Monday, 6 August 2012

Motoring across the Sava Sea

Hi everyone,
After a pleasant morning yesterday sailing from Kupang to Cape/Tanjung Kurus we anchored about 200m from shore and 50m from the fringing reef (which dries), in about 10m (above datum) over sand. The holding was pretty good - a nasty roll and pitch inducing sea came in for much of the afternoon and evening to test that. We anchored at 09 45.41S 123 39.96E.

Sailing north from Kupang with Fayaway
Nice Halo
Approaching Cape Kurus
Anchored with The Doctor
Due to the boat's movement we didn't swim, but I'm sure it would be a nice spot for a swim in calmer conditions. The bay is quite pretty with lots of lush vegetation, trees and palms, and a nice sandy beach. There were a group of local fishing boats moored nearby and we could see fires burning ashore that evening. The locals came out to fish from the shore using bright lights, which we assume to be for squid.

By 2100 the seas were dying down and we had a very good night's sleep. In the morning we were up at 0600 and underway at 0630. We had a quiet sail for about an hour. As we approached Cape/Tanjung Mas (where the coast of Timor trends around to the NE) the wind died. We've been motoring ever since. It's now past 1730 in the afternoon. We decided to head for Alor which is the next official stop for Sail Indonesia. Some yachts are bypassing Alor but we thought it looked interesting.

The motor is performing well, and happily we haven't encountered the SW currents which assisted us from Dili to Kupang. We are seeing a tidal current which assists us for 6 hours and then is contrary for a similar period. When it's with us it appears to be stronger which is nice. We had anticipated arriving at the entrance to Selat/Strait Pantar tomorrow morning after dawn, but our better than expected progress may get us there at about 0300. Happily it appears the tide will be going our way when we arrive. Just as well because the S flowing tide gets up to 9 knots in the Strait!

It's a shame we're not sailing, but after this passage we'll be island-hopping and the islands do seem to produce their own land/sea breezes. Out here in the middle of the Sava Sea it has been glassed out for most of the day, broken only by small patches of sea where the water is disturbed. Perhaps the patches mark upwellings of some kind. The current seems to change near them.

We've spoken on the VHF to one of five boats in a group which are anchored on the North coast of Timor and planning to depart for Alor this evening. I expect a number of other boats are already in Alor since many left Kupang 2-3 days ago. We also spoke with Babar on HF. They are anchored with The Doctor at Cape/Tanjung Kurus. We've arranged to speak with them twice each day.

We haven't seen any commercial traffic so far today. The MV Cape Lotus just came up on AIS and is expected to pass 5nm clear.

Trust all's well where you are.

No comments:

Post a Comment