Saturday, August 13, 2011

Azzwur, Fitre and I standing on the runway with the volcano I climbed in the background.

We are safely in Wakatobi. It was a good voyage, but we timed it slightly wrong, we had planned on good winds so timed the voyage for 6 knots per hour average. The winds were lighter than we had been experiencing so we were only able to maintain 5 knots. As a result we had to motor the last 20 miles to get to Wakatobi before dark or we would have been another night at sea. I had not been sleeping well so did not want to spend another night especially close to land where there could be fish traps, fish boats and other weird and wonderful Indonesian craft flitting about possibly without lights. Anyway we had the wrong co-ordinates for the anchorage and with the motoring we thought we would get there at 1700, as it was the true anchorage was 11 miles further so we ended up coming in after sunset, fortunately there was a full moon so we had enough light and the officials for Sail Wakatobi came out to help us find a mooring ball. There was a cultural dance thing at 2100 but we were too tired and cranky so just stayed on board and went to bed. We are now swinging on the mooring ball awaiting high tide and the port captain to come and guide us through the reef so we can anchor in the lagoon.
Here are some other thoughts and observations about Banda. This picture shows cinnamon being stripped from a old cinnamon tree. Our understanding is that they usually take the bark off a live tree and it will regenerate the bark, but that may not be correct. This tree was apparently old so they chopped it down and were in the process of stripping the bark. They score the bark and then they use a hammer to loosen it and then a screw driver to pry it off. After they just dry it in the sun, it rolls up as it dries.
We met this American couple and the Captain was an astronaut. He is also a cardiac surgeon and he went up in space on the Columbia and was up there for 9 days. His stories are very interesting. One of the fellows I walked up the volcano was a Lieutenant Colonel in the British army who was stationed in the far east so he has had lots of experiences here and he wants to go back to a mountain he climbed when he was 25 and he named. He wants to find out if they still call it by the name they gave it and he wants to climb it again!!!