Monday, 8 October 2012

Exploring Halmahera's North & West Coast

With some scratchy google earth images we sailed for Halmahera hoping to find some shallow sand to anchor. Our first stop fit the bill and we even managed to squeeze in a cave snorkel and a village visit where some of Max and Nadine’s baby clothes were well received as well as procuring some Kalapa Muda (coconuts) in exchange for ciggies.

The next day Simon was struck down by what we suspected was a bad infection on his hand from a barnacle scratch while repairing the stern tube. His temperature soared and he was unable to get out of bed sleeping for over 24hours. Scotty and I were left to run the ship and amuse ourselves, Scotty finding a small beach break to occupy himself once anchored.

With Simons fever and illness abating we headed further south into the breeze along the rugged east coast of Halmahera. We reveled in the cool fresh water stream running onto the beach at a small island in Teluk Buli. Diving the reef drop off we spotted nudibranchs, morays, octopus, anemone shrimps and an aquarium of fish right off the back of the boat.

A brief stop over in Buli allowed us to re-provision. The town was incredibly friendly, helping us with fuel (all 200ltrs measured by hand) and groceries – all our urgent jobs were ticked off – banking, internet, gas, fuel and groceries, even some nice beef. Two lovely local girls took us under their wings cooking us lunch at their home before crying while waving us off from the dock.

We were only a mere night sail away from our dream destination Raja Ampat so with a good forecast we set out for Wagieo on Scotty’s first overnighter. Under a full moon and stiff breeze we sailed the passage to Wagieo – what a dream first overnighter, only to be completed with the most amazing destination – the maze of small karst islets and crystal clear lagoons that make up Wayag in north western Raja Ampat. Can’t wait to explore…

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