Saturday September 5

Lea had an early morning lap session in her swimming pool (the sandy section directly behind the boat). Poor reception of the sked so we didn't log in to let the fleet know how good this spot is.

Our original plan was to stop at The island of Gilli Banta but the wind strength and direction discounted the SE anchorages so we kept going to the north of the island fighting up to 3 kts of current. The northern anchorage didn't look too inviting and as there was good breeze we elected to press on to Wera Bay on Sumbawa Island.

The wind freshened and we had a great sail across on a beam reach with full sail at 10-11 kts but still fighting up to 2kts of SE current heading down the Selat. Our heading was often 30 degrees off our COG due to the this current. We had a fantastic view of Volcano Api all day.

As we approached the pass between the volcano and the island the opposing current went to 3.6kts and the wind eased and backed to the East. We should have dropped the Main and hoisted the kite but we were too lazy and struggled along with a goose winged Screecher.

Finally arrived at Wera Bay where Marathon Lady and New Views had undertaken a MayDay rescue of a South Korean sailor who had run out of deisel. Short version of a long story. His parents had sailed to NZ and were killed in a car accident. He was in the Phillipines and the government had his passport for reasons we couldn't work out. He got into NZ somehow and picked up his parents yacht and was headed for HongKong where he lived and worked. He has his own power boat but doesn't know how to sail. He sailed from NZ under Australia then up the WA coast into Indonesia. He has friends in Borneo who he hoped could help him get his passport back. Marathon lady towed him in and Graham off New Views bought him 200l of fuel. A well appointed boat apparently but the boys had to fix his anchor winch as well. Hopefully he can get himself sorted out before the Indonesian Authorities find him.

Wera Bay is famous as a boat building centre and many craft large and small were under various stages of construction and repair. The craftsmanship is quite good but alignments are by eye rather than strict measurement. The timber is a beautiful hardwood of some sort.

The local women nearby were busy at their weaving.


The kids onshore were having a model boat sailing competition and thoroughly enjoying themselves. The black sand beach reminded us of Vanuatu. We were also surprised to see many of the boys up to age 6 or so running around naked. This was a very Moslem Village.


Ashore we were greeted by Geoff who was the tourism officer for Sumbawa. He took us for walk through town, explaining that there was a candidate for the upcoming regional election in town. A rally had been organised and the Main Street was packed with people and cars. The women were wearing bright yellow as a political affiliation statement. They were very friendly and all wanted to shake our hand and take photos with us. Rock Star status again.

Back aboard I went over to Pedro 3 to install all the Google Earth files. I was supposed to be on dinner duty so the invite from Carol and Richard on Pedro 3 to join them for dinner with Cattiva ( Grant and Leslie's) was very welcome.

Another great night followed.

Sunday September 6

Brian and Maree off New Views had decided to fly home as Maree and Julie's mother was not well. They were to head into Bima to access the airport. So we shouted our goodbyes across the anchorage. We've had some great times with them and will miss them being part of the Rally.

We were feeling a bit under the weather after our big night so the light and variable conditions necessitating constant sail changes with engines on and off was a bit of a chore.

40Nm and we anchored close to shore at the Kilo anchorage. We were soon mobbed by kids in canoes wanting stuff. They had come out with nothing for us so we asked for bananas and pawpaw as a trade. Lea did relent and give the girls some nice hair ribbon. Cattiva soon arrived so the kids left us in search of fresh blood.

Some kids did come back with pawpaw and bananas so we purchased these after getting the price down to something reasonable.

I soldered up a new lead to get all the NMEA data out of the chartplotter into laptop and OpenCPN. I was dissapointed that true wind speed and direction are not output and I wanted these to create a “polar” for Gemini Lady from the recorded logbook. Will have to look at getting a Seatalk to NMEA converter to get the full range of data circulating around the system output to the laptop.

Reading Lea's journal I was obviously engrossed in NMEA too long, so she started dinner. I did cook the BBQ though. Finally a good steak from the Fannie Bay Gourmet butcher.

Early night!

Monday September 7

A very frustrating sailing day! We left early as the “Hey Misters” were loading into the canoes and on their way out to us. Cattiva and Pedro 3 were of the same mind and we were all weighing anchor at the same time. A nice morning breeze led to 5 sail combination changes and 2 spinnaker lifts before lunch. And we wonder what we do all day. Wind boxed the compass several times.

The backdrop of Volcano Tambora made for a change of scenery but the constant haze and cloud cover made photography poor. The land looks fertile, with squares of farmed land between heavily treed areas. A lot greener than what we have seen lately. This volcano is famous for bringing the “Year without Summer” to the world when it erupted in 1815. We thought it was giving birth to new volcanos on it sides.

We decided to have a look at Satonde Island, another ancient volcano with a large saltwater lake in its Caldera. It is a nature park and the Navionics Community layer showed 2 moorings in the bay. Pedro 3 led the way in reporting that both moorings were free. Cattiva rafted up to Pedro 3 and we took the other one. A pretty anchorage but 30M depth would have made it hard without the moorings.

