Friday, 31 August 2012


Hi everyone,
Today we had a fantastic passage from Linggeh to Pulau Gilibodo. Fantastic because we sailed for 5 of the 9 hours during the 40nm passage. The wind was light and for much of the time we were hard on the wind. We had a great time helming manually to get the best out of the boat. What made it even more fun was "racing" first Jolie Brise (a Magpie 34) then Kakadu (a Rogeburg 45).

Zen Again Track
Zen Again GoogleEarth Track (not chart offset)
Our evening at Linggeh yesterday was fun. Soon after we arrived dugouts and other boats started arriving from the village with young and not so young folk visiting us. Some just wanted handouts, while others wanted to trade or sell goods. We bought bananas, mangoes, pawpaw and a coconut. We supplied several bags of kid's clothes to one older man and two young ladies in the hope that they would be distributed to kids in the village. The kids who behaved got a lolly, a pencil and some a notepad.

Some of the Sail Indonesia yachts don't seem to like having such visitors, but we enjoy the visits - perhaps because Nicki's Bahasa is quite good now. What we've discovered since arriving is that swimming goggles and sunglasses are the goods most frequently requested by adults. They would be very valuable in trading for fresh fish, fruit and veggies. Last night one family rowed a mile back to the village to get the fruit we wanted to trade for clothes for their kids. A trade both parties did well from!

Jolie Brise
Zen Again
The anchorage here at Gilibodo has 14 yachts this evening, with room for quite a few more. We're anchored just east of a "bar" of rock/coral which runs north/south well off the beach, providing a nice breakwater for the anchorage. The bar and channel inshore of it isn't shown on the charts, but can be seen (just) on GoogleEarth. We're at 08 22.066S 120 00.882E in 8m over sand and rock.

Gilibodo anchorage
Tomorrow we expect to move on to one of the major stops in Sail Indonesia - Labuan Bajo.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Hi Everyone,
Today we sailed from Tangil Island off the town of Riung to an anchorage off the village of Linggeh. Well actually we motored for most of the way. We did have an hour with the MPS/asymetric spinnaker up and an hour close reaching, and they made the passage fun. The eastern sky was slowly filled with cirrus cloud as the day wore on. Perhaps they mean we'll get some wind in a day or two. (Dream On).

Zen Again Track
Zen Again GoogleEarth track into anchorage
We spent three nights at Tangil Island since it was such a lovely spot. Snorkelled at least twice every day at a different spot around the island. Sundowners on the beach with all the yachties each afternoon. Very civilised. When we first arrived there were a group of US and Canadian yachts there who we hadn't seen since Alor Island. They sailed on the next day, and were replaced by another set of yachts, and the group changed again the following day when the four French yachts, two Scandinavian and a German yacht arrived.

One yacht which arrived (NZ yacht Kakadu) was the first we've met who did the eastern route to Saumlaki, Banda, Wakatobi, etc. They invited us aboard for dinner last night and we had a very nice evening.
Swiss yacht Sostene
Longgeh Anchorage
Tomorrow we expect to sail to Gili Bodo, another 30nm west.

Trust all's well where you are...

Monday, 27 August 2012

Tangil Island

Hi everyone,
Today we had a good passage from Mausambi to Tangil Island. The island is near the town of Riung on Flores Island. We logged 43nm in 8 hours and 20 minutes, motor-sailing most of the way. We had one hour of engine-less sailing but sadly the wind was light all day. At times the sea was "glassed out". Our work cleaning the hull paid off. Previously we'd get 4.3-4.4 knots at 1800rpm. Now we're getting 4.9-5.0 knots. That has improved our average speed in passages like today's significantly.

Zen Again Track
We were originally planning to head a little further west, but we heard the magic words "sand cay" on the radio and diverted here. On arrival we found at least a dozen yachts anchored. The anchorage is deep but it adjacent to a spectacular sandy beach on a small island. By sundown there were 19 yachts here.

Tangil Island anchorage
After anchoring at 08 33.362S 121 03.425E in 18m over sand we swam ashore for a snorkel near the beach. Although much of the coral is dead, there is some live coral and plenty of colourful fish. There were bigger fish around the drop-off and we saw a barracuda - the first we've ever seen alive. We plan to explore further tomorrow.

Parrot Fish 
Amazing fish and corals
Zen Again
Quiet anchorage
Nice view of the beach and anchorage
Setting sun at Tangil Island
At 5pm we went ashore to the beach for sundowners with half a dozen other boats - Dol Selene, Recluse, Blue Healer, Jolie Brise, Sostene and Mojo. Nice sunset in good company. After sunset we discovered the island isn't uninhabited - it is owned by the rats. They descended from the hill to claim their territory. They were big. We left!

Trust all's well where you are.

