Surrounded by islands that resemble sleeping dinosaurs we happily bob in awe of the view and the occasional passing whale. This place is wild, really wild.
Diving CandyStore reef was exactly that - rainbows of bright coral and clouds of glitter fish. Raja Ampat area is hard to get to but absolutely worth it!
Skimpy is leaving Sorong after 24 hours in the harbour. 24 very efficient but hard hours to get all shopping done so we can once again head off for incredible places. We arrived in the morning after an overnight sail from nearby Amsterdam Island, had fresh baked pancakes after dropping anchor and then headed to shore. Sorong is the biggest port we have seen since Tahiti 5 months ago. Lot's of live-aboard diveboats everywhere and a couple of sailboats, the first sailboats we have seen since Rabaul in PNG.. 1½ month ago. We have truly been to some remote places off the beaten track. On a very warm and hot day we managed to: get fruit and vegetables from the market, get laundry done, fill Skimpy up with diesel, water and petrol, find a repairshop that could fix our alternator and finished it all off wiith a massive supermarket shop in the evening. In the middle of the diesel show, Kara arrived and were immidiately put to work. This morning Maria flew in and after picking up laundry and shopping loads of cheese we are now headed for Misool island. Your heart becomes lighter as soon as you pick up anchor and once again have the feeling of freedom that comes naturally when you know you have a fully loaded ship and can go wherever you want. Ultimate freedom.
We visit remote wild places but we don't skimp. Last night, while sailing off the coast of Papua, we dined on Vanuatu steaks, roast veggies and french red wine.
Everywhere we go here in Indonesian Papua we seem to be sailing against the wind and waves. Oh well, such is travelling. Drink whisky and continue on.
In the morning, we told the local chief that our female companion really wanted coconuts. Later, the friendly villagers bring us 60 huge coconuts. Nuts!
Skimpy spend an incredible day with whalesharks. 6 huge, friendly animals being hand-fed fish soup by local fishermen. There is a life after Fakarava!
Skimpy had a day of current issues. The new alternator bought in Jayapura was fitted onto port engine, but without any wiring diagram or manual it is difficult to guess what the terminals are. Different combinations where tried of which at least some showed themselves to be wrong with a furry of sparks. The combination that did actually see the alternator produce power, unfortunately also saw the voltage rise to 18V which is suboptimal on a 12V battery unless you intend to boil something on it so we are still without generator on port engine. On this very hot day without wind and only one engine available, we reached the pass between Kurudu and Sorenarwa. A 3.5 nautical mile wide and seemingly simple pass but with a strong current running through it.. unfortunately against us. So with only 2.5kn of speed we spend most of the day inching our way through and suddenly the Cenderawasih bay is an even bigger and more inaccessible place. This was certainly a day of frustration and there were moments where nature and engine rooms seemed to join together in a mission to ruin our plans.. but then you remind yourself that you are after all making your way (albeit slowly) through beautiful islands, surrounded by warm water in which you can let yourself drag after your sturdy ship which is equipped with a most amazing fridge which is filled with cold beer and ice cubes for the refreshments you need to pull yourself out of the frustration. So maybe you have to spend an additional 10 hours of sailing but you are in company of good friends... and you are on Skimpy.
After 3 hot days in Jayapura the Skimpy sailors had an Indonesian feast ashore before setting sails at midnight. Destination: new wonders.. and whalesharks.
Skimpy diet of the day: Fruit'n muesli breakfast. Spaghetti Carbonara. Banana muffins & ginger tea. White russian cocktail+cigar. Tuna curry dinner