Flores, Indonesia

Post date: Aug 21, 2011 2:26:00 AM

The next stage of our journey from Lembata to Riung on the beautiful island of Flores, where the next planned event will be, takes us to a great variety of small anchorages. Every one is different and charming. There is a pilot guide book which everyone is using called 101 Anchorages in the Indonesian Archipelago. It seems as if we are sailing by numbers. Over the radio in the morning you can year the crews discussing where they are going “ What is it like at anchorage 10?

“We are at Anchorage 14. nice here – good diving but anchorage is deep”

“Can you give us the waypoints to get into Anchorage 19?”etc . . .


Anchorage 10

Very crowded with cruisers, but excellent snorkelling apparently – we sailed past, too busy. Some people stayed for a week, only 10 miles from Lewoleba.

Anchorage 12 42 miles from last anchorage

A beautiful sheltered little anchorage with very high sided hills, a small village on shore and a road up to a slightly larger village on the hill. Very lush and green. The diving here was excellent – just behind our boat was a large shelf of coral encrusted rock and a myriad of little fish of all shapes and colours.

Anchorage 11 15 miles

Crystal clear water, sheltered and quiet. It has been the first anchorage where there was no village. 5 boats anchored here, 4 Australians. It has been the first time Aussies were in the majority since before Lizard Island (Queensland)Excellent diving just around the boats.

Anchorage 15 15 miles

This was the friendliest small village we have been to. One of the teachers, Mr Paul, invited us to the school, We talked to the children and took an English class, "Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes". Greg helped fix the generator that provided electricity to the school so they had power to run the computer. Mr Paul visited our boat, provided us with a hand of bananas and green coconuts and took us to the local market where he helped us to trade with the local stall holders.

Paul invited us to his house after the market for breakfast of tapioca and coffee. It was a bamboo hut with a dirt floored kitchen where there was fire pit in one corner and a table in the other. It was provided by the government for teachers. It was a humbling experience to be treated so kindly by people who have so little.

We were very reluctant to leave this village – so many ways we could help and make a difference. The main part of the town is still being rebuilt after a tsunami resulting from an earthquake in 1992. things don't happen here quickly – especially in these isolated communities. It is a farming village mostly and the village people were mostly in the gardens in the hills when the tsunami hit so, although there was a lot of damage, there were few people lost here.

Anchorage 13 16 miles

This anchorage is a bit out of the way but it was worth it. We were anchored off a small resort which has he best food we have eaten in Indonesia so far. The environment is beginning to change now, although it is still volcanic, it is much greener and along the roadside there are rice fields and vegetables gardens. There were only two of us here, many other yachts decided to anchor near another resort – better for us . . .

We took a bus trip to Maumere, the main town on Flores, on their Independence Day holiday. Maumere is described in the Lonely Planet Guide as a “dump” Others described it as dirty and smelly. Our impression was not as bad as we expected, perhaps because many of the shops were closed and there weren't as many people around. The market in the centre of town was open and huge, a dark cavernous maze of clothing, bric a brac, shoes , vegetables, cooking pots, fish and flies. We have not been to a market as big. It sold everything except meat. We are still looking for meat to buy here. It was an interesting day and we think that we saw Maumere at its best.

Maumere - a safety conscious town

Anchorage 18 26 miles

quiet, sheltered, , steep volcanic hills, good diving, clear water, curious locals on the beach – no village but an isolated house or 2. 4 yachts here. Bay nearly full.

Next stop Riung . . .sheltered behind an extensive reef system it is 55 miles from our last anchorage.

It is very sheltered here and there are a number of events planned for us.Here we are invited to welcoming ceremony, gala dinner, traditional entertainment and tours of the region.