Ashore there is a small resort with a few bungalows, a cafe and what looked like a restaurant but with no kitchen. We waited a while for the tide to come in a bit to make the beach accessible over the reef. On arrival ashore we were greeted by the Ranger and asked to pay 100,000Rp each. An official receipt book appeared so we were happy to contribute to the upkeep of a place like this with its facilities and paved paths.

We followed the path over the lowest part of the Caldera wall to the lake. Lea went for a quick dip but it looked a bit murky to me.

The salinity is supposed to be higher than seawater but Lea was still disappointed as she didn't float. We walked both paths up to the Caldera ridge which gave us both a good work out some nice views. There were even walking sticks supplied.

Drinks and a combined BBQ dinner on Cattiva. A bit of swell came in causing Pedro 3 to roll a bit. Not a good thing while rafted up, so we moved Cattiva across to raft up with Gemini Lady. As soon as the Ranger left the local fishing boats arrived to rape and pillage the reefs.

Another fun night and too much wine.

Tuesday September 8

Woke up at 0400 as the wind had swung to the SE and we were on a lee shore and bouncing around a little. Grant on Cattiva was also up. We agreed to wait a while and the breeze did die off enough for us to go back to bed and wait until daylight.

As we dropped the mooring the breeze came in and we took off under full Main and Genoa beam reaching in 15-20kts of breeze. Our first hour we averaged over 10kts and maxed at 14kts. We passed Cattiva at 11 kts and they filmed us going past. Have to get that video. We thought the wind might moderate once behind Moyo Island but instead it went behind us and gusted to 26 kts. Time to reef. On the west side of the Island the wind died completely and the motor went on. 5 minutes later we had 10 kts from the SW then nothing again followed by big 20 kt gusts from the SE. Difficult conditions but we finished with a beat up to the anchorage in 20kts. Our nice clean boat was covered in salt again but it was the most exciting sail we have had since leaving Darwin.

We anchored in 8M and had an early lunch and a snooze. Pedro 3 and finally Cattiva caught up. looking around I felt we had moved out to sea so turned on the instruments again and confirmed we had dragged anchor. We decided to re anchor but we found we were stuck with anchor jammed in about 25M. We manoeuvred all around it but couldn't get it free. I set up all the dive gear and we called Grant from Cattiva to give us some help. I was just about ready to gear up when we noticed we were in 32M of water with 28M of tackle down. Somehow we had come free! Big relief! We re anchored in a nice sand patch and then snorkelled all around to make sure we were dug in and clear of coral bommies.

Decided to head into the resort for dinner so the girls glammed up and we took the dinghies the 1Nm to the Awanwana Resort. We were greeted at the dinghy jetty by an attendant who spoke very good English. He welcomed us and informed us that dinner was $95.00USD pp and breakfast $35.00USD pp and that we were welcome to enjoy a drink at the bar.

As we walked the path to the restaurant we took in the lovely grounds, lawns and buildings. The German manager came out to greet us and chat. Many staff hovered nearby without being intrusive to help us. We settled into couches and ordered beers and cocktails while watching the final glow of sunset disappear over the beach and ocean. 2 bowls of corn chips and freshly roasted peanuts came out with the drinks.

A stag Barking Deer and Doe were wandering about on the lawn much to our delight. The staff bought out a plate of sliced apple and the girls had a great time hand feeding the stag. He was a beautiful animal and called ” Martin”.

Dinner was delicious with a selection of 2 entrees, 3 mains and 2 desserts to choose from. We mixed it up and got to taste most things. “Martin” was dozing on the lawn but got up to say goodbye.

The dinghy ride home across the now glassy water was another treat. The torch activated thousands of luminous creatures under the water that continued to glow for a few seconds after the torch light hit them. Waving the torch in front of us created a fairyland of stars below.

An amazing day and a special night.

Wednesday September 9

A morning on the boat with Lea doing a Michelle Bridges exercise hour to justify another resort meal. We headed in about 1130 and tied up to a diving raft in front of the resort. Nice coral and fish but after about 20 minutes we ran into a heap of stingers so we quickly retreated.

The Resort jetty was much better, with clearer water and lots of large fish that hang around waiting to be fed by Resort Guests. No stingers either. Ashore the Resort staff showed us to the bathrooms and outdoor showers, complete with shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and fluffy white towels.

Lunch was enjoyed on the outside, beachfront area. There were no house guests in so we had it all to ourselves. Lunch and service were impeccable with 5 staff to look after the 6 of us. They even bought down an esky full of Bintangs to keep the supply up to us. The girls enjoyed their Long Island Teas and Grant and I finished off with a cocktail too.

Another small fortune spent but a real highlight of Sumbawa. New Views, Marathon Lady, Viannica and later Ocelot turned up. Lea and I insisted that Graham take Julie off to the Resort for a romantic evening as they have had Brain and Maree aboard since before Darwin and we're now on their own for the first time in ages. Sundowners on Gemini Lady with everyone else although Cattiva piked it. No dinner as we were still too full.

Great way to finish our time on Sumbawa Island.