Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Indonesia to Australia


It's a bit rainy in Darwin this time of year.
We left Saumlaki on a wind forecast that was higher than we would have liked (first 12 hours was still up to 25 knots and the apparent wind would be creeping just forward of the beam).  However,  the trend was that the wind was moderating and, more importantly, there was an almost zero chance of a major low forming and turning into a named storm in the next few days. So it was time to put on the big girl panties and get to Australia.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Banda to Saumlaki

Saumlaki from really far away. The wind is blocked a bit
where we are. There are some really big Catholic churches.

Before we left for Saumlaki, Matt showed me the various wind prediction models. Two of the 'base' models were fairly consistent with strong winds of 25 to 30 knots. Another model called Predict Wind, which has been pretty accurate in a lot of cases recently, showed much more moderate winds. We decided to leave regardless, because the forecasts continued in a similar vein for at least a week and we needed to start heading towards Australia. At least all of the models showed a deep downwind sail, which would make strong winds less of an issue.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Banda Islands

Indonesian cane sugar. Don't chip a tooth.
The sugar here in Indonesia, at least what we could find in Sorong, has huge crystals. Each individual grain is about 4 or 5 (maybe more) times as big as the 'granulated' sugar you find in the States. If Matt's not careful to stir his coffee for an extra long time, it sits in the bottom of his cup until after he's finished drinking it. The crystals refused to dissolve both in cookie dough and whipped cream, making a delightful (or annoying, depending on your taste) crunching when eaten.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Misool: Macro Heaven

<Deep Voice>: I'm Bat-worm.
Our friend Lisa, whom we first dove with in Hawaii years ago and is now running an dive operation in The Solomons, calls divers who only want to look for nudibranchs, 'Nudi-Nuts'. I don't know if we qualify as Nudi-Nuts, but the little critters are fascinating. Matt got some good shots in Misool, the southern part of Raja Ampat.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

What Sorong with you?

Rawr
Insert collective groan here. Nope, not hitting the bottle early, though as they say 'It's 5 o'clock somewhere.' Just a little slap-happy waiting around in Sorong for our visas to be ready. Immigration opens again on the Thursday after New Year's, so today should be the Big Day. Unless it isn't (because it's Indonesia and you never know).

Monday, January 1, 2018

Ringing in the New Year with a Bang


Fireworks rarely turn out in photos...no exception here: This really fails to capture
 the ridiculous amount of fireworks that were being set off.
Indonesians love their fireworks. Large stalls that popped up all over Sorong in the last month were selling nothing but loads and loads of fireworks.  Have you ever been to one of those fireworks stores you see from the interstate just over the border from the state where they are banned (and are invariably named "Crazy Mike's" or "Wild Max's" or somesuch)? Well imagine a town of only 200,000 people having about 100 of these stores.  We were treated to fireworks leading up to Christmas, at Christmas, and the week after.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

90 degrees F in the shade: Christmas Weather!

Decorating gingerbread

Back on land, I was always sick of Christmas music by the time Christmas rolled around. I think that's because you start hearing it earlier and earlier each year.