We left early in the am. To see the small fishing huts villagers use we need daylight. The trip south again was mostly by motor. We had a sail up for a few short bursts. Nothing long term. The dinghy was on the davits and the Tiller Pilot was running the wind vane; minus the wind.

We set self steering up this way because 1) it was cheaper and 2) still to this day I don’t like any of the wheel steering autopilots. We had purchased a Raymarine wheel steering Autopilot once but sold it in Tonga to some friends that were in desperate need. The Tiller Pilot works fine. When there is no wind and we run the engine any power drain is irrelevant.

We’ve avoided all the fishing shacks and are getting closer to Ambon. Rounding the point we slid into the harbor. Here we found a place with no coral and a mud sand bottom. And, it was only 10 m deep. The first order of business, relax, we’re in a good place. We’re planning to hang here a few days. From this point on we are in easy range of Ambon. My anxiety level has dropped … considerably.

In the am we dropped and outfitted our dinghy. It is not like backing the car out of the garage. We ease the dinghy down missing the wind vane, put the plug in so it doesn’t fill with water and release the lifts. Then, secured we are able to lower the engine down, secure it, add the fuel tank and hose. Once complete, we are ready to go. Luckily, the water was flat. Launching and outfitting the dinghy was easy.

That evening a group of HS boys swam out to the boat. We weren’t that far from shore but still… far enough. In their limited English and our almost non existent Indo we discovered that they are on the swim team in HS.

Swim Team comes out to great us

No females. And as I think back we see very few women swimming. In Sarong at the Marina / Hotel, women would get in the pool and wade around. But as for swimming, none. 🙁 As the Sun sets the guys return to shore. Night was comfortable and the sleep good.

We motored to shore and there were heaps of motorcycles wanting to take us around. They are mini taxi’s, called Ojeks. Two of them assisted us in finding a spot for the dinghy. We hired them to take us around for some errands. Faddle was the main guy and he had some limited English. Enough that we could get across what we need to do. We used Faddle every day we were there.

Faddle and Dave

While completing the first days tasks I spotted a Tennis court. Seemed like it was in good shape and we stopped to check it out. With Faddle’s help we discovered that play begins around 3 pm. I set about to see if I could get a few games. At 3 pm I was at the court. Not courts. And there was a maintenance man cleaning the leaves off. I waited. I hit a bit on the small wall. I hit some serves. I hit some forehands and backhands down the court. And I waited. By 5 pm no one had shown up and the maintenance man wanted to lock up. Disappointed, I called Faddle and he took me back to Elysium.

Namlea Market

The last few days were adding to our supplies, picking up our laundry, and a little sight seeing. We ate at a lovely restaurant and had what is best described as a seafood boil. We ordered Crab and the restaurant covered the table with paper. When the meal arrived they dumped everything on the paper.

We picked through for the goodies and enjoyed some delicious seafood. But, for me, it wasn’t my stye. I’m not a finger food person and the work to pick a crab; is well, work.

Faddle photo bombing our Seafood Fest

Beach N Side Namlea

Faddle took us to a smallish hill overlooking the town and harbor then we swung down to a lovely beach. Faddle really, really wanted to show us this beach. After 14 years cruising I am beached out.

We see them all the time, we spend a great deal of time on beaches and one more was a bit so -so. It was lovely. It was to me; just another beach. Back to the harbor and boat we went; there preparing for our last leg heading to Ambon.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

To Ambon

We left Labuha in the dark and planned on multiple day hops. Sad that Indonesia requires the two month check ins. Sad because we would have spent more time in a village or two along the way.

We arrived, anchored, slept and left again the next day. We happened upon another mining island. Unbeknownst to us. With enough fuel we were again motoring. Around the west side of Obi I had spotted a couple of good looking anchorages on the charts. As we headed down that coast a HUGE industrial complex peeked out from the bay. Getting closer several barges came into view. Oh-oh! Not again. After having been at Gebe and in Raja Ampat; two extremes in Indo, this came as a surprise. There was no sign on the charts nor any in Zulu Waterways from other cruisers. There is now a notation, I put one there. We thought one of the bays I identified would be fine.

They weren’t. The first bay had a barge leaning on the shore, a reef extending out to the middle and a local fishing boat anchored. They anchored where we would have liked to be. We went to check out the second spot. It too was filled with commercial craft and several local boats hanging around the S shore. We motored in getting a closer look and found it was way to deep. We turned around and went to check out the third bay. The S shore was lined with barges, the river feeding the bay which usually has a good place to anchor was deep and didn’t feel right. Then there was a wharf for commercial loading too. We’d been motoring back and forth now for about 45 minutes. Time to decide.

Many of these are on the W side of Obi

We were only staying overnight. We went to the first bay and dropped the hook in 25 m of water. We sat a bit close to the fishing boat. The winds were not expected to change. What wind there was was slight. And I thought the current would be the primary mover. Later that day one of the commercial boats left. That helped. The locals on the fishing boat kept an eye on us and we on them, making sure the boats stayed apart. We survived the day and the evening. The next am we pulled anchor heading south.

Again the motor was on. Fishing lines out. No luck on the fish, none either on the winds. We rounded the point and came into Namlea. We were close enough to Ambon now, one or two days away depending on how hard we wanted to work, that we could spend some time here.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long