Monday, 10 September 2012

Banta Island

Hi everyone,
Today we sailed from Batumonco on the NW tip of Komodo Island to the bay on the N coast of Banta Island. We had a marvellous 15-18 knot SSW breeze and blasted across the 10nm wide strait between the islands in less than 90 minutes. We carried full sail and managed to keep ahead of Kakadu, mainly because they kindly only hoisted their headsail. The current was strong but across our course. In all the straits so far we've found the information in the book "Southeast Asia Cruising Guide Volume II" to be the best predictor of currents.

Zen Again Track
We are anchored at 08 24.961S 119 16.745E in 15m over sand. Banta island is very spectacular, with steep hills rising off steep-to coasts with occasional narrow beaches. We're in a large bay, but there are few tenable places to anchor. We're in a spot recommended by Bill Burbidge's "Cruising SE Asia". Here there is an area of sand about 5 to 10 metres deep which extends offshore perhaps 50m from the shallow coral, before diving down to 30m+.

Since the island is in the middle of the Sape Strait the wind has remained relatively constant all day. Being on the leeward side of the island we're getting some good strong "bullets" down off the hills too. We're hoping the wind will hold in tomorrow and carry us across to Sumbawa Island. Once in the lee of that island we expect the wind to die as it did off Flores and the other large islands.

Zen Again at Banta
Kakadu at Banta
This afternoon we snorkelled along the beach. The water is very clear but the corals and fish life less spectacular than at other places we've visited. Fascinating to view it all nonetheless. We also gave Zen Again's hull a quick scrub around the waterline.

Nice Bommie!

This evening we had dinner aboard Kakadu, with the dinner a joint effort by Anne and Nicki. The bullets off the hill were pretty strong and we kept a close eye on Zen Again. Happily the Manson Supreme anchor was well dug in and didn't drag.

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