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.

18 December 2017 | Kalig - Misool - Indonesia
18 December 2017
18 December 2017
18 December 2017
18 December 2017
18 December 2017
18 December 2017
30 November 2017 | Misool - Raja Ampat - Indonesia
25 November 2017 | Misool - Raja Ampat - Indonesia
18 November 2017 | Sorong - West Papua - Indonesia
18 November 2017
18 November 2017
14 November 2017 | Batanta - Raja Ampat - Indonesia
02 November 2017 | Wayag - Raja Ampat - Indonesia
29 October 2017 | Kabui Passage - Waigeo - Raja Ampat
20 October 2017 | Deer Island - West Papua - Indonesia
17 October 2017 | Kofiau - West Papua - Indonesia
11 October 2017 | Anachonda - Indonesia
29 September 2017 | Bitung - Sulawesi - Indonesia
29 September 2017

Ready to Move East

18 December 2017 | Kalig - Misool - Indonesia
Andy & Sue
The spadefish we mentioned in the previous blog from Misool: here they are in glorious colour, the light was not particularly bright above and we have no artificial illumination, so not as crisp an image as we would like. The underwater scenery indeed has been wonderful and awesome. What are our favourite areas of Raja Ampat? Well, it all was good. Varied scenery to be enjoyed whether we were at Waiego, Wayag, Gam, Misool or other places visited; birdlife, fishes, coral: many special sights seen over the whole region. This is a special part of the world, probably unique in terms of the combination of scenery and wildlife.
Now in Sorong for ten-days, our various chores are completed: visa extensions, ticked; re-provisioning, ticked; re-fuelling, ticked….

18 December 2017
Our time has also been focused on completing items from our boat-jobs list. An ever-present series of tasks, the rate of new additions is exacerbated the more a small craft is used and lived aboard. During our Malaysian pit stop at Lumut, we were ashore under a roofed building, immune from the vagaries of tropical sunshine and downpours. Consequently, an omission in our more than 200-tasks was a failure to reseal deck fittings. That oversight has caught up: frustrating little leaks are being tackled, some as simple as pulling a bolt and applying new sealant. Others more protracted, as the one photographed. The nag when doing this sort of job is the risk of damaging something that cannot easily be replaced here in Indonesia. We proceed with caution.

18 December 2017
Many years ago, Sue did classes in needlework and dressmaking. She has not made a formal ball gown for many years but the same skills can be applied to other jobs aboard. This task (photo) is renewing the straps securing the life raft in its cradle. UV-damage under the ozone-hole in New Zealand and Southern Australia, along with time in the tropics, leads us not to trust the existing straps any more: time for a change! The jackstays running the length of the deck to which safety-lines are clipped were renewed while in Malaysia. Solar damage is a major issue for equipment aboard craft in the tropics.

18 December 2017
Wick Alliston’s professional facility in Sorong is focused primarily on servicing dive equipment; he first came here operating a live aboard dive-boat, the Helena. She is presently out of commission awaiting a complete refit. The experience of running the Helena has given Wick a thorough background in what it takes to keep a vessel operational.
Wick has an interesting background. We have read some books he loaned which give an insight into his upbringing. Destroyer Man written by his father John, and Escape to an Island by his mother Eleanor. The first describes “John’s War” in the Royal Navy, and seconded to the Royal Australian Navy. Eventually John became a skipper in wartime Destroyers. He served in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Far East. The second book describes the family’s life as farmers on Three-Hummock-Island off the northwest corner of Tasmania in the Bass Strait, where they moved shortly after the war. Wick’s first boat, built from scrap packing case wood and an old sail, are described from a mother’s perspective: a fascinating childhood particularly when reading stories of how he used that “vessel” to rescue sheep from the sea.
Here is a photo of Wick supervising the preparation for hydrostatically testing our steel dive tank.

