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.

14 January 2018 | Biak - West Papua - Indonesia
14 January 2018
14 January 2018
14 January 2018
14 January 2018
14 January 2018
14 January 2018
03 January 2018 | Yapen Island - Cendrawasih Bay - West Papua
03 January 2018
03 January 2018
03 January 2018
03 January 2018
31 December 2017 | Manokwari - Papua - Indonesia
31 December 2017
31 December 2017
20 December 2017 | Dore - West Papua - Indonesia
18 December 2017 | Kalig - Misool - Indonesia
18 December 2017
18 December 2017
18 December 2017

Last Port in Indonesia

14 January 2018 | Biak - West Papua - Indonesia
Andy & Sue
When our paperwork was issued at Tarakan in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo, with the Port of Biak inserted as our final destination, it seemed but a distant strange name. The vastness of Indonesia never ceases to amaze us. Since that arrival in Tarakan in late August last year, we have logged 2,200 sea miles. Some of those miles were spent cruising around Raja Ampat but many were travelled in our journey across the Indonesian Archipelago: Borneo, Sulawesi, Ternate, Halmahera and West Papua. That is roughly the distance we sailed to cross the Atlantic Ocean from the Cape Verdes to the East Caribbean Islands.
Now we are here in Biak, a smaller town than we expected but a pleasant mixture of the older styles and the modern. Noisy new building work is happening in several places. A walk to the supermarket can be made on decent footpaths, the streets are clean and not litter strewn. This town has a good feel to it. An airport lays just outside the waterfront town’s boundary, the occasional jet or turbo-prop aircraft arrives and departs; usually relatively small planes that cannot carry significant numbers of passengers.
The familiar ferries carry larger numbers of travellers; one arrived at the same time as we entered through the offshore reef that protects the waterfront from waves. As the same ferry left, an hour later, throngs of people gathered along the foreshore waving with arms, shirts and handkerchiefs. Aboard the ship, passengers responded in similar fashion, some precariously stood on perimeter of the Heli-deck with no railings, others were sitting in the landward facing lifeboats, everybody wanting a final glimpse of family and friends. Sad partings after people have been together over the Christmas holidays.

14 January 2018
As we travelled through West Papua, every island village seems to have a prominent church, this one at Kaipuri in the island of Kurudu. Although Indonesia has the largest Moslem population in the world, this part appears primarily Christian. Mosques are seen but mainly in the larger communities. Further west the balance was reversed, apart from the eastern end of Sulawesi, where Portuguese and Spanish colonists settled. The rich blend of ethnicities, religions and customs are far more diverse and complex than a typical guidebook or news item might imply.
We have been treated to some wonderful singing by choirs and congregations over the Christmas period, while tugging at anchor in remote bays.

14 January 2018
Two cheerful chaps paddled past after a day out fishing. We invited Inga and Roi, his brother in the red shirt, aboard for coffee and cola. Roi is a local and speaks a Papuan dialect and Bhasa Indonesian. Inga was from Biak, visiting his mother for the holidays; he did not speak the local dialect, but did have a few words of English. We managed to communicate with a mixture of Bhasa and English. We asked if they were fishermen, no was their emphatic reply, we do it for fun. We might have guessed as much from their mid-morning start and late-afternoon finish. The regular fishing boats seem to be out at dawn and home for breakfast. The voracity with which a packet of biscuits was devoured by Roi made us doubt any lunch had been taken with them.
In West Papua, we find the people we meet are friendly, eager to wave and shout greetings; a beaming smile usually accompanies the enthusiastic gestures.

14 January 2018
Once we left Kaipuri, battled the fierce adverse current through the Selat Kurudu, we enjoyed an exhilarating reach, in a rare decent breeze, towards the beautiful Padiado Islands. These have charming lagoon environments, similar to the Tuamotus in overall topography, but most unlike the Tuamotus in size. These lagoons are only two to three miles across, not the tens of miles across often found in French Polynesia. Bright overhead sunlight made the encircling reefs easy to spot; sometimes, grey cloud makes this difficult. Anchoring in 26-metres depth is the norm, perhaps a little deep but the bottom was a kind of fine white-sand clay: excellent holding and no snagging on coral bommies. There were shallower places to anchor near the reef but local villagers rely on that zone for catching fish and patches of coral abounded in those areas. A large turtle made periodic appearances, pleasing to think the inhabitants leave him alone, or perhaps he is too clever to show himself.

14 January 2018
A frequent sight has been locals out fishing in outrigger-canoes with sails made from polythene sheeting. We have come across this type of scene occasionally throughout the Pacific but not as frequently as here since the Kuna Yala Province in Caribbean Panama, although, in Panama their dugout-canoes did not have outriggers, to aid stability. The assortments of methods propulsion, from sails to oars and from traditional raucous tok-tok diesel engines to shiny new outboards make us suspect the region is in the throes of considerable change.

14 January 2018
At this time of year, our present location is just outside the southern edge of the NE Trades and at the northern boundary of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). On some days, we have pleasant cooling Northeasterly breezes with fluffy white trade wind clouds bouncing along. Then a change materialises as if from nowhere...
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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