We know they’re out there

Making ready to raise sail.

Leaving Pasarwajo, Buton Island.

This will be one of those loosey goosey kind of passages that depend on wind, weather, how many fishing nets and FADs we see, and how lucky we feel. Day hopping along the Flores coast, we are trying to avoid sailing at night because of these unmarked obstacles.

Fish Accumulation Devises (FADs) like these fairly elaborate unmarked models, are everywhere, even in deep blue water. Running into one of them would just ruin your day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up from a book or chart only to see one of them close aboard as we glide by. After your heart rate slows down and you begin to trust your legs again, you go out on the side deck and scan the horizon. Nothing. Doesn’t mean there aren’t any. It just means you can’t see them. Our radar apparently can’t see them either. With this in mind, in addition to the constant threat of fishing nets, we set a course for a way station where with any luck at all we will find a safe harbor for the night.

Tomorrow’s goal is the fiords of Bajawa and as we approach the mouth of Teluk Damu, we run into old friends Erie Spirit and Il Sogno snorkeling the outer reef but we are keen to have the detoxification of Escape Velocity alone with nature, sans panga kids.

Later our friends came by for a spot of exploration and then we were alone with our thoughts.

After you’ve wound your way up into a river or fiord you find you’ve got to unwind your way back out, and that can take some time which meant that a stop near Toro Baso would mean the panga kids would be on us again, before we could even get the anchor down.

We’re running out of the apparently disappointing pencils and, whenever a rally has been through, the kids’ expectations are a little high. Cute as they are, they will not leave you alone. We have so much and they have so little but…there are limits. “My wife is sleeping” is fairly easy to pantomime but is no longer working. They could care less. I think I’ll switch to “my wife is praying,” which we’re told works better.

We’re off to a tiny island called Gilinodo for an overnight anchorage, and that should leave a short sail to Labuanbajo the following day. 

We have a short sail today, and after a little tricky piloting between tiny islands, we have an easy harbor anchorage and splash down near some friends. We’ve been hard on it, sailing every day, and Labuhanbajo looks really promising but first a nap.

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