Buton passage did not disappoint, with traditional sailing craft, narrow passages and quaint villages we could have spent weeks here. Mr P almost did spend weeks on the reef, finding himself firmly stuck one morning and requiring Thyme to give it full revs to drag him free.
Our second night we stopped at the village Tg Turubulu where the town had never had yachts visit before. Metana was swamped with locals, we were photographed time and time again with each and every person and we made good use of our giveaway stores – cheap Binoculars being the highlight. The guy we gave them to mimed how he had been arrested in Australia – fishing, helicopters, guns and handcuffs was the gist of it. We braved going ashore and found a nice restaurant where during the meal the place filled and filled until there was a crowd hanging thru the windows – not eating of course just watching us!!!
The next day we motored past some spectacular islands, all of which beckoned us to stay a while. We finally anchored at Palau Tembako where poor Daryl being the first to arrive was boarded by military with guns and every member of their family who all wanted to take his belongings. Simon and Mister P went to help and finally after much coaxing they left with only some medical supplies – unfortunately we didn’t have the tablets they wanted – “to make me hard for the ladies”!
Kabaena town was our next stop. A tour ashore included a huge whale skeleton and the market. The market led to meeting the only English speaker who invited us to his home for a cup of tea.
Wanting some R&R before the overnighter across the ditch, we headed to Sigori reef for some exploring. We just got in a snorkel inside the reef before the wind picked up, forcing around to the northern tip where we hung onto the edge of the drop off and chilled out to the sound of explosives – might explain why the reef is disappearing?!?