28 September 2008 | Cruise to Lombok
Canadian backpackers, Mathieu and Melissa, had never been sailing. Since we were headed in the same direction we offered a hitch and spent the next 5 days together. Returned our rental van, provisioned Sora, and took the uninitiated on a nice long day sail.
As we entered Lombok Straits the strong Southerly current cut our motoring speed from 4 to 1 ½ knots so the captain cut in to hug the coast of Bali. This gave us a better ride (we quit agitating the Bali Sea like a washing machine) and we could watch the resorts and water sports along Sanur Beach which was one of our favorite hikes. A bit of wind brought out sails, all 3 as it freshened, and by afternoon we were sailing which helped ease our semi-seasick crew. Dolphin came to play and it became a beautiful sail.
Crossing from Bali to Lombok we entered an "overfall", surf-like waves caused by strong currents flowing in opposition. This also brought Sora from 12 knots back to 6. Soon the wind picked up to 20-25+ and we were flying again. No masts were visible as we neared Gili Air Island so we continued on to an anchorage in the lee of Lombok. Just then the V-berth sink started running over as a faulty valve allowed sea water to siphon in. Wind was 30+ with all sails out and turning into the wind to drop them easily would take us into a reef. All 4 crew raced to drop sails asap and we entered fish trap heaven which we skirted until we realized the reef extended right up to the traps. Terry quickly reversed and we entered the harbor on the north side of the floating bed of traps just as the sun set. We had the anchor ready to drop but found moorings available in the 70' anchorage. I've dropped anchor before but NEVER GRABBED A MOORING. Mathieu got it first try and we were secure in the still 25 knot winds!
M&M had planned a special Canadian dinner for us and went right to work slicing and chopping while I pre-heated the oven, only to find we were out of Propane. Fortunately Terry could switch to the second tank and we dined royally that night. This day just proves if something can go wrong it usually happen four-fold. Got the kids to Gili Air the next day, which is a story unto itself. Don't know if they'll ever try sailing again! We rented a motorcycle and treated ourselves to a day of pampering and Happy Houring all down the tourist Mecca of Singgigi Beach.
Cheers to Backup systems and an experienced Captain, KK