Riung Bay, Flores. 08:23:39S 121:03:45S

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Mon 27 Oct 2008 05:08

After a great nights sleep…..almost unconscious, after our very long and gruelling previous day. We were up early once again! Our destination was to be over 80 nm west of Maumere, and under no circumstances could be contemplate going in here in the dark. It is littered with reefs and lone uncharted rocks. So we had the anchor up and were under way by 0445. The crew (bless her) was sleep walking around the decks……………….but sensibly returned to her bed as soon as we were ship shape.


The sun rise on this morning was one of the most dramatic we have ever seen…………………….



Shortly after this we were joined by a pod of Dolphins. These were on the small side, with scimitar shaped dorsal fins. No pictures this time…far too busy enjoying the show to get out the camera.


One of the sights that saddened us was that of the local fishermen hunting whales.



This is not a very good picture, but there were some 22 fishing boats all arranged in a wide circle. Some stationary, and some charging back and forth. In the middle was a large whale. I would estimate it to have been over 20 metres in length, with a dark brown skin. I have to confess I did steer our boat between some of these fishing boats, and in the process, as far as I can tell the whale escaped. Mind you, I suspect the fishermen were none too pleased with me……………………..


It was an otherwise uneventful motor all the way to our destination. Except that is for the floating bamboo fishing platforms that are dotted all over the coast line here. The one pictured below was around three or four metres long and one and a half metres wide. With no lights to enable you to spot them at night.



As we entered Riung Bay, there were lots of choices as to where to anchor. After casting around for a while, using the forward looking sonar to avoid the various underwater hazards, we decided to aim for one of the small Islands behind the reef, about 2 miles off the shore of Flores.


This was your archetypical “Desert Island”. Just beautiful, tranquil and with crystal clear water………at 31°C………………….



The sand was white and soft to walk on. Just above the beach were a collection of huts and seating. This looked great from a distance but was a little dilapidated close up. These were used by day trippers from a resort in a nearby bay on Flores.


On this occasion we were the first yacht in our group to arrive, so we gave the others a set of waypoints to help them get through the reef safely and anchor off the beach and its associated coral reef. Shortly after nightfall all four of us plus Fine Fleur we anchored off this beach, and enjoying swimming around our boats. The water is so warm here it is just like swimming in soup! Nice too, but not that refreshing.


It was so beautiful here that we decided to spend the whole of the next day and night relaxing and having a………holiday!



This was an ideal spot to have a beach BBQ. So Jennie and I went ashore late the next morning, after a well deserved lay in, to collect dried coco nut husks and drift wood for the fire. Whilst we were doing this a day trippers boat arrived, to disturb our tranquillity. So we had to share “our” Island with five Dutch holiday makers. Their ferry boat and the setting was an ideal photo opportunity……




Once the materials for the fire had been assembled, Jennie returned to the boat to put together some food. Each of the boats were to provide a contribution of food and drink to the BBQ. Meantime I dug out a hollow for the fire and then a couple of hours before the time to cook was upon us, I lit the bonfire and enjoyed a momentary Pyromaniacs fix……………



The girls then arrived and set up for our beach our feast!!


But before they embarked on this back breaking task, in the midday heat, a moments limbering up was required………………………………………….



That and checking out some of the local wild life……………………………………


    Chameleon Star Fish


Then it was down to the serious business of making a BBQ work………………………..



We had a fabulous beach day. It was so nice just to take time out from the daily grind of the constant process of heading westwards to the next destination.


By late afternoon the various flying bugs were coming out to play. Sand Flies and Mosquitoes. So it was time to clear up and retire back to our boats for a quite night, prior to another planned early start the next day.


Once again, we were blessed by a stunning sun rise as we raised the anchor the next morning to head off for our planned next anchorage some 64nm west of here.


  Sunrise over “Our Island”, Riung Bay



This was a wonderful break, and with out doubt one of the most beautiful and tranquil anchorages we have ever stayed in.



{WE are currently in Bali Marina in Benoa, Bali. They have full WiFi and so we are able to share many more pictures with you than is usual. The Marina is a dreadful dump. With filth, disgusting, polluted water. But the staff are smiles and helpful and there is a reasonable bar and restaurant. More in detail once we catch up with the rest of the blog up-dates}