Can't imagine where this month has gone! We've been spending the weekends testing sail and anchor systems - okay - sailing and anchoring away from the port. Everything checks out especially the spinnaker! We did have rewire the remote for the windlass as the through deck fitting failed and we couldn't remove it due to rust. We wired the unit through the hatch which actually works better as it will force us to keep in out of the weather so it won't corrode. We would be in serious trouble without the windlass as we use it to haul up the main as well as the anchor. With L. having a weak shoulder and D. currently experiencing tennis elbow it could be a truly unfortunate event to have a non-functional windlass!
Still no sign of our CAIT for Indonesia. We are getting anxious as the days tick by but have our fingers crossed it will materilize before September 1. That gives us 20 days to get to Singapore where we'll catch a flight to UK for a 3 weeks and then return to finish the sail to Thailand. That's the plan but as D. is fond of saying "A plan is the basis for change."
Not much left to do but provision and take on water and fuel. We have had a couple of cruisers through heading for Darwin who have had difficulty getting fuel in Indonesia. One was flatly refused fuel in Kupang while the other had the price doubled between ordering it an delivery. It could well be the result of the fuel shortages the country has been experiencing so we are taking that into consideration. Fortunately being a sailing catamaran we usually don't need a lot of fuel. Unfortunately we're heading to an area of fickle winds and strong currents. Sailing skills will be tested!
Back at work on Monday after a great weekend aboard. L. spent most of the weekend doing hourly exercises for the shoulder and learning how to get around on a boat with only one functional arm. Actually get about on the boat is the easy part - getting on and off the boat is the hard part. D. spent did a bit of boat maintenance. The generator connection to the charging unit had failed and needed to be rewired (second time but at least a new reason) and he put in a u-bolt which will allow us to lock the aft starboard locker where we store the genset. Getting ready for Indonesia.
Sunday evening a voyager pulled into the harbour. Ziegfried and partner on the HR 40 (I think). They've been cruising in Indonesia for 14 years and had been in Dili harbour 23 years ago only 3 years after the Indonesians occupied the country. He said they were not made welcome! They're looking forward to looking around as they were made to leave after two last time and were escorted everywhere by the military.
We learned today that our potential crew member has had to pull out so we are definitely on our own for our departure to Bali and beyond. Fortunately L's shoulder is healing quickly and she already has a lot of mobility back. Soon the strength training can begin!
We sent off the application for our cruising permit- CAIT. We have to have it in hand to sail so hope we can get it in the next 4 weeks.
Ready to go home and have sundowners with the voyagers! Hope you're enjoying your evening - sunset picture to follow!
Kuching is our 14 metre Freydis catamaran. We bought her in Brisbane last year and sailed her to East Timor where we (Laurie and David) are working. Actually we had her delivered to Gove, Australia and then we did the last leg across to East Timor. We've been living on her in Dili Harbour and getting to know the boat and fix up all those little things. Now we're looking forward to the end of work -August 31- and the beginning of our travels. We plan to head for Thailand and hopefully the Burmese islands for some diving and just plain enjoyment of the cruising life. David hasn't done this before whereas I have lived and cruised on a monohull extensively (2 Atlantic crossings and 2 yaers in the Med). David, however, was in the British navy for 27 years so he hasn't cruised for pleasure but he's put in a lot of boat miles. The catamaran is a new experience and it's challenging to learn how to sail it. It isn't exactly like sailing a monohull.
I'd encourage anybody in the region to come to East Timor. It's safe and there's good albeit expensive provisioning. You can anchor in the harbour for free but you do have to pay US$30 for a one month visa. There's some fantastic touring you can do and absolutely world-class scuba sites.
So here we are a month away from departure date. Laurie has just c ome back from having surgery to remove a bone spur and repair a torn tendon in her shoulder. She's optimistic about healing and regaining enough strength to sail in 5 weeks time but we won't be taking any chances and will delay the departure date as necessary.
We did a sea trial ealier this year in May and sailed to Alor and Pantar. Fabulous cruising grounds. Excellent diving and wonderful scenic sundowner views from anchorages we had to ourselves. We're keen to go back.