Nongsa Point, Batam

Fri 23 Nov 2012 15:06

1:11N, 104:05E

Nongsa Point Marina, Batam The 300 mile passage to Batam took 48 hours – we left Tuesday at around 2pm.  We were planning to depart at 9am however the engine had other ideas.  Greg and Dadang had to replace the generator battery and jumpstart the engine batteries as they had gone flat.  We believe all of the batteries (house, engine and generator) now need replacing due to the boat being on shore power for eight months. (they shouldn’t be charged constantly) Anyway just another technical issue!

The first 24 hours was quite pleasant – a bit of wind and nice temperature.  However things changed after we hit the equator and we had very flat seas, no wind and extreme temperature.  The three of us were on watch all through the night after we encountered our first long liner fishing net at about 8pm.  We discovered that a flashing green light in the distance indicated a net which could be up to 20 miles in length.  It was very daunting as we did not want the net to get caught beneath the boat.  We managed to negotiate around two of them but had to go over seven during the night – luckily the nets must have been set more than three metres below the surface because we avoided any hook ups.

Then after no sleep at about 7.30am we were hit by a monsoon squall that lasted for 3 hours. This included up to 50 knots of wind, heavy rain and zero visibility – just as we were due to enter Selat Riau (a strait that is dotted with islands on either side and is only two miles wide).  With no visibility we had to trust the navigator (me!) and also miss any passing traffic (a close call with a fuel tanker on the entrance approach).  We survived and arrived at the marina at 2pm ready for a quick lunch and then we slept for 14 hours. 

The marina is also a resort with a hotel, restaurant, pool, bar and all the facilities for clearing in and out of Indonesia.  The resort is architecturally quite beautiful and opened in 2009.  It is also unlike anywhere else in Indonesia (clean and tidy) and models itself more on Singapore – just 20 miles across the Singapore Strait. We can see the passing ship traffic from the marina and it is constant – we even saw tugs towing an oil rig platform that could have been 20 stories high.  We leave for Raffles Marina on Sunday at 6am to make the 40 mile crossing through one of the three busiest ports in the world.