Alan and Jean sharing our cruising news with friends, family.

20 July 2015 | Rabi Island Fiji
29 June 2015 | Suva Fiji
18 December 2013 | Auckland
05 December 2013 | Auckland
27 October 2013 | Vavau Tonga
12 September 2013 | Samoa
24 July 2013 | Moorea, Tahiti
19 July 2013 | Papeete
19 June 2013 | Nuka Hiva
02 June 2013 | Pacific Ocean
29 May 2013 | Pacific Ocean
24 May 2013 | Eastern Pacific Ocean
19 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
16 May 2013 | Western Pacific Ocean
13 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
06 May 2013 | Isla Isabella
08 April 2013 | Shelter Bay marina, Colon.
28 March 2013 | Belize
27 March 2013 | Belize
03 March 2013 | Panamarina, Panama


07 August 2007 | KALABAHI
" hello mister, hello missus" a flotilla of dugouts filled with grinning little boys descends on us, before our anchor is fully settled. This is our friendly welcome to Kalabahi on Alor island, 130nm north east of Kupang. We had sailed and motored overnight from Kupang , arriving at the start of Selat Pantar we encountered a contrary current of up to 2.9 knots at times. (Selat=3Dpassage) I went to bed for an hour and came up to see we hadn't gone very far, an hour later we were scooting along with 3 knots with us watching dolphins playing and admiring the volcanoes surrounding us. As the sun rose, two high mountains had appeared out of the pink, blue haze, looking up as we eventually sailed past, we saw that they guarded a steamy crater. Ahead of us was the perfect volcano shaped island of Para, looking more dormant it was well populated and cultivated. The sun glinted off houses in villages perched precariously on the hillsides, if there was an earthquake or eruption they would tumble straight into the sea. The gardens further up the mountains have little thatched huts which I am sure are needed to rest and recover in after the steep climb to work everyday. Keeping Para Is to port we found the fjord that took us up to Kalabahi on the Island of Alor.

The meeting of waters coming out of the fjord and the Selat created a narrow river of noisy white turbulent water. A few minutes later we were sailing up the fjord having fluked slack water. Some yachts recounted tales of virtually standing still, motoring at 5-6knots. Alan is slowly getting his head around tidal times, flows and direction. The tide floods south to north in the Selats but then at times floods west to east on the outer coast. Very confusing! We had left Kupang a day behind most boats, the two anchorages were crowded so we anchored in 26m on the outer edge just before it dropped to 68 metres. Both anchorages were small, 60 yachts had to get used to being very close to each other, some nationalities needing to develop more tolerance. Fortunately it has been very calm and no issues have developed.

Kalabahi is the largest town in this area, very friendly people especially the children. The school kids of all ages want to practice their English and get our autographs. At the official welcome we met a delightful girl called Susan who dragged all her friends over to us to get their books signed. Susan said her teacher had told them to come and practice their English and had obviously coached them on some questions to ask us. Seeing the number of children everywhere perhaps our children need to be learning Indonesian. As English speakers we a too lazy about learning a second language, I feel very guilty about the few words of Indonesian I have learnt so far when even the toddlers on the beach say (to both of us)" hello mister, how are you" and count to 5 as they help pull up the dinghy. Everywhere we go we encounter smiling helpful people just busting to make our stay here a great experience, they are extremely proud of their Island group and its diversity. There are 51 dialects spread over 9 islands, traditional cultures, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims all seemingly working together well. Nowhere is this more evident than at the market. At the market the pop corn maker nearly deafened us and certainly gave us a big fright. The pop corn popper was a piece of equipment we had not seen before and could not even guess its use until demonstrated. It was a pot size steel capsule, the corn was sealed in with an airtight lid, then was rotated by hand over a blowtorch. The loud bang when opened made us all jump much to the huge delight of the locals. The vegetables sold by the hill tribes reflected the lush volcanic soil of the islands. Fat carrots, long green snake beans, cucumbers, sweet bananas, pyramids of tomatoes and oranges, rows of leafy greens. Two Muslim ladies were doing a great trade in hot sweet pancakes and sugary bread donuts. The pancakes got the thumbs up from our group but we quickly bypassed the aromatic dried fish section, making sure we carefully stepped over the open drain system, to wander through the rice, dried beans and peanut stalls. No need for supermarkets here, the odd trolley would come in handy tho'. A visit to a traditional village called Takpala, another gala dinner then we are leaving Alor to make our way to the next stop at Lembata. We have a few days to explore some anchorages on the way, everyone is looking forward to having a swim. The water here is very clear and clean looking its just all the rubbish floating init that is off putting. The huge amounts of litter, on land and water, is appalling. There are no rubbish bins and seemingly no rubbish collections. Households burn their rubbish, if they are inclined, in little piles outside their houses. The smoke helps keep the mosquitoes away I suppose. We have enjoyed our stay here in Kalabahi, the people cannot do enough for us, the bemo rides haven't been as "exciting" as Kupang but here we have shared them with huge tubs of sardines going to market and if it is possible the music is louder. It is time to move on towards Lembata and see what the bemos there have to offer.
Vessel Name: Tuatara
Vessel Make/Model: Alan Wright 51
Hailing Port: Opua NZ
Crew: Alan and Jean Ward

Sailing in the Pacific

Who: Alan and Jean Ward
Port: Opua NZ