Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Darwin Dili Yacht Rally

'Adventure is worthwhile' - Aesop
2012 was a time for us to return to SE Asia, and we decided to include the Darwin Dili Yacht Rally this time; two for the price of one, literally. This race/rally is an annual Darwin event leaving early July, which meant we could then sail down the north coast of Timor and join Sail Indonesia in Kupang.
We nearly didn't leave at all, as the lock at Tipperary Waters Marina broke down, leaving us trapped for a couple of days. But this gave us time to have the liferaft serviced, install a new radar, anti-foul in the lock and sell the car.
Keith ready for anti-fouling
Sue and Lea supervising the action
Tientos in the lock anti-fouling complete
 We also had to load a tonne of supplies for VEGA, which meant removing the saloon table. 

VEGA is an 85 foot traditional cargo vessel built in 1893. Shane and his wife Meggie embarked on a humanitarian career delivering donated medical and educational supplies to isolated communities in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. Each year the Sail Timor-Leste participants carry the cargo to meet VEGA in Dili. 
Tientos one of the first yachts at Fannie Bay

Before the cargo was loaded aboard each yacht we had lots of time for yachtie get togethers, anchored in Fannie Bay.
Dinner aboard Tientos
Clare makes the best Curry
This year we were also asked to carry 50kg of filo pastry for the Kebab Club; the only maker of baklava in Dili!  What!?  Our freezer is not that will be fine on the floor for the few days...okay.  Lea did not mention this cargo in her ABC Interview... We also took Alexis to join VEGA as crew in Dili. Our humanitarian efforts for 2012 are seriously huge! 
On Saturday 14th, with Lea as Skipper, Tientos crossed the start line bound for Timor-Leste! (in flat seas with little wind - hardly a great race start!)  Oh, that's right, we are actually in cruising division, not racing!
Tientos Dressed to Kill - photo by Nefertiti I
Our 435nm run to Dili was to be anything but dull or consistent. No wind, 20 knots on the nose from the NW, 40 knot storm cells, wind from behind, swell and adverse tidal currents.
Keeping out of his way
"Securite, securite, securite This is the yacht Babar, currently experiencing 40 knot winds and torrential rain with this storm cell..."
After the storm, now you see them...
Now you don't...

Nefertiti I called up having an issue with gear box oil; yep we have spare so a mid-ocean handover performed...
Nefertiti approaching...
Sue grabs the oil - transfer complete

The smallest yacht in the fleet, Colleen a Triton 24 lost its steering on the 16th and called for assistance - read about the amazing rescue here

As I said earlier, nothing dull or boring about this trip...

We finally arrived at 0730 on the 18th, ready to offload our cargo; the filo was off first!

Lexi stows the sails
Vega nice and close for the transfer of goodies

May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked!


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