Thursday, 11 October 2012

Java Sea Again

Hi everyone,
Tonight we're at sea, on our way from the Kumai River to Belitung. Belitung is the roughly circular island west of the southern coast of Kalimantan/Borneo. The passage to Manggar on the east coast of Belitung is about 210nm.

We departed the town of Kumai on Wednesday afternoon after visiting the markets for fruit & veg, and delivery of our laundry. We motored downriver, initially in calm conditions. The wind came up as we made our way downriver, until we were battling into a strong wind directly "on the nose". The engine had a good workout. We anchored with Kakadu and several other yachts at 02 54.281S 111 42.313E in 5m over mud. The anchorage gave good protection from the 20+ knot S wind and we had a quiet evening and night.

Shortly after we arrived at the anchorage one of the bigger yachts headed out rapidly towing a dinghy from another boat. They were off to assist a yacht which had grounded in the approaches to the river. They returned successfully with the yacht in the early hours of the morning.

We got underway at 0600 today in company with Kakadu. We retraced our track into the river mouth, finding minimum depths of 4.5m. Once "in the clear" we sailed for about an hour in about 8 knots of breeze, but then the wind lightened off. We've been motoring or motor-sailing ever since, and are thoroughly sick of the sound of the engine. But very glad it's still "turnin'n'burnin".

This morning we received an email from Sail Indonesia giving dates of the final events at the last two destinations. Unfortunately the dates are ridiculous, allowing next to no time to get from the last destination to the Singapore area to join the Sail Malaysia rally. We still plan to visit the places - Belitung and Bangga - but prior to the official events. This year's Sail Indonesia has been poorly organised (IMHO), but great fun nonetheless.

Right now we're motoring along under a stary sky. There's a thunderstorm in the distance to the north. There are about a dozen fishing vessels scattered around us - all well clear. There's just a 3-4 knot breeze from the S, and that is slowly dying. We're heading SW to round the shallow water off the SW coast of Kalimantan/Borneo. Doing 5 knots through the water, with the sails adding 1 knot to the 4 knots from the motor (running at 1800rpm in "economy cruise mode"). In a few hours we'll be able to alter course to the NW and head for Belitung.

Trust all's well where you are...

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