18 December 2017
One of the problems faced by cruisers wanting to remain in Raja Ampat for more than a passing visit is where to leave the boat if you need to travel abroad to renew a visa, or want to go home to see family. Four and one half miles up the Warmun River, near Sorong is Helena Marina. Yes you guessed, it is owned by Wick. Presently there is space for around a dozen boats tied alongside wooden board walk jetties. Unexpectedly, when we visited we found friends we have not seen for a couple of years. Steven and Dinkie hail from the Netherlands, we first met in Fiji. Our paths have met in Vanuatu, New Caledonia and two years ago, briefly,in Lombok. It was grand to catch up on news and be treated to a coffee aboard their Catamaran, Pikuditu. They are finalising their preparations to get cruising again after a few months in the Netherlands.
Helena Marina is not a marina in the truest sense, facilities at the venue are limited. It is more a secure spot to leave your boat while you go traveling, but nevertheless, very pleasant upstream in the river. The facilities offered are being improved and additional development for the future is planned. For anybody thinking of coming the way who wants further information, as things progress, contact Wick at “PT Eon” in Sorong, West Papua. They can be found on the web.

18 December 2017
Capacity is increasing apace. First, a project is nearing completion to install a concrete slipway capable of hauling up to 25-tonne vessels. The first customer will be friends aboard another fifty-feet catamaran who collided with an uncharted reef, they have made emergency repairs to last until this slipway is ready in January 2018. The nearest alternatives that are “yacht-gentle” are in Bali, more than 1000 miles away, and in Bitung, at the east end of Sulawesi, over 450-miles distant.
Coupled with the slipway is a two-hectare plot of adjacent land that will be converted into hard standing for a larger number of boats. In addition, the capacity afloat is being increased to 25-30 berths in the near future. This will change the outlook for people wanting to cruise this region. The recent changes to bureaucracy affecting temporary importation of foreign yachts have already removed the need for a bond. A visiting vessel can remain in Indonesian waters for up to three-years now, with the formalities completed via an on-line database.
Sorong also has an airport from which flights to main airports can be boarded. In the near future Sorong will boast an international airport.
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:
Spruce's Photos - Panama Canal Transit
Photos 1 to 70 of 70 | Main
Our first sunset on the Pacific.
One of our resident Geckos.
The friendly launch driver from the Balboa Yacht Club.
Spruce on a Blaboa mooring boy.
Time for a rest in the shade.
A canal transit, champagne and a sunny afternoon wipes out Paul.... who sleeps like a baby!
Paul and Kate leave for a night out in Panama city.
Milaflores lock Panama Canal
Going into the last set of locks
Champagne and cake to celebrate a safe passage through the canal.
Marian on board Pitufa, does her bit line handling the bow line.
Mark on Pitifa.
Spruce just about to enter the Milflores locks.
Bill tends the bow line.
Spruce is walked through the lock by the line throwers.
The old lock gates.
Paul enjoys the sunshine.
Winston keeps an eye on our transit.
Are we nearly there yet?
Winston takes the helm
Winston meets Larry our Canal transit Advisor.
Caroline dries out on the fore deck after loads of rain.
Sue points out the old machinery used to keep the canal clean.
Canal dredging.
Not crocodiles just rusty pipes!
Paul has to stoop to take the helm. there were lots of trees floating by after all the rain.
Kate takes in the view
Bill on the bow.
Gatun lock all lit up
All rafted up, there is not a lot of room!
Goodbye Altlantic!
Andy ready at the helm.
Notice the helpful arrow! Its this way folks.
Bill tends the line in the rain.
Sue and Paul watch the lock gates closing on the Atlantic.
A cheerful smile from Paul in the rain.
Birgit and Christian on the other side of the Catamaran Leo.
Andy leaps into action on board Leo to make sure the spring line is nice and secure.
Gatun locks all lit up.
The center boat in the raft for the transit
The Canal Transit Advisor arrives.
The shoreline  of Gatun lake..... no crocodiles to be seen?
Pitufa in Gatun Lake.
Our farewell committee at Shelter Bay Marina, braving the rain to give us a send off. Reta, Robin, Susie, Andy ( Who should have been on the boat!) and Gert.
Paul flakes the lines so that nothing gets caught up.
All the waiting is enough to send Paul to sleep.
The Canal Transit Advisor, gets ready to jump on board Leo, the Cat we tied up to in the canal.