Thursday, 13 September 2012

Lawang Island

Hi everyone,
Tonight we are anchored off the NE coast of Lombok, adjacent to the small island of Lawang.  We are anchored off a black sand beach in 6m at 08 18.325S 116 40246E.  Over 10 hours we logged 57nm for a passage which was 47nm over the ground.  ie We pushed a lot of tide.

Zen Again Track
Our night at Medang Island was horrible.  A southerly came up and turned pitching due to the swell from the west into heavy rolling.  We weren't putting the gunnels under, quite.  Most unpleasant.  We got a little rest, but most of the night seemed to be spent in something akin to a tumble-drier.

Unsurprisingly, at dawn all nine boats upped anchor and fled.  Most of us headed for the NE corner of Lombok where an anchorage is documented.  Lombok's north coast has very few anchorages since lava flows from the volcano have created a very steep-to coast line.

Once clear of the island we had a nice SSW wind of 15 knots for a couple of hours.  It gradually weakened and veered into the WSW, forcing us to motor-sail into it.  We had up to 2 knots of current against us so motored to ensure we got in before dark.  In the afternoon the breeze strengthened to 20+ knots and backed into the SSW, giving us a nice close reach.  Both wind and current were coming up the Alas Strait and fanning out across the approaches.

By mid-afternoon we were approaching the north end of Lawang island and of course the tide had changed and was still against us, now flowing from N to S.  As we approached land the wind died away to practically nothing and we motored in.  Once around the top of the island we learned that the anchorage was very small and was full.  Kakadu had found an alternate anchorage in the coral but it was very small.  We decided not to venture in amongst the coral (OK for them in their metal boat!) and headed back north, wondering if we were now in for an overnight sail to Medana Bay on the NW coast of Lombok.

Lombok in sight
Sunset over Lombok
Anchored with Briitsh yacht Sara II
Happily John on the yacht Sara II called us on VHF, had been in a similar situation, but had found a coral-free beach on the Lombok side of the channel between Lombok and Lawang island.  We hurried over to join them and anchored nearby.  The anchorage is exposed to the N and S but well protected from offshore breezes, which is what we'd expect overnight tonight.  Hopefully we'll get a decent night's sleep!

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