldén to explain the urgency. First they have to find the right part and have it in stock. Then manage to get it from Göteborg to Stockholm as quick as possible. In the meantime we called Pär and asked him if he could change his flight for the day after which he confirmed within a few minutes. Great, now we have one more day to work on it. Luckily Seldén is open on Saturdays and we are 9h30 ahead of Sweden! Everything is now rolling, we just have to wait to see if they can help us…. on time.

We cannot now sail with the mainsail. We can only rely on the jib if the wind permits it. It showed now to be favourable winds so we hoisted up the spinnaker and enjoyed a nice day of spinnaker sailing! After a few hours it gets twisted and we attempted to fly it 3 times, however the 3rd time we managed to rip it off! So no mainsail and no spinnaker…

Haha what a day… Luckily we still have our mood left! We enjoyed lovely sunsets and good time together. 



During the night, when Louise is on watch, the auto-pilot stops to work! So now we are on the helm all the rest of the night during our shifts. In the morning after breakfast, we hoist the 2nd spinnaker and have a good speed towards Lombok. Right after that
the VHF radio and the satellite phone stops working ?! So now no communication… Jörgen continues to repair and pull some wires here and there. No he admits, he is not a technician, but none of us are and we have to do something. Suddenly, not knowing what Jörgen did, the auto-pilot went on again. 



Some nice relaxing moments.


The beauty of having the early morning shifts...

…followed by a nice breakfast together.


Monday morning, after 7 days at sea we have land in sight! Indonesia and Lombok. 


At 11.42 we passed the finishing line!



Now what we have left is sailing against or with the current in the Lombok Straight. Will we be lucky? We don’t have any information of the tides and we are not very keen on sailing against the current. Some boats ahead of us recorded a current being against with 7 knots! Now entering the Lombok Straight.


We were lucky the current was with us and we had a lovely spinnaker sailing through the channel spotting some Indonesian fishing boats.


As we are entering, we had contact with Tulla Mhor if we had to be towed into Gili Gede as we cannot run the engine for more than 15 minutes. We ran the engine and after 10-12 minutes it overheated. Tulla Mhor was very kind to tow us in.


Arriving in beautiful Gili Gede.