09 May 2014 | Ephesus, Turkey
03 May 2014 | Tomb Bay
20 September 2012 | Medona Marina, Lombok
17 September 2012
17 September 2012 | A Hilltop in Indonesia
17 September 2012 | Lombok, Indonesia
13 September 2012 | Gily Lawa Laut, INdonesia
11 September 2012 | Indonesia
07 September 2012 | Oxnard, CA
02 November 2011
26 September 2011 | Seoul, Korea
08 September 2011
30 July 2011 | Hong Kong
19 July 2011 | Denver and Lousiville
25 June 2011 | Somewhere in Southern California
11 May 2011 | Claremont, California
25 March 2011 | Claremont, California
15 March 2011 | Opua, North Island, New Zealand
09 March 2011
08 March 2011 | Tongariro and Lake Taupo

Passage to Lombok

17 September 2012 | Lombok, Indonesia
It's 6:30am and we're motoring west, bound for of Lombok Island near Bali, which should take us roughly 28 hours, depending on the winds and conditions. We had 3 nights in our last anchorage, a busy destination for colorful, pirate-y looking Indonesian live aboard dive boats called Phinisi boats -- traditional, twin-masted schooners, and also a number of cruising boats. They, like us, were there for the incredible diving. But by yesterdays' late-morning dive, it had gotten a bit out of hand: 3 Phinisi boats, 8 sailboats, and scads of divers. It was a veritable parking lot in the waters above the pinnacle: Michael was manning our dinghy along with 2 others, making a 3-car train. The Phinisi boats were circling with their Indonesian crew hanging out on the stern, and a slew of other dinghies were sitting in the hot sun with their attendants (a wife with a cold, a snorkeler who doesn't dive, or the sacrificial volunteer) all waiting and watching for their people to surface.

Beneath the water, it was just as busy: all you could see were towers of rising bubbles, and clumps of flapping divers going clockwise, counter-clockwise, and willy-nilly around the beautiful pinnacle, with huge schools of fish clouding the water, all accompanied by the rather annoying rumble of the dive boats above us. By the time we got back to Paikea Mist, we were ready to move on to a more peaceful setting, which we found 9 miles south.

The new anchorage was deserted and starkly beautiful. We dropped anchor in blue water surrounded by a semi-circle of yellow-orange hills next to m/v Further. The two boats looked like a happy couple sitting placidly on the glassy water: the blue-hulled Further looking manly and stout, and the sleek, blue-hulled Paikea Mist looking the feminine counterpart. We all took a swim, and then Gloria and Michael roamed off on their inflatable kayaks while Allan and I joined Brian and Megan for drinks on Further.

From Furthers' high upper deck we spotted something flapping in the water, which turned out to be a manta ray. We'd been looking for days for the mantas but they had so far eluded us. A bit of excitement ensued as we reached for cameras and binoculars; Allan ran down the stairs to the aft deck, stripped to his shorts, grabbed a spare mask and fins in Brian's bin, and dove in. We hollered instructions to him from the top deck: "He's over there! 50 yards to the right! No, wait, he submerged, he's turning around, look ... over there!" while Allan swam furiously trying to close the gap between his clumsy terrestrial self and the graceful underwater bird. Not that Allan's a clumsy swimmer, he's actually part fish, but let's face it, the manta is made for the underwater job and has a definite speed advantage. He did finally succeed at sharing the same 10 square feet of water, and we delighted in watching the scene from high atop the boat.

Dinner on Paikea Mist was Australian steak and sausages with potatoes and onions, a nice bottle of Australian wine, and a delightful trip down memory lane as we recalled our early days together in Mexico and some of the highlights of our Pacific adventures. It's always such a surprise to realize how much I've forgotten. But our recollections and theirs recreate a pretty comprehensive picture, and I realize - if I'm going to put any of that in a book I need to do it soon, or I'll have to make it fiction.

