We came to Kaimana with the desire to become a tourist. We don’t usually cruise as a tourist. At times, circumstances demand we switch roles. There were Whale Sharks around Kaimana, Indonesia. They have are a fascinating animal. Neither shark, nor whale, they are slow lazy swimmers and a big, big mouth.
Kaimana is a little out of the way, and a bit out of the cyclone area.
For us, more for me; the sad part was that this time of year it is the doldrums. A period of no wind. Whale Sharks don’t care. I did. We motored the entire way. Motored from Tual. The motoring was one thing, fueling up was another.
Elysium holds around a 1,000 litres of diesel and I don’t relish the idea of getting too low. The last time we topped up was in Cairns, QLD. In Cairns we didn’t get to the top. Here, in a place that rarely services any yachts (but a lot of fishing boats) we needed fuel. There are two challenges in that regard. First Indonesia has different qualities of Diesel. Solar which is a low-low quality country subsidised fuel and the higher quality Dexlite. Of course the Dexlite costs more. And to make life more interesting, there is no, and I mean zero, diesel available on the dock for yachts. And the dock will not accommodate our boat. With the tide and dock height we would have damage. The method in Kaimana is to jerry jug it. We could use about 300 more litres. We don’t need 300 but that would fill us up. We settled for 120 liters. Now, if you are not Superman, or an Avenger, carrying 120 litres of diesel doesn’t work well into my lifestyle. We needed help. In a country where there are few similarities between our mother tongue and theirs, we bring out the best of charades. That and an app translator.
Infinity and Sand Groper found a Taxi that took them to a station nearby. When we tried to take a taxi to the station we were being driven clear across town, across the harbor, to the farthest point from out boat. We aborted near the Pentamax fuel terminal. W/ suggested; better described as insisted, we go talk to them. Again with Charades and an Indonesian English translate app we arranged to met two employees in the afternoon. We would bring our Jerry jugs. They would take us to fill up with Dexlite and 10 liters of gasoline. At he terminal we waited and played charades with the guard till the employees arrived. We were lucky. Rosi Li and Ronald drove us to an area out of town past the Airport for Fuel. Rosi Li was concerned if we had enough money. The total came to 2.2 million Indonesian dollars. We had enough. And in air-conditioned comfort they actually hauled us back to the wharf where we had left our dinghy. We added the fuel to out empty tank, treated it and returned 4 containers we had borrowed from another cruiser. That completed we were ready for our Whale Shark adventure.
The following day another set of cruisers had asked about fuel at the hardware store. The store right outside the port. The owner called his son who picked them up. The station was about 1 km up the hill they filled some more jerry jugs. I was impressed and amazed at how close it really was. Our last day in Kiamana W/ and I walked up the hill and added 10 more liters to our gasoline inventory for our dinghy. After which, now that I knew exactly where it was, I added it to the Zulu app for other cruisers.
One of the most important skills of a cruiser is to seek advice from other cruisers. Local knowledge is KING! Cruising guides are good. Yet by the time they are published and bought there is out of date info. The Zulu app fills that gap. In whatever area you cruise, others who have gone before have uploaded places to go, how to get there, what services are available, and cool anchor spots. Don’t leave home without Zulu! As always, I have no financial investment or any other relationship to the company. W/ and I do find the app helpful.