Saturday, September 13, 2008

The other side of Selat Lombok

Pelican is on a mooring at the Changi Sailing Club in the Johor Strait off the island of Singapore.

Hopefully the grind that I started in Gizo is coming to an end. 4000 miles and only three stops. That isn't cruising... I'd take a break here in Singapore but this place is like a hyper modern shopping mall so it isn't to my taste. I walked around downtown and found myself getting bored. I'm definitely not in the South Pacific anymore. No kids arguing over who gets to hold my hand as I walk around the island. No more getting on my hands and knees and crawling towards the chief upon arrival. I didn't even get the custom guy's name here in Singapore. I need to get moving up the Malacca strait and find some islands off the coast of Thailand or Malaysia that don't have any roads or cars.

video #1 I'd been having problems with chafe on the spinnaker halyard and instead of going up the mast and seeing what was up with the block, I covered the end of the line with a piece of polyethelene tarp and wrapped it in duct tape. Of course, after three days straight of having the gennaker up in light winds, the block became so badly gummed up and jammed that the halyard was locked in place... Conditions were light for my punishment, about six knots but it still took about a half an hour to get from the spreaders to the top. I actually had to climb the mast twice on this passage. The second time when the snap shackle for the jib halyard gave and the halyard just shot right up to the top.
video #2 Selat Lombok is one of the main passes that connects the Southern Indian Ocean to Southeast Asia. The direction of the current never reverses in the main pass (except by season) so you have to go through a longer detour and time things accurately as the current is too strong to try and take on with the motor. Notice the extreme difference in sea conditions between the two scenes. Those small but breaking waves are being completely generated by currents colliding. There had been no increase in the wind speed and the distance from land is about the same.
Video #3 After pulling an all nighter which included hand steering with the engine for about nine hours, I finally made it through Selat Lombok right as the sun was coming up. I was about to set things up for some napping when I saw what looked like a flag flapping on the water. I figured it might be a fishing net marker but it was moving... And then I saw another and another. It turned out that there were hundreds, too many to count. Once it got lighter I realized they were fisherman on small sailing outriggers. Back to hand steering for several more hours. The fisherman would point which direction I should go to avoid their nets. There were so many I gave up and ran over a few and got yelled at a lot. At least I have the right underbody for running over Indonesian fishing nets as I didn't tow any or come to a stop. Those mountains in the backdrop are part of the island of Bali.
Video #4 It goes from about seven knots for almost the entire day to gale force for about a half hour before it slowly goes back down to seven. No seas, just a really strong wind blast. The rain is blowing so hard it is painful if you don't have any clothes on.
Video #5 Singapore Customs was a hassle. I wasted several hours going back and forth between different "grids" trying to do things right...
Video #6 There is only one free anchorage in Singapore and it has a bad reputation so I chose Changi Sailing Club on the NE side of the island. Pelican and my dinghy are both in the shot.



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1 comment:

chai guy said...

Beautiful! Keep the amazing footage coming, we can't get enough of it!