Sunday, 26 August 2012


Hi everyone,
Today we sailed from Maumere to Mausambi, logging a distance of 37nm in 7 hours 30 minutes.  We had light winds and motored all but the last hour.  It was a nice passage past very varied scenery.  For most of the passage we were within 0.5nm of Kokomo V, so we took pictures of each-other and they took some great video of us.

Zen Again Track
On arrival we anchored in 14m over sand at 08 30.204S 121 47.201E.  That's between two reefs which run W-E.  One can anchor south of both or between them.  We are between the two.

We are now anchored near two Swedish and one German yacht, with Kokomo V, Nefertiti 1 and Dutch yacht Dalwhinnie anchored on the other side of the reef.  An hour or so after arriving a fish feeding frenzie erupted nearby.

Anchored in Mausambi in midst of a feeding frenzy
Here are some of the photos of Kokomo V and Zen Again as we motor-sailed along today...

Zen Again
Kokomo V
Later in the afternoon we went for a swim to continue cleaning the hull.  We're on the last stage - cleaning the keel.  That shows two things - we're nearly done, and our diving is improving!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Maumere Sea World (day 4)

Hi everyone,
We've been having a great time with about a dozen other Sail Indonesia boats here at Sea World.  Amazingly this is now our fourth day here.

On Thursday we had a "lay day" of sorts.  We intended to stay on the boat for a rest.  Instead of course the job list came out and we got to work on it.  I serviced the engine (changed oil, oil filter and primary and secondary fuel filters).  Nic baked bread.  Together we extracted, greased and replaced the sheaves (pulleys) at the clew (outer) end of the boom.  The sheaves have been squeaking for a while and silicon spray only fixed them for an hour.  Mid afternoon we went ashore and arranged a tour for Friday and socialised at the happy hour on the beach.

On Friday we were up at 0415, ashore at 0500 and on the road to Kelimutu with 6 of our French friends by 0515.  The three hour drive to the Kelimutu National Park was interesting and on fully sealed roads.  We travelled in two nice new "people-movers" which were very comfortable.

The national park features the famous three coloured volcanic crate lakes.  From the car park there is an uphill walk of about a kilometre through lush vegetation to the viewing area over the two lower lakes.  From there it is a further uphill walk of perhaps 500m to the top viewing platform.  Note - one needs to get to the lakes before 0900 since clouds often roll over them from mid-morning.  Along the lower path we met a troop of monkeys.

Colourful lake
Milky lake
Black lake
Impressive scenery
The volcanic lakes are amazing colours which apparently change over time, sometimes quite quickly.  On the day one was turquoise, the second topaz and the third a very dark green.

The drive back to Maumere was enjoyable since it was in the middle of the day and the views were clearer than they had been early in the morning.

When back in Maumere we stopped at a BNI bank to withdraw cash from their ATM, then visited the Roxy Supermarket.  Roxy has an array of western foods and is unique (so far for shops we've found in Indonesia) in accepting credit card payment.  We bought UHT milk; Kellogs Corn Flakes; loo roll; cans of fruit, corned beef and tuna; and various snack foods.  We then visited the local market for fresh veggies and "pulsa" (credit) for my mobile phone.  From there it was back to Sea World in time for sundowners.  A fun day!

Today we are trying to have a real rest day.  We expect to resume heading west tomorrow.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Maumere Sea World Resort

Hi everyone,
We had a fantastic sail today, running the motor for less than 30 minutes and sailing for over 4 hours.  We are now anchored at 08 38.084S 122 18.501E in 8m over sand.  We are with about a dozen other yachts off Sea World Resort which is east of the town of Maumere on Flores Island.

Zen Again Track
The wind held in for the entire trip at 18-25 knots from the SE.  We were hard on the wind and the boat loved it with No 2 jib and full main.  Great fun with the boat tramping along at 5 to 6 knots and occasional spray flying over.  The foredeck got a good wash, which it needed.  Only problem is we were having so much fun we didn't take any pictures!

Last night we were invited aboard the French yacht Alibi for the second night in a row.  It turned out to be a birthday party and we were treated to nice snacks, champagne, wine and a yummy chocolate cake with custard.  The crews of the four French yachts we've been sailing with were all aboard, and we all agreed to sail here together today.

After arriving here we were visited by local lads offering fuel/water/laundry/food supply services.  We filled our water tanks, bought fresh veggies and fruit, and sent our laundry off for washing. We then went ashore at 4pm to join the local yachties' sundowner which the resort hosts for the crews.  The resort restaurant is open to us too, and we'll take advantage of that tomorrow.

Maumere Sea World anchorage
Maumere Sea World anchorage
We expect to stay here for a couple of days, and hopefully will visit the local volcano and the three volcanic lakes near it.

