Lovina Beach to Serangan Harbour – 88.2nm
19 April 2010 | Serangan Harbour, Bali
We had every intention of dropping a day or so at Lovina Beach before heading off to Serangan Harbour which will be our base until we can start to make the trek east before jumping off to Australia. But you know what they say about the best laid plans! When we came through with the rally in 2008 we stopped at Serangan Harbour where Jay had easy access to the surf, the vast majority of other yachts though headed on to Lovina Beach where all the rally festivities were to be held. It was also the home of our Balinese Sponsor who had made the rally possible. Back then our friends off Galiano came around to our little safe haven at Serangan to stay on the Makani Kai and they commented that the anchorage at Lovina was fairly rolly. We seemed to have forgotten that particular conversation and had put the roughness of the anchorage down to the series of storms we had encountered sure that as the night wore on it would settle down. It wasn't to be. At 3.30am Jay was up and going, if he couldn't sleep then we may as well be moving. Poor Beni who must have been rubbing his hands together in glee at the thought of making a dollar must have woken up the next morning wondering if he had dreamed our arrival.
By the time the sun came up the threat of storms was still there, low cloud cover hovered over the island but the scenery was beautiful. Due to the rains everything on the island of Bali was lush and green, the differences between this side of the island and the side that we frequent being obvious in the colour of the sand. Lovina Beach is made up of black volcanic sand not the white sand variety seen in tourist brochures but the Northern end of Bali seems to be slowly and surely becoming a tourist destination for those who are not here for the surfing. As we sail along, yes, we are sailing again, we can see lines of small outrigger boats with barely a gap between them taking up every inch of available space on the beaches. There are some fancy looking resorts on the beach but we don't see a lot of people moving about.
As we round the corner and head into the Lombok Strait we feel as though we have hit a brick wall. There is a lot of rubbish in the water that we have to avoid but we have also discovered that we have about 5 knots of current against us. It slows our speed down to just over 3 knots and that's with both engines working! The wind has finally worked out that we have been sailing and moves around until it is right on the nose, damn you wind! 5 knots of current and wind on the nose, it's times like these that an aeroplane starts to look like the way to travel. The local boats however are having a whale of a time, they travel towards us in their outrigger boats with tiny sail in all its glory, using the wind and the current to their best advantage. They skid past us across the water, waving madly and yahooing as their speed increases. Some trawl a line and I can't help thinking that they are moving too fast for the poor little fish (if there are any) to keep up. A local ferry from Padang Bay cuts across closely in front of us, the passengers crowded together on every available bit of space on the roof while their luggage is stacked inside along with a couple of motorbikes enroute to Nusa Penida. They too wave madly, too late we realise they are trawling lines but luckily we don't run over them. They have altered their course to come closer to us, it makes me nervous when they do this as we have had a few close calls in the past but they are never aware of how close they have come to disaster! Oh, the blessed ignorance! My ignorance is now a distant memory and unfortunately I am all too well aware of what can happen!
We have organised a mooring in Serangan Harbour and have already had to call twice to change our estimated time of arrival. We did not bargain on the current being against us! Agus seems happy enough and assures us that he will be there to show us to our mooring. Serangan is in sight as we motor slowly past Sanur and the Hyatt where no doubt people are enjoying their afternoon cocktails despite the weather. We navigate through the gap in the reef, enter the harbour and soon notice a tinnie making the lumpy trip out to greet us. It is Agus and as we say our hellos the heavens open and drench us. We go through the process of rejecting a few of the moorings he shows us as being too close to other boats and finally decide on one that is agreeable to both parties. Agus and his friend help tie us up and soaking wet, we make plans to meet the next morning for the monetary side of our transaction and say our goodbyes. Exhausted, we make a quick dinner and fall into bed. Tomorrow we must tackle Harbour Master, Customs and drop in to see immigration. After the formalities are finished we hope to settle into a relaxing few months in Bali.