Aug. 4 – Banda Neira at dusk

We left Saumlaki on Aug. 3 at day break with one reef in the main.  In the afternoon I heard a loud banging and discovered the stern step cover broke loose so we spent a frantic bit of time trying to figure out how to get it around the wind vane and into the cockpit before losing it overboard, and before it got dark.

Shore birds glide and dive with the power of the wind while we twist and turn to stay on course.  At 6am on the 4th we’re down to 2 reefs and the small jib as 2 meter swells kick the stern relentlessly.  The boat kept getting overpowered.  Ahead were dark clouds.  We did 162 nautical miles in the last 24 hour period.  Going 7s and 8s with 3 meter swells, we pushed to make Banda in one overnight sail.  We had Banda in our sights.  We don’t like coming into an anchorage so late in the day.  Anchoring was tricky and after making several attempts (and trying to avoid stern tying to a tree) we found a great little spot away from the stone steps leading to the village.  It was far enough away from the giant prayer speakers to make a quiet little refuge.  Anchor down at 4:50pm, 04-31.192S, 129-53.922E.  The anchor dropped in 50 feet but the boat hung over a drop to 169 feet.

Aug. 5 Husein came out to the boat to check us in.  Later Abba came aboard to welcome us to Banda and invite us to his homestay, Mutiara, for tea and cake in the afternoon.  Over cinnamon tea (made from local grown cinnamon)  we arranged a spice tour of Banda Besar for the next day with Chapter Two and Impala.


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