I SCREWED UP

Truth be told, it’s not my fault. Yeah right! It is my fault. We’re moving W along the top of Bali. Not a lot of hidy holes for day sailing. In lay terms, no really good anchorages. And sailing at night courts disaster in these waters. Indonesian fisherman build fishing huts and then abandon them till needed again. Most are unlit. Seems most are still hanging around. Few have any reflectors, all are made of wood. Hitting one at night would not be fun. And; especially if there was a fisherman sleeping in one. So we day sail. Or should I say in Indonesia day travel.

There is a nice harbor two days away. But while we work our way there, every night stop leaves us rolling; and not with laughter. Side to side and up and down. It makes sleeping and living aboard difficult. So we want to reach this harbor quickly. That said we both saw a place on the chart to stop; about 30 nm away from rolling at Amed. The view of the mountain at Amed was spectacular. The roll was painful. So, we looked to move…soon.

But wait; there looks to be another anchorage stop 6 nm further. That would make the next days travel faster. How about we go there? In the end that would have been great. But Dave wanted more and we had heard of a place called “Lovina” that is quite nice. Dave (me) looked at the chart and sees a harbor another 10 miles further along. And… since we left Amed early we can make it. Lovina! The problem is, it was not Lovina.

And the biggest problem Dave (me) has with cruising in Indo is names. I don’t mind names being different. But; names on the charts are often from when the Dutch charted these waters a century ago. Then we have names that cruisers and ex-pats use. Lovina was one of them. And finally we have the Bahasa names of the local citizenry. Make me choose between two colors and boom! Easy. Give me a third and prevaricate.

We sailed on to Lovina. Which turned out to NOT be Lovina. I looked at the chart, looked at the Book of Lies which actually turned out to be correct. I didn’t suss that out at the time. So we called Mike and Danny on NotSueMe. They helped us find Lovina. And it ended up being 12 nm behind us. You can imagine my frustration discovering that. Plus W/ was not happy.

We tried checking around the corner for what looked like an anchor spot. 500 feet offshore we were still in 150’ of water. It is not looking good. Continuing to our destination would put us arriving at a new harbor close to dusk. If anything happened we could be in deep do- do. We choose to go back. Twelve miles, two hours.

If there is any good news, it is that the afternoon was windless. We could motor back. We would be there in two hours with 30 minutes of light left. We turned about, increased the rpms and as fast as we could go, we went…. Backwards.

Twenty minutes before sunset we dropped the anchor in 15’ of water on black sand. The party was on the beach, the dinghy was up, we were tired and all we did was grab a bite of food and crash for the evening. The swell was moderate and we didn’t deploy the flopper stopper. W/ still chose the sea berth for counting sheep. The next am, as the sun cleared the mountain we had the anchor up and were retracing our steps; hoping to reach the peaceful harbor we’ve dreamed about.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long

Leaving Bali

We came to Bali: 1) To find a real Dermatologist for the cyst on W/s neck, 2) to hang with our old marina mate Dan on Vagabond, and 3) because of its reputation as a great tourist place. We found a good dermatologist and surgeon, and W/ had the cyst removed. Dan finally returned from his world tour by plane and we did a few touristy things. I plan to expand on tourist Bali in a later post.

The hard part was ahead of us. Leaving Bali. We had a comfortable moorage in Bali. We were way, way back in the harbor – out of the swell. We were however near the intermittent burning of the dump. Too we were in line with the garbage floating in and out of the harbor with the tide, and we were in a very nutrient rich basin of water. So much so, that with 3+ weeks of growth the prop was covered with barnacles. How do I know? I snorkeled to clean the prop. While in the water I scanned the growth on the hull and thought “not bad”. Boy was I wrong.

We left at 6 am on an outgoing tide. Motored through the harbor missing some of the permanent sunk wrecks and out through the pass. The day looked great with a light SE breeze. A fellow cruiser suggested sliding up along the Bali coast and then cut over to Gili Air. We were going backwards. We don’t like going backwards, but – the only good Marina near by is back at Lombok. Exiting the harbor we turned north. And we stopped. Not because the engine wasn’t on, not because we couldn’t fill the sails with wind. Because the current was running S along this coast. There are no chart books covering currents in the strait. The app “Windy” displays currents. Our experience is that Windy’s data must be gleaned from the fiction section of the library. The info here never really bores out.

We don’t like pretending to move. So …like any rational person we changed our destination and thus course. We turned E and motored. East was heading into the breeze but it wasn’t enough for concern. However the confluence of the current and winds put our boat speed at about 3 kts. With this engine speed we ought to have been running at 6 kts. But; BUT, we were moving toward our new destination.

As we approached the N side of Nusa Penida. we picked up some speed and the southerly wind swell broke up. We still had messed up chop. In this area there are many fast boats (tourist boats) they create a constant chop. By this time a half the day had passed and I worried about making our new mooring by nightfall. We did have a track out of Gili Gede. That was good because the pearl farms there have a huge amount of bouys floating between the islands. Each bouy supports hundreds of oysters.

We didn’t travel any faster the last 1/3 of the way. Every time we hit 5 kts of speed over the ground I was excited. Nearer sunset we were entering the sounds by Gili Gede. We worked our way around the oyster bouys, keeping an eye on the track we made when leaving. Eleven plus hours after we left Bali we picked up a mooring. But, it was still light outside. We made it, in the light, with no big drama.

The following am we dug out the hooka gear and I grabbed my mask and fins. W/ scrounged up old gloves, a scraper, a green scratch pad and wash rag. I was going to clean the bottom. And wow! Did it need cleaning. After 3 weeks in Bali we had the beginnings of a new reef. The boat bottom was one of the reasons we didn’t make great time. I guess I ought to have cleaned the bottom in Bali. But… the water was so dirty. Here in Gili Gede the water is clean and clear. Tomorrow we head up to Gili Air. A few days hanging with heaps of tourists, then head the last 3 nm and haul out at Medana Bay Marina.

Go Slow
Sail Far
Stay Long