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SAILING SHIRTS
HATS & OTHER FUN
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Plain Sailing 






Indonesia Travel Atlas

 
 

 FLORES - SAILING INDONESIA                                                                                      

Hading Bay

When we reached the anchorage on the northeaster end of Flores, in Hading Bay, it was already crowded so Stardust, GWTW and Ascension moved to the other side of the bay where we made continuous attempts to anchor in the coral and steep drop-off as the sun set over the horizon. This anchorage is typical of the ones we have been encountering, very deep water (160’), then a few feet away a very shallow (6’) shelf, usually coral. It makes for extremely difficult anchoring. We listened to our chain drag across the coral all night but the 3 boats held okay.

Wailamung

August 13

Fabulous sail (yes, there was actually some wind!) for 3 hours to an anchorage in front of the village of Wailamung.

We were greeted on the beach by a swarm of kids who followed us into the village.

We met an English speaking student. He invited us into his home; a basic room with plastic chairs photos of Jesus on the walls. There was a cloth separating another smaller room that contained only a wooden bed. The children crowded around the doorway and finally spilled inside the room when Liam began to draw for them.
The children were very amused by Liam's drawings, which broke the language barrier instantly. We were shown the weavings made by the woman of the house and they were of excellent quality. We gave out pencils and books and, before leaving, we signed the guest book. Further along we met the young school teacher, also an English student. I gave him reading books for the children and he invited us to visit the school the following day.
Heading back to the boat we were followed by a procession of villagers and I gave away T-shirts and shoes to the women and children. Some of the little girls were really excited to get the Western style T-shirts I were giving away.

Pecan Trees
grew everywhere with their strange looking seed pad and bright red flowers.
At the beach the village gave us a warm good-bye as we climbed into the dinghies and headed back to the boats.

Party on Stardust

That evening all the boats got together for sundowners on Stardust. There were 22 aboard, standing room only. It was good to meet some of the other boats.

Afterwards we headed over to GWTW for one of their great BarBees.


Aug. 14

At 8 am we headed to shore for the market, which had been well underway for several hours.  Laid on the ground was everything from clothing, to dry goods, to toys. There wasn’t much available in the way of produce left but we managed to purchase a few items. I had wanted some pawpaw so the school teacher took us into the village where we were able to buy a couple of huge ones right out of the tree.

In the afternoon we all went snorkeling, which was not outstanding but the coral was interesting in spots.

Ankermi Resort

August 15

We all left the anchorage early afternoon, after Gord went for a dive. Arrived at the anchorage in front of the backpacker Ankermi Resort. Eight rally boats were in the anchorage and were going ashore for dinner. But the tiny open air restaurant could not accommodate all of us so we made reservations for the following evening.

August 16

We landed the dinghies on shore and traversed a rickety bridge across a creek to get to the basic restaurant, enclosed by a latticework of sticks in the ground. Our lunch under the grass thatched roof was excellent; I had a noodle dish for 9500 rupiah!

Afterward Annie, Liam, Gary, Gord and I wanted to hike off the lunch so we headed to the road.

Trucks, motor bikes and even a steam roller slalomed down the narrow road at breakneck speed so we decided it might be safer to ride than walk. A bemo agreed to take us all to Maumere, the main seaport town of the area 30 minutes away.

As we traveled along, we jammed locals into the bemo, its speakers booming with the usual bass sound that was absolutely deafening. Gord joked and took pictures with them. The attendant was keen on my sunglasses (as the Indos usually are) and I wasn't sure if I would get them back.

We finally reached Maumere. After a quick drive around town and a stop to lineup for fuel, another stop to pick up the driver’s new shoes, other stops for various errands, we were on our way back to the anchorage.

That evening we met for dinner since it was our group’s turn to eat tonight. We had the most delicious buffet meal you can imagine, all for under $10 each! There were only a small handful of guest staying at the resort so we basically had the restaurant to ourselves.

Later returning to the boat by dinghy in the pitch blackness, we had to be careful to find the spider web of fishing lines and nets that lay between the shore and the boats.

 

August 17, 2006

After Gord had used our entire supply of fresh water the day before to wash down our filthy boat, we awoke to see that the familiar coating of sticky black ash was once again covering Ascension. There is no getting around the soot as the locals burn their garbage all night and the air is thick with smoke each morn.

We had a great sail toward Sea World with all of us taking pictures of each other under sail.

