Our good attitude about the “miserable” sea conditions didn’t last long. We were still very aware that it could be worse, but the fact of the matter is it is hard to maintain a good attitude when you are in such misery. Human nature. Sea conditions were identical as reported when we left. The good news is neither of us got sea sick, although our nerves were somewhat frazzled from the constant harsh motion. We took doses of Stugeron every 4 hours.
As we reflect on our situation we realize we made a bit of a timing mistake. When we planned our route four years ago we intended to leave in mid to late March. At the time we knew the schedule was tight and that it was important to leave on time and keep to the plan in order to hit good weather all the way through. We actually left at the end of April, a month to six weeks late. Timing is crucial for avoiding hurricanes. But also for something else: the Asian monsoons. We needed to make it to Singapore before the change in winds, and by leaving in March we would be cutting it close. So you guessed it, we fighting constant head winds and seas. Had we pushed our way through the South Pacific and Australia a little faster, we wouldn’t be in the predicament we are in right now.
We arrived to the south east side of Karimata at 1600 (4:00 pm) after three and a half very long and miserable days. We were just going to pull in anywhere and anchor. A fishing boat flagged us down and told us to follow them to an anchorage. We did for a bit, but they were heading towards the windward side of the island, so we quit following them and continued inching closer to the shore. The depth was only 22 feet. The reef was clearly marked, but Christi still stood on the bow staring into the water in search of any unmarked coral heads in our path. We went as close to shore as we were comfortable with and dropped anchor.
The anchorage is certainly not calm, but it isn’t too bad. Christi made a quick spaghetti dinner. We were happy to be eating something other than a microwave dinner. Eric did a quick damage inspection and reported that all had held together just fine.
Some more fisherman came by, encouraging us to move to a near by anchorage where it would be much calmer. We could see they were pointing to an area that had a few small structures on it, so we are assuming it is a village. It was tempting to move, but we decided that we were too tired and this spot was good enough. The fishermen gave us a huge fish that will make at least three meals and enough squid to fill one and a half gallon size ziplock bags. We were surprised at their generosity. Eric gave them a hat as a thank you.
Since we brought up this topic back in Kupang, we figured we’d finish it up. Between Kupang and Bawean, we saw 3 to 7 bugs per week inside the boat. Some were alive and some were dead. Except for the four little flying things already mentioned in Kupang, we only ever saw one of each variety, so no sign of infestation. Most of the bugs were weird things we had never seen before. To our horror, we saw a brown roach like the ones that came from the bananas and it was alive. Even more to our horror, we saw two big, fat water cockroaches that you get from the docks, one alive and one dead. At the sighting of each roach, Christi went on a boric acid frenzy, hitting every little nook and cranny she could find. She is hoping that the dead roach means all the rest will die soon, too. We still have no clue where all the bugs came from in the first place.
We also wanted to comment that we are really glad we don’t have a flying bridge. The additional wind resistance and rocking would have made this passage even slower and rockier.