Flores to Komodo
The first leg of this trip was to be a day sail (AKA Motor)
to Telok Levilia at
of the recommended anchorages…..full of
We were in company with Heidenskip, as both Marianne and
Lousill had decided to leap frog ahead of us. On arrival in the anchorage it
quickly became clear that this was not a safe spot to spend the night. It was
very shoal, full of nets, and other hazards, and rolly to boot! So we moved
onto the next bay, a round 3 nm further west, behind
After dodging some
After a short swim around the boat to cool down, I started to tidy up the boat and put things away for the night, on deck. The sun was going down and we already had a full moon.
It was then that I started to witness one of the most
extra-ordinary wild life sights I have every seen. North of our position lay
Sadly we do not have the sort of camera equipment necessary to photograph this event, in the prevailing lighting conditions………..so you will just have to take my word for it!
The next morning we once again left early, because we wanted
to go to the eastern most port on
There were lots of small fishing boats……………something we were going to have to get used to……………..no lights at night and no VHF radio’s and no rules!
The engine in this one looks like a petrol driven strimmer with a small propeller on it.
This place is a real dump. It makes Kupang look seriously fashionable and smart. Once ashore with our diesel cans, we were immediately “adopted” by a “Bemo” driver and his two helpers. These mini-buses are brightly painted with lots of chrome….and dents. They are small inside and it is very easy to bash your head whilst entering and exiting into the cramped interior. These guy’s did not have a word of English, but were all smiles and the collection of bright red 20 litre diesel cans made it easy for them to work out that we needed a filling station. I also learned that the Indonesian word for diesel is “Solar”. It was a 20 minutes bumpy ride out of town to the new filling station. This was like a palace compared to all the other shacks and hovels in this town. These guys were very helpful and friendly and with the help of the young lady pump attendant who spoke fluent English, we were filled up and cleaned up and on our way back to down town Labuan Banjo. We past dozens of tiny shops all selling the same stuff. Cigarettes, sweets and basic commodities, as well as many motor cycle repair shops. All were small time one man or two man band operations.
At the side of the road was a large ditch which served as an open sewer for the wooden shacks and corrugated iron sheet structures. But in contrast to this, all the people were waving and smiling and generally came across as a happy lot. I was happy too, because the 160 litres of diesel had just cost me a tad over £0,30 a litre!! The taxi fare, and the cost of the three guys to help, for about an hour was £1.40.
We then headed out for the
One of the fun features of sailing in these waters is monster currents and tidal streams. It is not uncommon for these to run at 7 knots. Predicting the timing of these in the optimum direction can be a bit trickily. As luck would have it, we had it with us all the way to Komodo. At its peak we were doing 5 knots BTW and 12.3 Knots SOG. We were surrounded by whirl pools and over falls.
Finally, after our rollercoaster ride from Labuan Banjo we anchored in the bay, off the well constructed and appointed visitors centre. In good time to go ashore and have dinner with Robert & Wendy from Heidenskip and Peter & Anne-Marie of Lousill.
There is a simple restaurant here, with good food at sensible prices. No wine through, so we had to bring our own ashore to keep the crew happy……………………..
After an early night it was time to go ashore and take in the sights of Komodo………………………..to be continued…………