We managed to get a spinnaker run in for a while as the conditions were so suitable   Along with GWTW, we made a lunch stop in front of an isolated little island covered by the wooden shacks of the fishing village. All around us were floats marking the seaweed growing ops. Little boats specked the area attending to these mini plantations and we wondered about the stimulation of their job "just watching the grass grow."
We jumped into the water for a swim but immediately retreated when we felt the stinging of the tiny jellyfish. Annie and I put on our wetsuits and snorkeled over a shallow sand back surrounded by floats. It was far more interesting that we would have thought and I saw many plants, corals and fish that I had not seen before.

Sea World

Late afternoon we sailed on to Sea World. Most of the other boats had already left and we anchored in deep water that shoaled exceedingly fast in front of the dive resort. Ashore we arranged for a tour to the colorful crater lakes at  Kelimutu.


We had dinner on the beach, a buffet meal with all sorts of Indonesian dishes and fish, very yummy. Later there was entertainment, music and dancing.

Kelimutu Lakes

August 18

We all met on the beach at 2 am (yes! Not a typo) to climb into 2 4x4’s waiting to take us to the volcano lakes. Since it was pitch dark we tried to sleep but the twisty rough road made it very difficult. The idea was that we were to arrive at sunrise to witness the unusual colors of the lakes.

We pulled into a parking lot just before daybreak where several woman had set up makeshift stalls to sell coffee and candy. We started our early morning trek up to the volcano summit through a cool misty morning fog and the higher we climbed the more dense the fog became.

 

The rising sun started to reveal the outlines of a desolate scrubby volcanic rockland
The three lakes, set in deep craters at an altitude if 1600 m near the summit of the volcano have a habit of changing color. Colors have changed from light turquoise to re-brown in recent years, supposedly from different minerals dissolved in each lake. There's a story among the locals that the souls of the dead go to these lakes; young people's souls go to the warmth of the green lake, old people to the cold of the milky turquoise one, and those of thieves and murderers to the black lake.

We climbed hundreds of steps that just disappeared into the clouds until finally we reached the summit just as the sun broke the horizon. (I think!)

We all sat down and waited.....

and waited.....

The dampness went right to our bones and soon our teeth were chattering as we patiently hung around for the fog to lift.

Ginny, Becky and Annie huddled together
to keep warm as we peered over the edge into the mist.

Gord. Liam and Gary thought maybe the view would be better from above

Suddenly an image could faintly be seen but we recognized the lake far below as the mist rolled by. Then it was gone again!

We got several of these glimpses before deciding to give up and head back down the volcano.

On the walk down, we passed by the vantage point for the other two lakes and the fog had lifted enough for us to witness the vivid emerald green of one lake and the chocolate brown of another.
As we hiked back, cold and damp, the sun finally struggled its way through the clouds by the time we reached the parking lot! Back in the vans we drove down the mountain, this time being able to see the tropical bamboo forests and dense rain forest. Then the landscape transformed into rolling hills of rice patties.

Terraced Rice Fields

We toured around the island marveling at the spider webs of rice paddies carving the hillsides, green so brilliant it looked artificial. Amazingly, they worked the rice fields with water buffalo, being that the paddies are too set for tractors. it looked like an enormous amount of labor, and nasty working in the mud all day long.

Our drive continued along country roads where the women were returning from the gardens laden with produce. Along the roadside, women and children were bathing and doing their laundry from  the water flowing into the rice paddies.

Huge Kapok trees grew everywhere. Kapok is a cotton like substance used to make mattresses

The road around Flores took us past some lovely beaches where we stopped for a photo with our guide. The beautiful azure blue and turquoise color water and black sand beaches were deserted as the surf pounded the shoreline. Not far offshore thousands of ping pong ball floats marked the sea grass aquaculture areas.

Oodles of Ikats

Our last stop was in a village that is famous for making ikats. The village women were all busy painstakingly preparing the looms, mixing the dyes and weaving the labour intensive ikats.

The ikats were primarily a burgundy based background color but there were many patterns and some were brightly colored.

The wool is handspun. Natural dyes are prepared and mixed by hand.

The women proudly display their craft and hope to make a sale. Becky shows interest in one of the ikats and is mobbed by dozens of encouraged and persistent women.
Back at the anchorage we witnessed our boats violently bobbing and pitching in the rough water so we ate lunch in the restaurant and tried to relax the remainder of the day away on the beach.

Golf on the Beach

That evening there was a driving competition on the beach (compliments of GWTW's balls and drivers onboard). The locals joined in and turned out to be the winners! Beginners Luck.....

August 20  We left Sea World and set sail for Riung on the island of Flores.

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INDONESIA (Flores) Music of Indonesia: Flores

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