Kupang was out port of call in West Timor and we used an agent called Napa and he and his helper were great. He arranged not only the clearance but also clean diesel.
We also purchased an internet card to we could get internet reception when passing some of the main islands in Indonesia. Kupang was quite a busy little town but as in most places in Indonesia the people were nice, helpful and friendly. We stayed a couple of days.
I wanted to time our arrival at the southern part of the straits going into Komodo Island for early morning, so we left Kupang and anchored at an island about 8 miles away because it was quite choppy at the anchorage where we were. I figured if we left about 9pm that night our timing would work well for Komodo which was about 240NM away. So we left around that time into a night which has zero visibility…no moon or stars. About 11pm whilst I was on watch there was a big crash and all I could see was something that looked like a massive prehistoric above the trampoline in the front of the boat. Turned out to be a palm tree fitted to a big bamboo raft. These are used by the locals to help attract fish. Wasn’t expecting any because we were in more than 500 meters of water…so, I was wrong!
Anyway, we untangled ourselves from that and continued, narrowly missing another one at the last moment an hour later. We had had a taste of having to deal with unlit fishing boats and nets prior to arriving in West Timor but that was our first taste of one of these fishing rafts which became very common from then on. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of it.
Getting through to the anchorage at Komodo was a bit of a challenge because of the difficulty of getting the tides right as they do not coincide with the tide tables. We got there a bit early so I thought that I would try and motor into the tide. Thought I was doing OK as we seemed to be going quite fast against the current and still making 2 knots over the ground until I looked at our track and realised that yes we were making 2 knots OK but were actually going backwards. Fortunately the flow changed a couple of hours later and we made it to the anchorage early afternoon.
Komodo and Rinca Islands are quite pretty but barren. The water is very deep, hence the strong currents…and it is a beautiful blue. There are lots of nice beaches and interesting landscapes.
We went ashore to the National Park to have a look at the Komodo dragons which roam wild in the Park. They feed on deer and wild pig…which there are lots of. The one which Marianna and myself were photographed against must have had a meal as was more interested in sleeping than us.
When we left Komodo we sailed around to a delightful little island called Gili Lawa and anchored there for two nights. The water was really clear and the snorkelling is good. Didn’t have a scuba dive as the good diving was off shore and we were not set up for drift diving. (I’ve just bought a new tender which will be better for diving than the porta-bote. It’s a 3.4 meter takacat sports. www.takacat.com)
These are some photos taken from the top of the island.
Natural-High at anchorage.
Sunset from the anchorage.
Next stop Pulau Bawean 450NM NW.