Tuesday. August 18

Arrived at the anchorage of Gedong just as the nice seabreeze came in. A few of the boats took long lines ashore to tie back so that we could fit all 7 boats in. The surrounds were much steeper and more lush than on Lembata.

We were soon inundated with lots of canoes wanting give always. They quickly learnt that they did better if they bought stuff to trade. Some boats stocked up on Coconuts and Papaya. They were pretty fussy and had an inflated idea of what their offerings were worth, but it was good fun anyway.

Lea and I did a 600M swim over to Kalili and back. I managed to get hit with multiple stingers and am now covered in welts. A beautiful peaceful night.

Wednesday August 19

New Views was up and gone early. They were heading for Wodong 42Nm away whereas we were heading for the small bay of Waimalung only 26Nm. Graeme agreed to research the trip to the crater lakes of Mt Kelimutu. It was a motorsail most of the way but in the afternoon we managed to a couple of hours under spinnaker. We had thoughts of continuing but as we passed Waimalung the breeze died and the spinnaker slumped down defeated.

Lloyd off Kalili called it fate, so we joined them and Ocelot followed by Reverie into the lovely bay. Lea went for a snorkel with Jon and Sue. I was still covered in stinger welts from last time so declined. Just as well as Lea reported many stingers in the water again.

Enjoyed a “pot luck” dinner on Ocelot with all 4 boats.

Thursday August 20

We noticed yesterday that the ebb tide gave us a favourable current so Lea was keen to leave early to make the most of it. We left after the morning sked which we actually heard quite well for once. Jon had given us a spare VHF antenna which we tried on our AIS. Made a huge difference and we were getting good range again. Pulled our AIS antenna apart and found it full of corrosion and stuffed.

We got tide assistance up to 2 kts for the whole 14Nm into Wodong. Passed through the narrow Selat Pangabatang with the help of OpenCPN and GE files again. Joined the others in the anchorage mid morning.

We anchored close, inshore of the other boats and Lea went off snorkelling to check the anchor. She loved the bottom, clean sand and nothing alive. All she wanted more was the black line to follow.

A young local man came by trying to sell us an octopus. We all had a laugh when we suggested we would do a trade if he cooked for us. He demonstrated his lures and his technique.

We joined Russel at the local dive resort restaurant for lunch. Lea not feeling well at all. Drinks on Parlay then a quiet night.

Friday August 21

New Views had used their extra day in Wondong to arrange a trip to the tri coloured lakes of Mt Kelimutu. We knew it was going to be a very long drive so this time we insisted on good comfortable transport. We got 3 near new SUV's with a driver each that would suit 4 passengers, so 12 of us did the trip. Cost was 1,000,000 Rp per vehicle.

The trip began at 0500 and was a 4 hour drive with a few photo stops on the way as we drove over the central mountain range to the south side of the Island

Then climbing again up the SW mountains

The roads were in good condition with maintainence being carried out in places. The scenery was beautiful and lush, lots of greenery with coconuts palms and cocoa plants everywhere. Rice paddocks terraced the valleys. Lots of traditional villages and fairly heavily populated.

The Tri Coloured Lakes of Mt Kelimutu are Flores' major tourist attraction and the infrastructure is relatively new. Entry to the park of 150,000Rp per person for us foreighners. We walked about 20 minutes from the car park on well formed paths to the first crater lookout. Lots of monkeys around.

Natural dividing wall between the two craters. Stunning emerald green.

 

The local belief is that when you die your spirit enters one of the lakes. Which one depends on the quality of your spirit determined by how you chose to live your life. We are not sure which lake holds the bad spirits.

We followed the path up many more steps to the viewing area high above the lakes, past what we presumed to be the Red Lake. We heard it was only red in the early morning light. When we were there it was in full sun and looked another shade of green.

We enjoyed clear skies and great views. Lots of other western tourists.

On the way back we stopped at a village and checked out the drying cloves.
And some of the local produce
 

Lunch was at a seaside restaurant on the south coast near Ende, then a sleepy drive back to Maumere where we stopped at a supermarket and a wet market for some supplies.

Back at Wodong our drivers tried to charge us another 100,000Rp but we refused to pay. Back on Gemini Lady Lea was in for another swim. I'm still wary of stingers but ended up getting stung by a large native bee or wasp on the base of the thumb. Blew up with a nasty allergic reaction.

Saturday August 20

My hand was very swollen and a red track ran up my arm to the lymph glands in my armpit. Cocktail of antihistamines, anti inflammatory and cortico steroid drugs bought it under control over the next 2 days.

We got off early and motored to charge batteries and make water. The breeze came in light about 1100 but we carried a very shy spinnaker and had a great sail. Originally we planned to stop at Batu Boga but went on another 15Nm to Nagar Ujong.

Catching up and passing New Views who took these photos for us.

We anchored close to the power station.

 

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