03 – 06 August 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)
We left Kupang mid morning and motored up the Timor coast to anchor over night. This would break the trip up into two manageable day trips rather than having to sail north across the Sulu Sea all night in the shipping lanes. We found a small village that had a 20 foot depth not too close to the shore which was ideal for anchoring. The coast here is VERY deep. Sometimes it\’s 600 feet deep only a few hundred feet offshore. The reason is that these are geologically very young islands and have several active volcanoes throughout the entire archipelago.
The villagers waved and were all smiles and friendly. You can easily see (a theme which we would see over the next two weeks), the poverty and very rudimentary facilities along the shore side towns. Ironically, wireless phone and internet is widely available. Before the advent of mobile phones, the infrastructure for telephone lines would have been cost prohibitive. With the advent of wireless, most people can afford a mobile phone even in the remotest areas.
It is also a common theme here to see Christian churches near Muslim Mosques. The call to prayer is often heard in the small villages at dawn and dusk.
We said our goodbyes to the Sail Indonesia Rally and were now going off the beaten path on our own. We arrived in Lembata with hopes of a nicer looking but smaller Kupang. Well, it was smaller! Again, the incredible \”shack\” town along the water front was something to behold. If I ever get to photos, you\’ll see what I mean. We found a fairly comfortable anchorage and briefly went ashore. The liter was everywhere, it was not appealing. The people were however, very friendly. Our dinghy line was caught by a young boy who could not have been more than 11-12 years old with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. We really didn\’t like the vibe and the walk to town was going to be quite a distance. Interestingly, motorcycles would pull up to us and ask us if we wanted a ride to town. These were basically large mopeds. There is no way the three of us could have ridden on it…..or so we thought. A few minutes later, the same type of \”bikes\” were zooming past us with three and four people on them. This was sight to behold.
We left that afternoon for what looked to be a nice anchorage, quiet and secluded from the big town and en-route we came up \”Relapse\”, \”Uliad\”, \”Utopia II\” and \”Myriam\”. All of us from the rally went to the same anchorage. The theme was kids. All the other boats had kids aboard and were hanging out together for the obvious reasons. The anchorage was quite lovely. Everyone went swimming in the finally clean, clear water. It was reminiscent of Fiji last year.
Nikki and I of course had to \”get\” to Bali for her daughter Hollie\’s wedding on the 25th, so off we went.
More soon! Scott and Nikki