Friday, 28 September 2012


Hi everyone,
This morning we sailed from Gili Air to the village of Bunutan on the NE coast of Bali.  We had a great sail in 15-25 knot winds.  On the eastern side of the Lombok Strait we has current behind us, in the middle it was setting us S and in the west it was against us.  ie The current fans in to the strait 24/7 during the SE trades.

Zen Again Track
For the first time since leaving Australia we had to deal with large ships in close proximity.  The Jewel of Dubai was on a close-to-collision course in the middle of the strait so we called them to arrange separation.  Turns out they were enroute to Bunbury in our home state of WA.  After they passed ahead we then passed 1nm ahead of a large bulk carrier - always fun waiting for the big guy's bow to open up on the other side when they're bearing down on you!

Lombok astern
We are now anchored at 08 20.177S 115 39.589E in 18m over coral sand.  The anchor is on the drop-off, and when the wind swings to the E we are in only 4m.  Very convenient for snorkelling!

The village is principally a fishing village, with an array of fish traps moored offshore.  The small bay where it is sited is about 50m deep, except for the edges where perhaps 10 boats (at the most) could anchor.  Each boat has to find a spot for its anchor which isn't too deep, and which doesn't allow the boat to drop back into too shallow water.  Kakadu dropped their bow anchor off the beach and then took a long stern line ashore to moor themselves - very sensible. 
Anchored at Bunutan, with Kakadu inshore
View looking east
Zen Again anchored over the "drop off"
Beautiful bommies
Sunken Shrine
The village also caters for tourists, with a few hotel/homestays on the beach.  All afternoon people have been snorkelling around the edge of the bay, and we joined them.  Some nice coral but the main attraction is the fish and the spectacular drop-off.  The water is clear enough to clearly see our anchor in nearly 20m of water.  An interesting feature was a small (1.5m high) Hindu temple on the bottom of the bay in about 3m of water.  It has a small buoy above it to mark its position.  I'm sure it would be very bad karma to hit it while trying to anchor!

This evening we had a pleasant dinner ashore with the crew of Fearless Hunter.  They were a few miles ahead of us on the passage over from the Gilis and radioed us information about the weather and the anchorage.

Tomorrow we expect to head west to Lavina Beach on the NW coast of Bali.  We expect light winds and adverse tides.  Hopefully our expectations will prove to be incorrect!

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