We sailed 300 NM or so in the last few days to Gili Air, Lombok. We can see Mount Agung smoking and puffing from our cockpit and just found out this afternoon that it erupted yesterday and the highest level 4 alert is now in place; expectations are that a massive eruption could happen any minute. Whoops. Perhaps we shouldn’t have stopped here.
We’re still 60 km away from Mount Agung on Bali, but, the wind is blowing this direction and we would get covered in volcanic ash if it violently erupted. So, we could leave and head for the north-west of Bali, but, did I mention the wind is blowing in this direction? Yep. We would rather wait a few days for more favourable sailing conditions before we continue our trek west.
The ride here was up and down. Day one was very calm and pleasant with just enough wind to keep the sails full. We stopped just before nightfall, had a good night’s sleep at anchor and then continued early the next day. The wind kept increasing and the waves got bigger. By midday we had a steady 30 to 40 knots and, I can tell you, it wasn’t very pleasant. We’re not used to such rough sailing conditions anymore! In fact, most of our sailing in Indonesia has been “champagne sailing” with flat seas and a decent breeze.
So, day 2 was very rough with nowhere to stop for the night and we had no choice but to keep going. Fortunately, the wind died down during the night and we sailed into a calm anchorage the next afternoon. After that, we did two more day hops which were very pleasant. And now we are in Gili Air, a small island just off the coast of Lombok. But … there is this huge volcano threatening to erupt !! Life is never boring on a sailing boat.