The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Fri 7 Aug 2015 23:31



04 45.39S  127 32.48E


So far we've done 145 miles with 250 miles to go. We’ve got sunshine with scattered clouds and 20 knot SE winds.  We’re on a starboard broad reach with 2 metre seas.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


7 August 2015  Banda Neira to Wakatobi, Indonesia (Day 1)

We left port on a Friday again.  After our bad luck leaving Port Moresby a couple of weeks ago, I was a little nervous, especially as we had to extricate ourselves from the row of yachts lined up against the dock wall.  Each boat had dropped their anchor; backed up; and tied two lines to trees ashore.   Dotted around were a series of buoys and ropes placed by the locals who normally moor their boats here.


It should have been a simple operation - someone unties our two stern lines from the trees; we motor forwards slowly as we pull up the anchor; and when clear, off we go.  However, (especially on a Friday), there was much scope for disaster - snag a shore line around something in the water as we pull it on board; wrap a local mooring line around the propeller;  get the anchor stuck on an underwater obstruction;  pull up someone else’s anchor while pulling ours up; and (of course) any combination of the above.


We made sure that our neighbours were on deck, in case we pulled up their anchor and ….. it all went rather well.  Ten minutes later, we were in the middle of the bay, drifting slowly while we got the dinghy on deck, stowed fenders and coiled the shore lines.  By nine o’clock, we were clear of the harbour and on our way.  Perhaps, it’s only unlucky to leave a country on a Friday.


Once clear of the islands, we had a lovely sail all day with south-east,  15 knot winds pushing us along at 6 knots on a broad reach.  The seas were only 1-1½ metres, so the motion was very pleasant.  While I was in bed having an afternoon nap, Glenys hooked a big swordfish, which tore line out of the reel, while leaping into the air.  She slowly tightened the clutch on the reel, but it snapped the 60 lb line.  Oh well.


The pleasant conditions continued into the night and it was very relaxing.  There was no moon until well after midnight, but there was a strange glow to the sea, which appeared to be milky.  It seemed to be some kind of dull phosphorescence, dimly radiating and looked very ethereal.  The effect disappeared when the moon appeared.