The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sat 8 Aug 2015 23:34



05:05.51S  124:54.14E


So far we've done 305 miles with 95 miles to go. We’ve got sunshine with scattered clouds and 15-20 knot SE winds.  We’re on a port broad reach with 2 metre seas.  Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


8 August 2015  Banda Neira to Wakatobi (Day 2)

There was no change in the weather and we continued to have idyllic sailing conditions all day.  Since we came through the Torres Strait, it's probably been the best, most consistent sailing weather that we've had in four years of cruising.  Normally, we put an extra reef in the main at sunset, but we've not felt the need in this region.


After losing a lure to the sailfish yesterday, I spent an hour or so making up some new lures and putting new leaders and hooks on old ones.  I had two lines out all day with different coloured lures, but no strikes.


We didn't make any water while in Banda, so our water tanks were down to 25%. I tried to start the generator, but it wouldn't turn over.  Hanging upside down, lying across the engine and generator, on a rolling boat is not my idea of fun, but after 30 minutes of investigation, I found that a fuse in the starter circuit had blown.  I tried to find out why, but I couldn't see any bare wires or loose connections - perhaps the fuse was just tired...  With the generator running, we ran the water-maker for an hour and were able to have a shower this evening without worrying about running out of water.


Indonesians are mostly Muslim and our knowledge of Islam is a lamentably thin, so we're trying to understand what it's all about.  I've found a novel called "Mother of the Believers" by Kamran Pasha, which tells the story of the early days of Mohammed from the view point of one of his wives.  It's well written and fascinating.  The most interesting thing to me is the huge historical similarities between Judaism, Christianity and Islam, yet the few fundamental differences have caused such trouble.


The good weather continued until just after midnight, when a line of squalls overtook Glenys.  There wasn't much wind in them, but she had to cope with 40 degree wind shifts and patches of no wind, plus heavy rain showers. We were still in the middle of it at our 1 am watch change. I got annoyed with the wind shifts and having to run downwind off-course, so I rolled away the main and sailed with just the genoa, which allowed me to come back on course.


With only one sail out, we slowed down, but it doesn't matter because we can only get into the anchorage in Wanci, Wakatobi at high tide and the next tide we can make in daylight is at eight o'clock in the morning on Monday 10th.  At 0200, we had 125 miles to go, so we only need to average 4.1 knots.