Saturday, 8 September 2012

Fast Track to Lombok

'To rush is to miss the experience' - Aniekee Tochukwu
Despite wanting to linger at Kroko, Lombok, and our friends Rob and Anne, were calling; we needed to make haste...
An overnighter (change of plans when the wind would not allow us to enter Maumere) saw us anchor at Mausambi behind the rock wall and then straight through to Labuan Bajo where we anchored in 8m just off the Eco Beach Resort. 
Sunset on passage
Got to love the entrepreneurial young guys in long tails; no sooner is the pick down they are alongside: solar? telur? roti? a veritable treasure trove of goodies waiting to be selected and returned by these guys. Obviously you are paying a little more but we didn't want to bother dropping the dinghy to go ashore (and we have to stimulate the local economy).
Big Bandicoot, a very large catamaran we had first seen in the Multi-Hull Association yard in Darwin, was anchored further in front. After a visit by Phil, the owner, it was agreed he would accompany us - he was also in a hurry. Given Phil was technically a solo sailor, we agreed to stopovers each night; mind you Big Bandicoot is fast!
Big Bandicoot can anchor closer
The wind was fickle (yes we are back in Indonesia Toto) so our sail configurations were mostly iron topsail. We anchored the first night at Gili Lawa Dawat. 
Missing more exploring
The following day we anchored just inside the entrance to Bima amongst the fishing fleet who totally ignored us. You would think a couple of yachts, one the size of a small nation, would cause a diversion in their daily lives.
Bouncy anchorage at the Bima Fishing Basin
We were planning on heading to Satonda but the south-easterlies kicked in with a vengeance so a 2 day layover was required at Kununga. The fishing vessels operating out of here are so colourful.
The next fast passage saw us anchored at Karamat in 16m virtually on the sand; one of the most stunningly beautiful beaches anywhere. This is a tiny little island, just a dot on the chart without tourists or locals; just the occasional lonely fisherman.
Anchored off Karamat
Lea time
'we can't stay...' was our mantra, time was marching and so were we! Heading through the passage and across to Gili Lawang, we anchored on the Lombok side for our last night of the passage. Leaving at 0530 the following morning, we finally moored on our pontoon at Medana Bay Marina at 1315 on Friday 7th September. 
Tientos at the end
View from the starboard side is better
We had made it with 2 days to spare. So off to Immigration at Mataram to renew our visas and the supermarkets to re-provision. 
Lea has a chat with Ronald in Mataram
Rob and Anne arrived on Sunday 8th, just as the Rally yachts were arriving and the champagne started at 3pm. 
Rob and Lea preparing for champagne

 We were ready to slow down and enjoy the festivities.
Music with dinner
Rob and Anne check out the kayaks
Sailfish Cafe
Tropical dining
Life continues amid the Rally

May all your bars be wooden and well-stocked! 

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