Sunday August 23

There was some speculation on what type of fuel was used by the power station. We can assure everyone it was coal. Gemini Lady was covered with a fine layer of black coal dust. There was a dew but not enough to clean off the dust. We got the sails up and got going with a good SW breeze flying along under Main and Screecher.

We hooked up the hose and used about 150 litres of fresh water to wash to decks and cockpit. Every surface in the saloon was covered in dust as well so Lea tackled that as well. It took us all morning to get the boat clean and shipshape again.

The breeze dropped out then came in an hour later from the NE. Another great sail in flat water and full sails to Riung. The next decision was Riung or Monkey Beach. Riung won as it offered restaurants, Internet and snorkelling. Parlay went on to Monkey Beach hoping to give Whiskey a shore run.

We were first into the anchorage and navigated through all the reefs with GE images. A nice protected anchorage just off the main jetty.

Lea went off with Sue and Jon from Ocelot to reconoitre a good restaurant. I went ashore with Lloyd off Kalili for a beer or three.

The houses close to the jetty are quite shabby and up on raised platforms or stilts. We assume this part of town floods during king Tides or storms.

The main town was about 2 km inland. Lots of accomodation and restaurants as this area is frequented by western tourists. They found the restaurant they were looking for; “Murah Meriah” and booked it for 12 people. The owner was very excited to have such a big booking.

Dinner was the best Indo food so far. Lea had Satay Squid and I had fried Chicken. The sauces were very tasty. Sue believes that if the restaurant offers sauces then they can cook and are above average. Service was quick and we all got our meals at the same time. They were not big serves so we topped up from the breakfast menu, ordering Banana Pancakes and Fried Bananas, accompanied by local honey.

Three restaurant cats kept Heidi amused for the evening and the owners even had a little pet monkey out the back .

Our meal with 2 Bintangs cost 160,000Rp about $18.00 AUD

Monday August 24

We planned to take the dinghies with a picnic lunch and explore the outer islands of the 17 Island NP. I had an early appointment up the mast of Marathon Lady to see if I could fix their wind instruments. After winching me up and down the mast Russell and Rob retired ashore for the day. They want Lea to go up next time.

The tenders from Kalili, Ocelot, New Views and Gemini Lady headed off about 1100 out to the island about 2-3 Nm offshore through the reefs. It was a bumpy ride and we felt for Mandy who had Heidi on her lap.

The snorkelling was great with warm, clear water giving good visibility. Lots of nice coral and small fish. We could walk in and swim to the drop off only 30m away. Found a few “Nemo's”

Sat in the shade of some big trees for lunch. Kalili headed back for Heidi's afternoon Nap. The rest of us head over to the third island for more snorkelling. There were lots of local day boats here with western tourists, mainly German. The drop off was more dramatic and lots more fish. Jon took us out to the eastern point and we enjoyed a drift snorkel back to the dinghies.

The trip back was much smoother. Ashore again we had dinner at the restaurant at the end of the jetty. Lloyd had arranged it and had the owner on side to help us get fuel the next day. No toilet for the girls so Lea drank very sparingly. Average meal but lovely setting.

Tuesday August 25

We dropped off our fuel jerries and then walked into town for some fresh supplies, bananas, eggs and veggies. Not so much choice today.

Back at the restaurant we enjoyed fresh lemon and Papaya juice. Our deisel jerries were back but about 50 mm below the 20L mark. We discussed this with the restaurant owner, who was very concerned, and it was agreed that they were short. After much discussion and phone talk the police arrived to check. All agreed the jerries were not filled to the 20L mark and I had paid for 100L. I estimated there was 85 litres in the jerries. On Lloyd's advice I just left them to it and eventually the service station owner showed up and the situation explained. I was invited to travel back to the servo with them all and the Jerries. Here, the owner emptied my jerry and proceeded to refill it with his “2L” measure. There was no doubt that 10 of his “2L” measures were poured into the jerry. It would appear that Indonesian litres are about 10% smaller than ours. No point arguing any further. I apologised and we all moved on.

The local guys helping me said they always thought they were getting short changed. Now they had seen some evidence. Jon and Sue from Ocelot said that this is standard practice throughout SE Asia where there are no metered dispensing pumps. The servo owner must be part of the racket.

Loaded all the jerries aboard and decided to chase New Views down to the next anchorage while the breeze was in. Took a rain check for dinner on Ocelot.

Another great sail with 15kts on the beam. We were a bit more conservative with our Screecher than New Views. They had theirs out as soon as they could turn left. We waited a while to see if the wind strengthened. Our Screecher is looking very tired now so we treat it very gently. Once we had it out we pulled New Views back about 1.5Nm over the next couple of hours. In the stronger breeze the Fontaine Pageot Belize performed well.

