The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Thu 30 Jul 2015 21:50



05:36.67S  132:44.43E


We’re anchored in Tual, Indonesia.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


30 July 2015  Papua New Guinea to Tual, Indonesia (Day 7)

We spotted land at ten o'clock in the morning, when we were 10 miles from the south end of the Kai Islands.  We still had over 50 miles to sail between two islands and then into the large Tual harbour.  This meant that we would be anchoring in the dark, but Tual is a large commercial port, so we hoped that the charts and buoys would be accurate.  We decided to go for it.


The morning remained pleasant with SE 20 winds.  The winds and seas we went towards the end increased as we approached the southern headland of the islands.  Once past the headland, we were in a 5 mile wide channel between two islands and the winds became very gusty - one minute we had 10 knots, the next 25 knots.  It was very frustrating because we were under time pressure to get there before dark, so we motored for a couple of hours.  The wind returned briefly, but after an hour of sailing, we had to put the engine on again - then off, then on, then off, then on …


We motored in to the main harbour just after dark, so we were anxious to find a home for the night.  Unfortunately, as we rounded a major buoy, we discovered that the Navionics charts are out by ½ mile (the chart is 0.4 miles from the GPS position on a heading of 225 degrees).  This makes it a little difficult to navigate in the dark, especially as there are plenty of shallow reefs and seaweed farms around to make it more interesting. 


Fortunately, our friends on “Red Herring” had given us the GPS coordinates of where they anchored, so we headed for there and dropped the hook at 05°36.67S 132°44.43E in 15m of water, just outside a seaweed farm.  It seems to be good holding.


We cracked open a celebratory cold beer and listened to the sound of the multiple mosques calling the faithful to prayer.  We’re in Indonesia.