Some Sails up!
16 October 2011 | 01 19.973'S:127 38.226'E, Laiwui - Pulau Obi
Sunday 16th October Laiwui - Pulau Obi
We were up early again this morning to make sure we would arrive at Pulau Obi before dark. Making tea to the early morning call of the mullah is becoming a pleasant ritual, made even better when the voice emanating from the Mosque at Labuha revealed a surprising baritone with a unique style. Early morning is the best part of the day in the tropics, cool and very still. We got away quickly, motoring (again!) up the bay, with a reasonable tidal assist of 1.5 k helping us along. Once out of the bay what we thought was the ripple of wind turned out to be the E-W current mentioned in the sailing notes, and for the first time since leaving Davao our boat speed was faster than our speed over ground.
The easterly promised by the GRIB files was nowhere in sight, but Skip Tone kept hopefully furling the headsail in and out (bit annoying for a girl trying to have a quiet read!) As we finally passed Tanjung Maregarango on the South West corner of Pulau Bacan the easterly kicked in and with full sails up we cut the iron topsail. Dolphins appeared again at the bow, turning on their side to look at us, will upload some photos as soon as we get reasonable internet access.
Today was a watermaker day - we run it every 2-3 days depending on water usage and whenever one of the tanks runs dry. We have 2x 100 litre tanks, and have really appreciated the convenience of having an onboard watermaker. It saves the hassle of getting water to the boat, worrying about the quality of the water, and also means you can stay at remote places longer. The water is very soft - bath gel, shampoo and dishwashing liquids go a long way. The only down side is the loss of minerals, the water never seems to quench your thirst, and is very tasteless. Most of the bottled water we have come across in the Philippines and Indonesia is actually reverse osmosis treated as well, unless specifically noted on the bottle as being mineral water. Ellen (Holiday Ocean View Marina, Davao) mentioned a friend of theirs needed to supplement his fluid intake with electrolyte drinks. Tony M developed quite bad leg cramps despite the prodigious number of bananas we were eating, so I wen t on the hunt for electrolytes. I found a product called Pocari Sweat(Ion Supply Drink)in the supermarket in Ternate. Even if it is placebo, we seem a lot perkier since drinking a glass of it each day.
Watermaking days also mean a bit of handwashing. By the time we had entered the Selat Obi proper, our smalls were fluttering in the sun. Nothing left to do now but read a book. I have just finished John Kennedy Toole's "A Confederacy of Dunces", and have started Joseph Conrad's "An Outcast of the Islands" - already Ternate has been mentioned three times.
Highlight: The sunset that kept on giving - sunset was 6.16 and the show went on till at least 7.30pm.
Cruising Notes: Arrived Laiwui 5.30pm after losing the easterly wind once in the lee of Pulau Bisa - motored up the bay taking heed of the Sailing Notes and keeping closer to Pulau Bisa to avoid the reefs on the north shore of Pulau Obi. Turned into Laiwui at the compass bearing of 170, anchoring east of the pier as suggested, in 14.5m. Good holding in mud, peaceful night.