Posted: 1st November 2011.
Well after leaving Kupang we ended up heading to Flores rather than Alor. We had to cut something out as we have to be in Bali to extend our visas in about 5 weeks time. We have decided to extend our social visas for another 2 months and our CAIT for another month otherwise we would be pushing it all the way to Malaysia without being able to stop and have a good look around. Thanks to ‘Verite’ for the heads up on how long we could extend it for!!
Anyhoo we sailed overnight with a few blips on the radar but nothing that caused any concerns whatsoeva. Arrived to the very spectacular and mountainous terrain of Flores early in the morning (timed to perfection) with intentions of heading straight to Larantuka. Instead we headed into the bay prior to Larantuka and spent 2 nights there as it was very pretty (few bities though). The little village we anchored off was called Konga, which a guy called Antony from the village gave us a guided tour of.
You know how we describe a place in Oz as having ‘a pub on every corner’ well these guys have a church on every corner’ and very proudly stated they were 100% christian. Hugely influenced by the Portugese with some old cannons in the town centre dated 1757.
We bought about 3 hands of bananas for the local kids who (about 50 of them) followed us everywhere and played on the beach yelling at us for hours until someones mother came out and yelled at them to all get home! Antony dropped off a huge bucket of mangoes for us the next morning (15 mangoes @ about 35c each)and we headed off to Larantuka.
Larantuka is basically a ferry stop, very pretty to look at from a far…once again every 200m a very picturesque church. Very busy!!!! Boats going in and out at all times of the night and day.
Had some young guys swim out to our boat and look like they were planning to stay the night, climbing onto the boat and dinghy like they owned the place…very shifty feeling about them. Eventually shifted them off the boat and went into town and managed to buy two cases of bintang and some veges (cabbage, beans, tomatoes, garlic and bananas) but planned to move on the next day. The only reason you would stop here at all is to jump on a ferry or get some meagre supplies. Water is crystal clear but absolutely full of rubbish!!
Left Larantuka early the next morning as we had planned to use the tidal flow out thanks to some info from a guy we met in Rote/Darwin. Boy did we read that completely wrong???!!! Made the Kimberlies look like a walk in the park! At the narrowest point we were pushing a 5 knot tide, and had the motors at full tonk cutting across it on an angle just to get anywhere…mission impossible!! We think not…stubbornness won through and we got through it arriving at our destination (a whole 12 miles away), a reef we had been advised had great diving. And it is spectacular!!!
We are currently anchored in about 9 – 10 metres of water and we can see the little fish swimming around on the bottom. So we went for our first dive in 10 months(Lucky Bay, just north of Geraldton)yesterday, and it was magic. 30 degrees in the water..no need for wetsuits and it was like being in an aquarium. Visibility easily about 20m…no table sized fish though, and only one crayfish spotted(about the size of my little finger).
Will spend tonight here again..more diving today and then move onto the next spot off Gedong, Flores…Also reputedly good for diving. So folks until next time!
Cam and Nikki