By the way, the blogs from Kroko Island to here have now been updated with photos.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Pulau Besar

Hi everyone,
Today we sailed from Tanjung Gedong to Pulau Besar, a distance of about 30nm. We motored for about half of the trip, and then a nice sea breeze arrived. For the last hour or so we "raced" alongside a 40' yacht and held our own. ;) We entered the anchorage through the passage between the reefs which were very easy to see with polorised sunglasses. Unusually it took us three attempts at anchoring. The first attempt the anchor dragged, the second we found ourselves over a shallow coral outcrop, and finally third time lucky.

Zen Again Track
We had a pleasant evening last night at Tanjung Gedong. We were invited aboard the French yacht Alibi along with the crew of French yacht Shangri-La. We took some dip and some olives and tried some very nice French drinks, including a whisky. Their English is very variable, as is our French. Nicki is pretty good while I am gradually remembering my schoolboy French vocabulary.

Approaching the anchorage
At anchor
The anchorage is surrounded by some quite tall hills/mountains, and there is a very neat and tidy looking village on the shore nearby. There is supposed to be good snorkelling nearby but I found the water quite murky when I went for a quick look after anchoring. We may push on tomorrow, or possibly spend a day here.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Tanjung Gedong

Hi everyone,
We had a pleasant sail from Kroko Island to Cape Gedong today. We started off with a nice sailing breeze and even set the asymetric to help keep up with the bigger boats. We sailed the 30nm in company with the four French boats plus several catamarans from Australia and Austria. After about 3 hours of sailing we had to motor-sail to keep moving - the breeze was about 6 knots from astern. Happily we had the tide with us all the way.

Zen Again Track
Our hull cleaning activities certainly helped since we got 0.2 to 0.3 knot better boat speed at our usual cruising RPM. The engine seemed to be running more smoothly, perhaps due to the several barnacles removed from the propellor.

Tanjung (Cape) Gedong is a small promontory just west of Tanjung Kopondai at the eastern end of Flores Island. The little bay to its west has a nice little anchorage in 8-12m of water over coral rubble and some sand. We are anchored at 08 04.605S 122 50.722E. The vegetation ashore is more lush than the places we've visited previously, so presumably there's more rain here. Very dry and sunny at the moment though. A pretty anchorage.

Ananda and Shangri-La
Nice little anchorage
Zen Again
We went for a quick snorkle after arriving. A nice swim and quite a few colourful fish, but very little coral. After our swim the local village kids started arriving asking for handouts. We traded a couple of shirts for some coconuts but the others were apparently not interested in trade. Before leaving Kroko Island we bought some nice bananas from one of the local men. I think he made a killing over the last couple of weeks from Sail Indonesia yachts. Home delivered bananas are considerably more expensive than those in the market! :)

Tomorrow we plan to push on to Pulau Besar, another 30nm west.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Kroko Island (Day 3)

Hi everyone,
Today we stayed at Kroko Island. We spent much of the morning continuing to clean the hull, which is now looking pretty good. We could clearly see the bottom and at one stage saw the local manta ray snooping about on the bottom below us.

Cleaning the hull (with help from a few little friends)
Zen Again
Amazing coral "islands" amid the sea grasses
Clown fish
Just another bommie?
Scorpion fish (lower right)
In the afternoon about 6 more boats joined us in the anchorage, including our Tipperary Waters friends on Kokomo V and Nefertiti 1. The crews from all 11 boats met on the beach for sundowners in the late afternoon. Prior to that we did a little more snorkelling and found some very nice spots west of the sandy cay.

Tomorrow morning we will depart towards the anchorage near Teluk Gedong, just around the northmost point of Flores Island.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Kroko Island (day 2)

Hi everyone,
We had a wonderful day here at Kroko Island. We slept like the dead after all the swimming yesterday. When we woke a strong SE breeze was blowing up from Selat Boling and all the other yachts had departed. We had this lovely place all to ourselves all morning. Early in the afternoon four French yachts arrived from Lewoleba.  Ananda, Alibi, Charlene and Shangri-La.

Dirty hull, crystal clean water
Late in the morning and in the early afternoon we had two sessions cleaning the hull of Zen Again. This is the first place we've visited where visibility is really good, and that's a big help in cleaning. The visibility is so good you can see the chain arcing down to the bottom (16m down) and running along the bottom for a 10m before it becomes indistinct. The hull isn't terribly dirty, but getting rid of the growth while we have the opportunity is a "must do". Before, during and after the cleaning the boat is surrounded by hundreds of tiny fish plus a few of up to 10cm length. A school of black and white striped fish about 2.5cm long appear to like our prop shaft. All very colourful.

Spot the shy clown fish
An amazing experience
Fantastic corals
Lots of fish
Mid afternoon we dinghied ashore and went snorkelling around the sand cay. We found even better areas than yesterday. Spectacular. Many, many types of fish, several types of starfish and many types of coral. After the snorkelling we visited all the French boats to invite them to sundowners on the cay. Three of the crews came ashore and we had a fun time resurrecting our French and chatting with them in English and French. They (like us) were planning to move on tomorrow but have now decided to stay one more day.