Thursday, 2 August 2012

Enroute to Kupang

Hi everyone,
We've had a pretty good sail so far from Dili. We've had to motor several times when the wind died entirely, but we've had some great sailing. The engine is performing well.

Yesterday evening we sailed past a set of fish traps as mentioned in the preceding blog. It turns out they were moored where the current splits. To the east of them the current flows east and to the west it flows west. So we ended up in a strong favourable current of 2.5 to 3.0 knots - very nice!

For several hours overnight we had a 20-25 knot breeze in a very lumpy sea. We put one reef in and unfurled the staysail which gave us good progress and a drier ride. We were doing 6 knots boat speed but 9 knots over the ground. Excellent.

This morning we passed Pulau Balek which is an isolated small island off the coast. The strong current set up a huge "wake" to the SW of the island, complete with upwellings, whirlpools and small overfalls. All this in water too deep to register on our depth sounder. Spectacular to sail through.

Approaching Pulau Balek
We hope to arrive in Kupang this evening but I suspect we may have to motor quite a lot. There's only a 3-4 knot breeze blowing at the moment, and right on the nose.

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