04 October 2007

Palau Raas

Anchored at Palau Raas

Greetings from Palau Raas!

Team Sandpiper left early yesterday morning from the Bali Marina and rounded the northeast coast of Bali. This was done after many discussions over cold Bintang's on which side of Bali was the best way to get to the north side. The problem is that the currents constantly flow in a southerly direction on both sides of Bali Island. We decided to go up the NE coast because this was the route that a majority of boats have taken in the past. Even though the northwest route was shorter, we would have had to sail in the middle of the night through an area with fishing boats and fishing gear all over the place.

We countered the southerly current by sailing as close to shore as possible and catching a northerly counter-current along the beach. This required us to be as close to the shore as possible, so close that we passed many surfers waiting to catch a wave right off Sandpipers port side as we passed. Eventually the farther north we got, the faster we went, making over 8 knots by the end of the day. It was really weird though because we could see the current ripping the other way right off our starboard side.

Along the beaches we saw outrigger sailing canoes that the local fishermen had pulled up on the sand. There were thousands of these boats all along the shore. As we motored north, hugging the shore, locals yelled to us "Hello!". At sunset there were thousands of outrigger fishing boats all over the place trying to make their catch before dark. I have photos of these boats on our photo album from when we were sailing into Bali. They are everywhere. We had boats on all sides of Sandpiper as we passed through. Several of them chased us to try to sell us their catch.

As mentioned before, all along the coast lines in Indonesia there are bamboo rafts anchored off shore to attract fish. When they drag their lure by, they might catch a fat fish. The only real problem is that these rafts are all over the place and are not lit at night. We ran the radar all night on the 1 mile range dodging these rafts whenever they popped up. I dodged over 10 of these on my watch alone, and these were all within one mile!

We dropped anchor at noon next to our Kiwi friends on S/V Sunburn. Their son Fin was having his 8th birthday and we were all aboard for the big party.

Tomorrow's plans is to get an early start for a 40 mile run to the next anchorage before nightfall. And we hope to dodge all the fishing gear in the water.

No comments: