Solor Alor Archipelago
East Nusa Tenggara
Hey all! We are currently anchored in between three, yes three, active volcanoes. Way crazy. The big volcano we are anchored in front of is Ili Api. The sunset this evening was amazing! All three volcanoes are steaming, but Ili Api is the largest, and it is quite an amazing site.
We had a nice sunny motor/sail here today, about 30 miles. We are anchored in the bay with our friends from S/V Uterus and another rally boat that just showed up.
Once arriving here we launched the dinghy and Tom went in the water to scrub the bottom while I scrubbed the hull. I got in the water for less than a minute. I get freaked out swimming in water over 40 feet deep, especially when I can't see the bottom. We are anchored in 65 feet of water.
After a nice hot shower, a few sundowners, and me beating Tom at Scrabble, it's time for dinner. Our fridge is emptying out fast here in Indonesia and there is not much to buy here as far as refrigerated items go. So once all of our Australian dairy and meat goods are gone, then it will be time for us to go native (or go canned food). I'm going to miss my dairy products, especially cheese. I would recommend any other cruising boats coming to Indonesia to load up on cheese, yogurts, dips, and lunch meats. I have not seen these things for sale, not even in the supermarkets of the 'big' city of Kupang.
Here is something really crazy. OK... so there are no dairy products. But we do have cell phone coverage. My sister Shannon and I got so crazy texting each other that I used up all our original credit. But now we are topped back up and I actually spoke to my Mom today. She sounded like she was just on the next island.
It is totally strange how people live in the most basic of houses, yet have cell phones, and how a little tiny island has cell service. If you want to try to call or text us, the phone number is +62-813-5388-1696.
Oh ya! I have to share this one too. Our friends from LA bought a pig for $5 at the last anchorage and are planning on keeping it on board until Bali, getting it fat, and then having someone cook it for them. I think they will get attached to it and will have a hard time turning it into dinner. So stay tuned for this one!
One last item. A dear friend of mine from high school, Taryn and her boyfriend Tim, got married over the weekend. Congrats to the two of you. We wish we could have been there. But you are in our thoughts! Best Wishes to the two of you!!!
Amy (and Tom)
Notes From Ron:
Ili Api: Well, I learn something new every day. I did some hunting for information on the volcano "Ili Api" that they are anchored in front of. But I kept coming up empty. It turns out that in Indonesia, many land marks are know by many different names. In this case, "Ili Api" is officially named "Lewotolo". It is also known by the names "Levotoli", "Lebetolo", "Lebetola", "Tokojain", "Warirang", "Waliran", "Wariran", and "Welirang". Considering Indonesia has 737 unique languages and over a dozen commonly used languages, this is not surprising.
I am guessing that Tom and Amy are being given local names for landmarks. And considering most web information would be in the official language of Indonesian, it explains why I can't find "Ili Api" in any lists of volcanoes.
It seems that the word "Ili" translates to "volcano" or "mountain" since it is the start of many volcano names. It looks like the word is from a local language called "Lamaholot", where "mountain" is pronounced "Ile", and fire is pronounced "ape", or "api". I think the name literally translates to "Fire Mountain". An apt description of a volcano, no?
Palau Lapang: Yesterday I mentioned that I could not find the island of "Lapang" where they were anchored on 07-August. My guess was correct. During lunch today I stopped at a map store near my office in Perth where I found a detailed Indonesia map of of the Alor islands. It had "Lapang Island" marked on it just where I reckoned it was. From what I've been able to read, this part of the world gets almost zero tourist traffic. Hence, very little is written about it.