Friday, 7 September 2012

Pink Beach

Hi everyone,
Today we sailed from the bay near Gililawa to Pink Beach, half way down the east coast of Komodo Island.  We had good breeze and only motored for the last mile when passing through a narrow channel with BIG current.  The passage was only 15nm but was great fun.  We're now on a mooring at 08 36.320S 119 31.485E, in 30m of water.  We're moored between Pulau Punya and the main island.

Zen Again Track
We hitched a big ride with the tide.  Despite the wind being on the nose we charged south, sometimes reaching 11 knots over the ground (i.e. at least 5 knots of tide with us).  Throughout the passage there were periods of overfalls, with patches of very smooth water mixed up with patches of very disturbed water.  Very spectacular.  We sailed between Tangung Torokuning and the offlying islets, where the water was very angry - we actually "sailed" directly to windward due to a nice lee-bow effect.  The only place I've sailed with similar conditions is the Channel Islands between the UK and France.

The passage through the channel north of Pulau Punya had a good current running too.  Only about 3 knots but lots of whirlpools and disturbed water.  We were slewed around a lot but the transit through the passage was no problem.  Once through we spotted a free mooring and grabbed it quick-smart.

Sailing with the tide
On the mooring
In the afternoon we took the dinghy over the the NW corner of Pulau Punya and from there snorkelled with the dinghy in tow.  The current took us NE back towards Zen Again.  The corals were very colourful, and we spotted several types we haven't seen before.

Despite the anchorage being called Pink Beach,  the beach is actually out of sight from where we are.  We decided to swim near the boat instead of taking the dinghy around the corner to the beach.

Tomorrow we plan to ride the current south in the morning, round the south coast of Komodo Island, and then ride the current north in the afternoon.  Hopefully we'll end up at Banta Island, NW of Komodo Island.  Banta is a convenient overnight stop before heading further west to Sumbawa Island.

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