Monday, 13 August 2012

Lewoleba on Lembata (Kawula) Island

Hi everyone,
Yesterday we had a great sail from Pt Sirumerang to the town of Lewoleba on Lembata Island.  Great is relative - we sailed more than we motored for the first time since Darwin.  The passage through Selat Boling (known to yachties as Boiling Strait) was great fun, with 4-5 knots of current pushing us along at 9 knots over the ground.

Zen Again Track
We departed Pt Sirumerang earlier than expected since a SE breeze came in, giving us a somewhat sleepless night.  The boat was pitching and we were a little too close to two other yachts for comfort.  When the wind didn't ease in the morning we decided to sail to Lewoleba.

Great Sailing!
Fish Trap
Dutch yacht Dalwhinnie
We arrived at Lewoleba in the early afternoon and found Fremantle yachts The Doctor and Babar here.  We registered our arrival at the Sail Indonesia tent ashore, then arranged for the provision of diesel (Rp7000/litre) and water (Rp7000/19litres).  They arrived later in the afternoon and so we now have full tanks.  We filter all diesel and treat all water before it goes into the main tanks.  The diesel from Dili, Kalabahi and here at Lewoleba has all been very clean.

Lembata anchorage
The coolest little OB van I've ever seen!
Anchorage from ashore
In the evening we met up with the crews of The Doctor and Babar for dinner.  Neither are staying for the activities in Lembata so it was an opportunity to catch up with them before they headed off again.  We ate at one of the little restaurants close to the harbour.  Rp10,000 (AU$1) for Nasi Goreng.

This morning we walked the 4km to the traditional markets where we bought a bunch of bananas for Rp3000 (A$0.30), 30 eggs for Rp4000 (A$0.40) and two coconuts for Rp7000.  The highlight of the walk to and from the market was the local scouts & guides (or similar) working on cleaning litter from the roadside.  Most Indonesian towns are littered with plastic bags and containers everywhere.  It's great the kids are learning to not just drop rubbish everywhere.

This afternoon we walked into town to explore.  Happily we found a bank with an ATM which accepted our card.  Many ATMs in Indonesia are in separate booths with their own air-conditioning.  Makes for reliable machines but perhaps slows down customers as they rejoice in a little cool air!

The Bank
Later in the afternoon the crew of Jolie Brise - a Magpie 34 yacht the same size as Zen Again - joined us aboard for a drink.  Always fun showing one's boat to someone who has a similar vessel.  Then we went ashore together for another cheap dinner in good company.

Sunset over another smoking volcano!
Organised activities start tomorrow (Tuesday 14th) with a welcoming ceremony in the afternoon and a dinner/party in the evening.  If they're anything like those in Alor we'll have a great day!

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