Stop! Thief!

We had been warned. But despite the warning, we still fell foul of Flores’ number one crime gang: the macaques (monkeys) of Kelimutu! The day started ordinarily enough. We woke early and met our driver in the pre-dawn dark out the front of a little resort in the beachside village of Geliting near Maumere on…

Detours…

“Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the the woods. Every time you do, you will be certain to find something you have never seen before.” Alexander Graham Bell Detour one: hanging out with fishermen in Karang Kaledupa coral atoll. An atoll is “a ring-shaped coral reef that surrounds a lagoon … which…

Hello Wakatobi!

“If you find that the heavenly beauty is in sight, all the potential was waiting and opened its heart, what are you waiting, we wait your presence in Wakatobi, the top ten tourism destination in Indonesia!” (Wakatobi tourism booklet) The Wakatobi region is actually four little islands in South Sulawesi: Wangi-Wangi, Kaledupa, Tomia, and Binongko….

Dear (passage) diary

Here’s a short journal of our recent 210NM, 32 hour passage from Namrole, Buru to Wanci, Wakatobi. The alarm goes off at 0145. The calculations we have made of wind, tide and distance have dictated an early start to ensure we arrive at Wanci when there is enough tide to cross the little pass in…

Sailing to the Spice Islands

The fleet sailed out of Debut, destined for the second rally stop, the famous Spice Islands of Banda! The Banda Sea, which we were traversing for approximately 175 NM, is extremely deep (more than 5000m) in places and is inky black. It’s hard to catch a fish in so much water, so we didn’t have…

Across the Arafura Sea…

650 NM non-stop! Horn Island, Australia to Debut, Indonesia. We sailed out of Horn Island with our big blue and white code zero (now affectionately known as Bertha) aloft, brimming with nervous excitement. We were expecting the passage to take about 4-5 days and the weather forecast was for decent SE trade winds, which we…

No, my name isn’t Nemo…

Marine Biology 101: Harlequin Sweetlip I was snorkelling at Orpheus Island (best snorkelling of the trip so far), when a bit of colour and movement caught my eye. A little clown-like fish was dancing around the coral. At first glance I thought it was an anemone fish (nemo), but on closer inspection, I realised it…

We’re outta here!

Phase 1 of the Alpha Odyssey (sailing up the QLD coast) is complete, and we are diappearing from here and reappearing in Indonesia in approximately five days (sailing non-stop). We finished up our time in Horn Island with a bit of croc-watching and dinner with the crews of our favourite buddy boats, Xamala and Harmonic….

500 miles … Cairns to TI!

CAIRNS – LOW ISLES – COOKTOWN – LIZARD ISLAND – CAPE MELVILLE – MARGARET BAY – ESCAPE RIVER – CAPE YORK – HORN ISLAND/THURSDAY ISLAND After nearly two weeks in Cairns finishing off the big boat jobs and doing final preparation, we set sail to complete the final leg of the Queensland coast: 500 nautical…

New crew in FNQ

After nearly 1200 nautical miles, we arrived in Cairns – our last big pitstop before commencing the rally to Indonesia. From Mourilyan Harbour, we spent a couple of rolly nights on mooring balls at Russell Island and Fitzroy Island (but got some snorkelling in at both) and then headed into Cairns. We berthed in the…

“One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish”

“…black fish, blue fish, old fish, new fish.” (Dr Seuss) We have finally caught some fish on the trolling lines! We’ve pretty much been trolling since Hervey Bay (whenever it hasn’t been a marine park “green zone”), but apart from a couple of lost lures, the big fish had remained elusive. Until last Thursday. Thursday…

Island-hopping our way north

Orpheus was an ancient greek charmer and poet, Hinchinbrook was the 1st Earl of Sandwich, and Dunk was a Lord of the Admiralty. So we were in pretty good company as we continued to island hop our way north. We really enjoyed Magnetic Island, but with the Indonesian rally start date getting closer, we had…