Caught up with Marathon Lady in the Lingeh anchorage and we were immeditiately swamped with kids and adults in canoes. They were very charming and many spoke good English. We traded and gave away fish hooks, books and stuff for a huge green coconut and a big green Papaya. It was good fun. Some of the kids are very cheeky and there was lots of laughter.

Finally sent them all on their way and headed across to New Views for Sundowners.

Wednesday August 26

A very still, hot, cloudy morning. Our plans to snorkel this morning were cancelled due to lack of bright sunlight and slightly sore heads. Lea and I have not been drinking much recently and enjoying a few wines last night knocked us around a bit.

We followed Marathon Lady out of the Bay about 0830 and motor sailed for a couple of hours charging batteries and making water. A 10 kt breeze filled in behind us so we spun around, dropped the Main then flew the Spinnaker. We enjoyed a lovely peaceful sail, with the tide helping and decided to skip Bari and keep on going to Gilli Bodo.

Morning coffee enjoyed with Lea's fabulous jelly slice.

We arrived just before low tide at 1430 and had great visibility of the surrounding reefs.

Anchored in a picture perfect spot over clean sand. It looked like we had a swimming pool off the back deck. Quick cup of tea while the anchor settled then off for a snorkel.

The anchorage is quiet and peaceful. Blue Sky was already there and they came over to say hello. No village canoes to bother us. A lovely white beach that we will explore tomorrow at high tide. Monkeys fossicking on the beach. A real tropical paradise.

Loaded OpenCPN with all the goodies onto Blue Sky's computer. Just have to get a GPS input setup tomorrow and it's done. Going for a dive with Thio in the morning.

Thursday August 27

A beautiful still morning. While waiting for the sun to get higher for the dive I tried to get Blue Sky's laptop talking to the AIS unit. Gave up in frustration after an hour. Couldn't get the serial to USB drivers to load.

Went for dive in 5-8 metres with Thio. He has the same camera as we do but he really knows how to use it as the following photos show.

I was there and didn't know it was so good!

It was a great dive and a good chance for me to practice my buoyancy control as I haven't dived for a while. Lea did some distance swimming and snorkelling with the New Views crew who had just arrived.

Graham on New Views had the updated driver package for the Raymarine AIS and John on Millenium had a spare Mini USB lead so I was finally able to get Blue Sky's OpenCPN system all up and working.

Drinks and nibbles on Gemini Lady with New Views, Blue Sky and Millenium. Another very enjoyable evening.

Friday August 28

A cloudy and overcast morning but great reception on the HF Sked. We went ashore with Brian off New Views and walked to the high point of the Island. A recent burn off made it easy going.

A local boat had turned up and the young men were trying to sell us stuff. They had Komodo souvenir bowls, a wooden carving of a Komodo Dragon and lots of pearls. Very high opening prices which killed our interest in trying to bargain despite the boy's encouragement.
A refreshing swim and snorkel to wash off the ash. We had planned to head off with New Views but we were soon joined by Kalili.

Then Reverie and Ocelot turned up so we decided to stay the day. Sue was soon in the water and Lea joined her for another snorkel. Lea is really enjoying it as the reef life left is only very small. Looking forward to catching up with Peter and Denise of Reverie who we haven't seen for a while so we joined them for drinks in the afternoon.

Saturday August 29

Swam into the sandbar and did a few laps after the HF Sked. All the recent diving and snorkelling resulted in my feet cramping up so I retired to the couch again to finish the “Book Thief”. A great book. Lea took the Sup's over to Kalili and took Mandy off for some girl time.

Gilli Bodo is definately a standout of our crossing of Flores.

After morning coffee we headed off to LBJ to restock for our planned 9 days in the Komodo NP. LBJ was a very busy port town and charter boats of every description were moored here. They reminded us of the Gullets of the Mediterranean in design.

We slowly motored through the harbour taking it all in, eventually joining New Views on the the Eco Lodge anchorage. We handed over our laundry to a local boat that came by then headed into town by Dinghy. The hustle and bustle on the water was times 2 in the town. People rushing everywhere and lots of western tourist in the hotels and on motorbikes. This is the major centre for embarking on diving and cruising trips of the Komodo NP.

We tied to dinghies to the floating pontoon in front of the wet market. After getting some cash, beer and fish sauce we went back to the wet market. Great quality fresh produce. Here is what about $20.00 AUD buys. We haven't been brave enough yet to buy fish or squid at the market. We still have some mackeral in the freezer. No sign of any meat or chicken at the market. Just as well we bought a couple of freezer fulls of meat with us.

Tomorrow when our laundry comes back we leave Flores for the Komodo NP.