|Last-minute boat work pre-departure|
|Pre-departure breakfast in Darwin|
|Amazing nachos en route!|
Waking up a few hours later to catch the tide up to Cape Don, we actually were able to sail for most of it! As soon as we left the shelter of Australia, the wind got to about 20 knots and our wind instrument couldn't really cope. It kept flicking between 9, 11 and 18 knots and continued to spit out these readings for the whole journey (even as the winds picked up and the seas grew). The crossing from Darwin to Indonesia became one of endurance. With 20 knots of wind, we were sailing on a beam reach but the seas were quite boistrous and Anima was tossed about constantly. This made every normal task near-impossible. Sleep evaded me – my body just won't do it when it's being tossed about. During the second night, Rene lost one of our two winch handles overboard. It had rattled loose in the bouncy seas and slid overboard into the 1500m deep, black sea. Gone forever. The next day, the sea gave back, we caught a 50cm Barracuda on the trolling line.
There were also hundreds of flying fish about, one landed on Rene during his night watch just to keep him alert. These fish are fantastic entertainment at sea when all there is to see is the sea. They pop out of the waves and fly for metres – often looking very similar to birds.
Customs flew over us but for the first time, didn't radio in – we think due to our AIS telling them everything they needed to know. Due to the strongish winds, we had difficulty slowing Anima down so that we would arrive during daylight into Saumlaki. In the end, we had only our staysail and a scrap of headsail out and were still flying along at 5 or so knots. There weren't many ships about, but we maintained our 15 minute watches. Having Penny onboard was good – as she grew in confidence and ability, we could let her have more shifts alone and try to rest more ourselves. She is turning out to be a fantastic crew member. Full of stories and fun and always willing to help out. Lonliness is definitely not a problem with her around!
|Rene with his Barracuda|
|The surprise flying fish!|
Three days later, Rene spotted land and we all jumped about excitedly (me especially). It was exciting to hoist our yellow 'Q' flag (to signal that we need to be cleared by Quarantine), our courtesy Indonesian flag and our Australian flag. We navigated our way past floating fishing huts and anchored with the other 20 yachts already here in 20 metres of water.
After anchoring, we spotted a long, blue rope floating about 2 metres off our starboard side. Weird. There's much more stuff floating about that shouldn't be. It turns out that they grow seagrass on this rope for eating (we think). It's a little nerve-wracking to have so much stuff floating about just waiting to get caught in our propeller!
|Indonesian fishing hut|
|Anima flying her Indonesian and Q flags|
Wow! We made it! The shoreline looks amazing, different and unique. Sounds of the muslim prayer waft out towards us and we are amazed to suddenly be here!
|Saumlaki, Indonesia 2011|