(Later) It's been an absolutely perfect day so far. We put the sails up within the first hour and have been sailing along at a nice 8-9 knots on smooth water, with ideal temperatures and varying mountainous terrain off the left. Furthur is alongside us by a few miles, keeping pace and planning to meet us in Gily Air tomorrow. Here in the cockpit we've been reading on our Sony readers and Nooks and iPad's, writing blogs, taking little naps, eating sugar-sprinkled soda crackers with almond butter, and looking at pictures of fish. Michael has set the watch schedule in 3-hour blocks, and I'm looking forward to my traditional middle-of-the-night shift from 1am to 4, when it's quiet, and it's just me and the stars and the sea.

Next morning. We've crossed a large bay and are nearing Lombok, should be there in a few hours. My night shift was fabulous. I love the middle of the night on a boat, and sailing Paikea Mist is especially satisfying because Michael and Gloria have a very comfortable setup with great technical support. I was going up and down the companionway stairs every 10 or 15 minutes to check the radar and AIS data (AIS is a traffic thing for boats) and try to spot the targets on the water, keeping an eye on their path. Brian and his crew on Furthur are 5 or so miles behind, and it was comforting to see their blip on the radar, data on the AIS, and lights on the horizon. Then, a check of the wind and current to see if a sail adjustment is needed, and then back to the Nook to read a few pages, sipping on hot tea. Sometimes I'd turn the Nook off and sit in the dark, reveling at the stars above and the twinkles in the sea from the phosphorescence illuminated in our wake.

We lost our wind somewhere in the night and have been motoring, and now, as we near Lombok, a flurry of activity on Paikea Mist as dishes are being washed, blogs polished off for posting, sails lowered, beds remade, laundry collected for the onshore laundry person.

Later Still: And now we're settled in the beach restaurant on the NW corner of Lombok Island -- cold Bintang, tropical breeze, lovely view, Indonesian curry on the way. It may be harder to return to our lives at home after this trip than after the 18 months we spent on Fly Aweigh, it's been such a departure, such a relaxing escape, and yet this all feels so normal to us. It's clear we love the cruising life.
Hailing Port: Channel Islands
Crew: Allan and Alison Gabel
Extra: The 18-month adventure has come to a close, and Fly Aweigh has a new home in Australia. Thank you for your support! I will use this blog as a means to continue sharing our sailing-related adventures, even though Fly Aweigh has flown.
Album: Main | Adventures of Fly Aweigh
21 Photos
Created 9 March 2011
22 Photos
Created 9 March 2011
24 Photos
Created 9 March 2011
49 Photos
Created 24 February 2011
30 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 24 February 2011
29 Photos
Created 15 January 2011
51 Photos
Created 15 January 2011
20 Photos
Created 16 October 2010
28 Photos
Created 16 September 2010
20 Photos
Created 31 August 2010
23 Photos
Created 16 August 2010
29 Photos
Created 1 August 2010
21 Photos
Created 8 July 2010
And other things ...
25 Photos
Created 25 June 2010
28 Photos
Created 11 June 2010
34 Photos
Created 21 May 2010
34 Photos
Created 3 May 2010
28 Photos
Created 17 April 2010
39 Photos
Created 19 January 2010
Train trip to Mexico's Copper Canyon in Chihuahua.
11 Photos | 1 Sub-Album
Created 28 December 2009
28 Photos
Created 16 December 2009
Visit with Grant & Phyllis Gabel; Fly Aweigh's Christmas decorations
13 Photos
Created 12 December 2009
15 Photos
Created 7 December 2009
8 Photos
Created 6 December 2009
11 Photos
Created 22 November 2009
The 11-day adventure from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas
12 Photos
Created 7 November 2009
Pre-Ha-Ha days in San Deigo harbor
No Photos
Created 25 October 2009
10 Photos
Created 14 October 2009
Commissioning and Provisioning in Marina del rey
9 Photos
Created 8 September 2009