We have been day-hopping along the coast of Flores. The reason we don’t sail at night? Fishing nets! They are everywhere and hardly visible, even in daylight. Small fishing vessels are dotted along the coastline until quite a long way offshore and their miles-long nets are set up between tiny invisible buoys. It meant extra concentration and both of us being on watch, looking out for nets.
The landscape of Flores is stunning and somehow reminds us of the Med … It’s been a pleasant few days cruising along the coast. Although, we’ve had a few problems crop up recently. First of all, our watermaker broke. It was fully serviced and fitted with a new pump only 1.5 years ago, when we were in NZ, and should have lasted much longer. New parts are ordered and should hopefully arrive in Labuan Bajo in the next few days. We can’t live without our watermaker so it’s critical we get this fixed. Meanwhile, we have been performing a daily rain-dance, without much success.
Then, our anemometer gave up. Not as critical as the watermaker, but still a nuisance when you are a cruiser and don’t have windspeed and direction information at your fingertips… We now have some woolly thread hanging off the shrouds until that problem is solved. Of course, all problems come in threes so next up was our depth sounder. Luckily, that one was fixed easily… We do have a portable version as a back up but going through the many reef systems here with those inaccurate charts would not have made for a happy skipper.
So here we are, in Labuan Bajo, on the western tip of Flores. It is the gateway to the Komodo Islands, home to the famous Komodo dragon and an area which is very popular with divers because of its underwater beauty. The main bay in front of the town centre is packed with local Phinisi boats, beautiful traditional Indonesian two-masted sailing ships which have been converted to take tourists diving and sailing around the Komodo Islands. The bay is so busy we couldn’t find a spot to anchor in but friendly locals pointed us to a free mooring and we are now sitting amongst 100s of Phinisi, a beautiful sight.