Postcards from Raja Ampat

I finally made it to Raja Ampat, the “four kings” of Indonesia! And it totally lives up to the hype. There aren’t enough superlatives to adequately describe this place, so here are a few postcard pics from our adventures through beautiful Raja Ampat so far: The magic began right away:  as we sailed into Raja…

Ode to FAD

Cruising through Indonesia In search of paradise Beware the floating piles of junk The dreaded fish-attracting-device! The FADs are lurking everywhere With bamboo to mark their spots Running into one at 5 knot speed Would cause damage to our yachts Deep or shallow it doesn’t matter They put them everywhere To entice the fish swimming…

What’s that noise?!

We were anchored along the western coast of Halmahera and in the distance we could hear low rumbling sounds. Storm clouds started to gather on the horizon and there were a few bolts of distant lightening so we assumed it was just thunder. But as we sailed away from the anchorage early the next morning,…

Hairballs!

Bali is famous for its surf beaches, Jogjakarta is famous for its ancient temple, but the Lembeh Strait, in North Sulawesi where we anchored for the past week, is famous for hairy marine critters! And so divers from all over the world come to “muck dive” across the volcanic black sand to see all sorts…

Sailing by the seat of our pants!

We’ve been having a problem with our starboard engine for two weeks now, and Macgyver Liz has attempted to fix it using the insert of a pair of bike pants! In a nutshell, raw water isn’t pumping out consistently enough, meaning the engine isn’t being cooled sufficiently. We’ve trouble-shot the most obvious things: blockage in…

Gorontalo giants!

“Bucket list item number one: swimming with whale sharks” In Gorontalo, North Sulawesi, I finally got to tick off that bucket list item! Whale sharks (Rhincadon typus) are the world’s largest fish, growing to more than 12 metres – the same length as our sailboats – and weighing more than twenty tonnes! They are gentle…

Dinner with a King!

It’s always a joy to have dolphins riding your bow, and we were lucky enough to have two pods of dolphins accompany us on our 12 hour passage along the Central Sulawesi coast from Tolitoli to Buol. In both places we were extremely well looked after by local guides (mostly English teachers from the local…

Quatro jello!

There are only two places in the world where you can swim in an inland lake full of stingless jellyfish: (1) Palau and (2) Kakaban Island in Indonesia. Luckily for us, Kakaban Island was only a hop, skip and a jump away from our anchorage at Maratua Atoll, so we arranged a little excursion to…

Atoll anchoring ⚓️

Nerves were piqued. Hearts were beating fast. Three sets of eyes were darting about! We were entering the narrow pass through an extremely shallow reef into the atoll lagoon of Maratua. Whitewater was breaking over the treacherous shallows and we had a 4 knot current running against us, but we kept our wits about us…

Jumping ship!

It’s the end of an era. As planned, the Angel Wing crew part ways here in Tawau. Andy and Angel Wing are heading south then west, while I head east onboard SV Indigo II. It was pretty emotional leaving my home on Angel Wing, but new adventures await. Raja Ampat here I come…

Alert, not alarmed

We have made it safely into Tawau! The combined forces of the Eastern Sabah Security Zone, known as ESSCOM, escorted us through pirate-infested waters (literally), but we are all safe and sound now. We had zippy little police boats, big naval warships, and planes and helicopters buzzing overhead at times keeping an eye on us….

The mighty Kinabatangan

Borneo’s longest river – the 560 km long Kinabatangan river – is indeed a “corridor of life”.  In an epic week of wildlife-spotting, we saw pygmy elephants, orangutans, crocodiles, proboscis monkeys, macaques, langurs, snakes, pterodactyl-like birds, hornbills, and so much more! All from the relative comfort of our yachts and dinghies! But we were bloody…