Little Green Boat

Spruce left the UK in 2011, arrived in SE Asia during 2015. Finished land/air touring in Asia. Afloat again and getting ready to head east to Raja Ampat and on to Japan and Alaka in 2018.

11 October 2017 | Anachonda - Indonesia
29 September 2017 | Bitung - Sulawesi - Indonesia
29 September 2017
27 September 2017 | Serey - Sulawesi - Indonesia
27 September 2017
27 September 2017
27 September 2017
25 September 2017 | Badjo Kima - Northern Sulawesi - Indonesia
25 September 2017
25 September 2017
25 September 2017 | Northern Sulawesi - Indonesia
25 September 2017
25 September 2017 | Northern Sulawesi - Indonesia
25 September 2017 | Coral Cay - Sulawesi - Indonesia
25 September 2017 | Pulau Raja - Sulawesi
25 September 2017 | Buol - Sulawesi- Indonesia
25 September 2017
25 September 2017
25 September 2017
25 September 2017

Rock On - The Anchor

11 October 2017 | Anachonda - Indonesia
One of the challenges cruising in tropical waters is to avoid snagging coral when anchoring. Two reasons, it is difficult to become detached and we do not want to damage pristine coral. Various rules of thumb can be applied. Sometimes in shallower water, it is easy to see where the patches of sand and bommies (coral protuberances from the seabed) are located. Around volcanic terrain, such as Indonesia, the "drop-offs" from land to ocean floor are incredibly steep. Where depths possible for anchoring exist, they are often greater than 25-30 metres. Usually these deeper depths are too deep for coral to grow, but not always. If the anchor becomes stuck that can be a major evolution to dive those depths and work at releasing the snag or chain wrapped around coral. So shallower is preferred. This morning our plans for an early 5am departure suffered a 45-minute setback when we found ourselves caught on something. Manoeuvres to left, right, astern and ahead failed to achieve the desired effect, as oft times before. Then, movement, the chain began to come in, albeit very slowly. Perhaps we had caught some old fishing net or ropes laying waste on the bottom. The windlass was straining under a huge load. With the burden three metres below the surface, our windlass solenoid stopped working, probably burnt out. Hand cranking the windlass revealed what a heavy weight we were hauling. The anchor had caught securely in a lump of coral weighing some 100Kg or more, and we had brought that to the surface. Attempts to break the concrete hard substance failed miserably, our hammer a paltry tool for the job. Eventually we attached a rope to the front of the anchor, this allowed the load to slant as we released chain and allowed the rope to take the strain; the large piece of rock disappeared into the depths. We were now free to go on our way, with a new defect added to the list: a windlass that would lower away but not haul in. A relatively simple problem we could solve: swap the up and down connections on the solenoid, which we did while under way to the next destination. Gravity can be used to lower away. Some further electrical work is still required when securely anchored, but such is the cruising lifestyle�...often making, mending and maintenance rules our days.

Solar and Power

29 September 2017 | Bitung - Sulawesi - Indonesia
Andy & Sue
We often remark the Iron Topsail being brought into service. The undermentioned factor in this equation is the fuel that powers the infernal beast living in the ship’s bowels, diesel, known locally in Bahasa Indonesian as “Solar”: maybe not as green as our solar panels, but ultimately derived from the energy of the sun. Here on the dock in Bitung we found a fuel-depot. Two litre ladles of diesel are poured into jerry cans via a funnel. A slow and messy operation, but the fuel scooped from the 200-litre barrel was beautifully clean.

29 September 2017
Transportation between the big town and Lembeh Island, across the narrows, is facilitated by a fleet of ferries; usually each community has its own service providers. Note the motorbikes on the deckhouse and people with market produce on the foredeck.
In the background a bigger vessel: large numbers of these, of varying sizes in common livery, are seen moving people and goods longer distances between the many islands (over 17,000) of Indonesia. These are an essential part of the infrastructure for an archipelago nation.
With Spruce’s fuel tanks topped off, fresh provisions purchased and other food lockers re-stocked, we are ready to head on to the east. This time we will cross the 150-mile Molucca Sea towards the original Spice Islands and Ternate, with a short stopover at the small island of Tifure at around half way. A welcome break in what is sure to be a long motor-sail; the signs for a decent sailing breeze are not auspicious.

Around the Top and Beyond

27 September 2017 | Serey - Sulawesi - Indonesia
Andy & Sue
A decision, late in the day, to depart Badjo Kima was fortuitous. Motoring was the order of the day again; light fluky winds dominated and gave little benefit. Our short journey, limited to fourteen-miles, took us around the northern tip of Sulawesi and into a haven edged on one side by a village and a substantial concrete-stilted wharf, against which a coastguard ship lolled; the opposite shore fringed with mangroves and undeveloped land.
The strangest craft are discovered off this coastline. Many of these (photo) particular vessels are seen fishing: they look as if their natural home would be aboard a fairground carousel, or behind a horse mounted on snow-runners. Often they are stabilised with outriggers, but ostensibly unintended for waves at sea. We found this chap undertaking a 40-mile passage with two fellow boats. Their destination was Bitung. A broken conversation in pigeon-Indonesian revealed he was going further than we were; it seemed he was angling for a lift and a tow. Our arrival at Bitung would not be for a few days, we offered him a can of cola as compensation for his 8-hour ordeal.
Our departure was fortuitous because on the following day a stiff breeze from the north made the easy trip of the previous evening into a bit of a slog. Another yacht remained at Badjo Kima and the crew were confined aboard for the day, waves through the anchorage rendered the pontoon landing untenable. Once a hearty breakfast had been consumed and the heavy rain after dawn had ceased we ventured forth to hop another 15-miles towards the Lembeh Strait. Waves rolled southwards, crests just breaking; a twenty-knot wind gave us a broad reach: only a genoa hoisted, our speed peaking at around 11-knots over the ground as we surfed with a 3-knot current pushing us onwards; what a delightful way to cover the ground.

27 September 2017
Two-days spent anchored in a bay, Teluk Kembahu, brought us to our first diving on a volcanic black-sand bottom. Smoke from cooking fires ashore spilled through palms along the waterfront. In the morning, shore-side disturbance remained silent until 6:00am, a much later wake-up than those called by a muezzin from the mosque, typically at 4:20am in previous anchorages. This eastern end of Sulawesi is largely Christian, a legacy from Portuguese and Spanish colonisation pre-Dutch arrival

27 September 2017
Underwater Lembeh Strait offers some superb soft corals to whet the visual whistle. A multitude of difference assails the eyes: fronds waft in the current, sponges pulse; textures oscillate across a carpet of marbled colour. Anemones enticingly flex stinging fingers; some animals symbiotically embrace their reach, luxuriously bathing in safety from predators: Cardinal Fish and Three-Spot-Humbugs unexpectedly join the more usual residents, the Anemone Fish.
Vessel Name: Spruce
Vessel Make/Model: Hallberg Rassy 42 - Enderlein Design
Hailing Port: Portsmouth, UK
Crew: Sue & Andy
About: Sue is an artist, plays the flute and guitar. Andy enjoys technical challenges and hoped to learn to speak more Spanish. Unsuccessfully:-( Maybe this year?
Extra: During 2013 and 2014 we sailed across the Pacific to New Zealand and then Australia. 2015-16 brought us north into Asia. The past few years cruising has enabled us to visit many countries, meet lots of interesting people and to understand the world a little better.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/littlegreenboat
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Spruce's Photos - Refit Time in North Wales
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Sprucettes doing the weekly tent move to avoid killing the grass beneath the tent
Sprucettes doing the weekly tent move to avoid killing the grass beneath the tent
Added 13 July 2011