10 October 2007

Kalimantan, Borneo

Anchored at the Kumai River Mouth
Anchorage #70 in "101 Anchorages Within The Indonesian Archipelago" by Geoff Wilson

Central Kalimantan

Amy and I want to give a HUGE shout out to our friend Senior Chief Boatswains Mate Chris Allaire who is retiring from the U.S. Coast Guard today after 20 years of service. Way to go Chris. We cannot wait to see you out here!! Check out SV Christa's website as Cap'n Chris starts his cruising adventures on SV Christa down the East Coast of the U.S. on his way to the Caribbean and beyond. It's linked on this page on the lower right.

Team Sandpiper is currently anchored right inside the mouth of the Kumai River on the southern end of Borneo inside a small bay. We left Pulau Baweanour at 5am (sunrise) for our overnight 180nm trip to where we are anchored now. We would have left earlier, but we needed daylight since the first 20 miles of this trip passed through many fishing boats and fish floats which we had to dodge. This trip was much less stressful than our previous overnighter since there were far less fishing boats out. The only boats we saw were a group of fishing boats with bright halogen lights all over them, and a tug with a barge.

We were able to sail for a few hours, but lost the wind and ended up motoring for the majority of the time. We did not want to arrive here after sunset because the C-Map electronic charts are a bit off here and cannot be relied on for precise navigation.

We are currently at 2 degrees south latitude. This means that we are now back in the Intertropical Convergence Zone, better known as The Doldrums. The last time we passed through this latitude was when we crossed the Pacific Ocean from Mexico to the Marquesas. Being in this latitude means that there are no trade winds and very unstable weather. There is lots of lightning, thunder and insane rain storms. This is the first rain we have been in since being on the east coast of Australia. Sandpiper is enjoying having her decks kept clean.

Because there are no trade winds, Sandpiper has to motor most of the time since we have to keep on moving and the winds are quite light most of the time. That is unless we are getting hit by a squall when everything goes crazy.

After dropping the hook right off the beach in this small bay and congratulating ourselves with a cocktail we were pummeled by a huge squall with insane lighting flashing overhead and booming thunder. Right after that we were hit by a deluge of rain and wind. The wind blew us up towards the beach leaving only 5 feet of water under Sandpiper. Since it was so dark and raining hard, we did not want to pull up the anchor and move. So we took in 25 feet of chain and that was enough to pull us over to 9 feet of water where we felt safe for the night.

We are planning on staying here at anchor until noon when the flood tide starts. Then we will make our way 10 miles up the Kumai River. We are planning on staying here for possibly a week because we are going to leave Sandpiper at anchor and take a river boat up the river on an overnight trip to visit the Orangutans who live in the jungle in this part of Borneo.

Our cell phone decided to ride out our last squall in the cockpit and ended up going swimming. So this means that we no longer have a phone.

Tom and Amy

Note From Ron: Here is a good article from the S/V Moonshadow, a cruiser who stopped here in 2005 and took a boat up the river to the Orangutan reserve.

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