Friday July 24

Lea has had 10 days back in Melbourne checking the house and catching up with friends and family. I had found out that my “sprained wrist” was actually broken so that was all plastered up. Didn't slow me down too much and I got all the service jobs completed while Lea was away.

John and Jo arrived on the 16th July and we had time to enjoy some great restaurants and tourist activities. Litchfield NP and the ” Jumping Croc” tour on the Adelaide River were highlights as well as the Aviation Museum.

Some very up close and personal encounters

We completed all the hull polishing and Gemini Lady was all set and looking good.

Provisioning went well although Fannie Bay Gourmet Butchers were a big disappointment. They packed and frozen all the meat in foam trays with little regard to physical size and shape. We couldn't fit it all into the freezers. We sold some meat on to Russell on Marathon Lady next door and ripped off all the packaging on the rest to squeeze it all in. Wish we had have stayed with Parap Butchers who we used for the Kimberley Trip.

The welcome BBQ was well attended and we met some more of the Rally Participants. Jo won the raffle and we got some skin serum and eye cream to add to the Gemini Lady crew beauty regime.

The technical briefing was interesting but didn't help much, just warned us about the mountains of paperwork and stamping to be done. The guy from Sail Malaysia was great fun and we ended up ready to head straight to Malaysia.

Final washing and cleaning done we left the marina at 12.30 pm, mid tide to avoid getting the fenders dirty.

Quiet night in Fannie Bay.

Saturday July 25

We debated whether or night to wait a couple of days for wind but in the end we decided to head off at the official start which this year coincided with high tide allowing us to take the ebb tide out of the harbour.

A quick walk up to Parap Market for fresh bread and milk and long showers ashore.

We crossed the line in 3rd place with full Main and Genoa into a light breeze. The Spirit of Darwin was our start boat and it was packed with people. Our theme for the start was cooking so we donned our winch hats and aprons and picked up our utensils. 480 Nm WNW to Kupang.

 

Our first 12 hours went well with 6kts averaged under sail alone. We did rolling watches with a crew change every hour to get John and Jo familiar with the boat.

Sunday July 26

Day 2 at sea

Motoring since 0100. Waft of breeze cam in after the morning sked so spinnaker went up. A few hours of peace at 2-3 kts. Hot and sunny as sea glassed out at midday. Motor went on for next 17 hours.

Slight problem when I found the Mainsail Clew strop had slipped back and was chaffing. While fixing this I inadvertently pulled the second reef line tail up into the boom where it couldn't be reached. Big brainstorming session on how to retrieve it. Final solved it with 6M of tent poles and 2 meters of stiff pressure hose to run along through the inside of the boom. This created a mouse line to rethread the furling line.

Monday July 27

Engine off at 0440 for another 4.5 hours of quiet sailing before engine back on again. And you off Spruce was doing a fantastic job running the HF Sked. Chatted to New Views and Poppy Cat about current through the Kupang Strait and worked out that an ETA at the bottom of the straight at 0400 Wed morning at low tide should give us a favourable run up the Strait.

Spent an hour untangling the twisted up fishing line from John's new propellor lure. Once sorted I put out the trusty Lazor Pro 160 and in no time had a 115cm Spanish Mackeral.

Logistic problem on how to store it as the freezers were full but we got it in the fridge at least.

Final fly over from Customs and we were into Indonesian Waters. Soon found some Indonesian fishing boats.

Tuesday July 28

A disappointing night as the expected 15kts never came in and we had only 8 kts from behind. Spinnaker kept up until 2200 until we gave up and started the motor. By 0500 spinnaker was back up with 10 kts behind us.

Found a stowaway on board.

 

Great spinnaker run all day. Saw a whale in the distance and dodged couple of fishing boats and saw 2 large drums anchored in over 400m of water. 2 “FAD's”, fish aggregation devices we believe, were spotted. A sharp lookout was maintained.

The breeze was continuing to build throughout the day. We pulled down the spinnaker at about 1700 hours just before the first big gusts came through. We continued under Genoa reeling it in as the wind built to 30 kts. Our mission now was to slow down to get our arrival time right.

Wednesday July 29

Lea and I stayed on watch as we approached land and entered the Selat between Timor and Semau. The swell had built up considerably as we approached Selat Roti. The tide had changed so we didn't get the very rough seas reported by earlier boats. The moon was out giving some illumination as we entered the final Strait. Thousands of lights made for a daunting passage requiring lots of concentration. Spruce was following closely behind us. With the big spotlight we identified a few unlit boats and wove our way around them.

We arrived at the anchorage just as dawn broke so we had no trouble finding a good position. Remembering our friends trouble with dragging last year we made sure the anchor was dug in well.

“Q” Flag was run up followed by whiskey for John and I and gin and tonic for the girls before breakfast and then some sleep.

Customs and Quarantine started at 0930 and we were boarded at 1100. The guys were great, very friendly and amiable. We then went ashore to complete the arrival process.

This involved 5 different desks, representing each department, set up in order around the edge of a room. Health, Quarantine, Customs, Immigration and Harbourmaster. All the uniforms were immaculate and decorative. Lots of duplicate copies of paperwork needed and lots of stamping. They were all very pleased with our Gemini Lady Stamp. It was a smooth process but we still missed all the welcome speeches, hats and dancing.

First priority was a local SIM card followed by Bintang and lunch at the bar/restaurant 999.

Caught up with the hats.

 

Then back to Gemini Lady for and afternoon siesta before our first Gala Dinner

We are in Indonesia

 

 

 

 

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