15Sept07 Indian Ocean crossing started today - 1st stop Cocos Keeling(1100ml)

Much as I enjoyed Bali, it's really nice to be sailing again....albeit rather slowly, as I write this - 3.7kn SOG, 4kn boatspd, wind ESE 3-4 (10-12kn). Soon after leaving Bali Marina, around 1.30pm LT, I was beam reaching at 6 kn, helped by well over a knot of current, but when I changed course around the SE peninsula, our speed dropped - we're now broad reaching within sight of the coast still.
It's close to sunset, so I'll keep sailing for time being, although if our speed drops right down, as it might well do this close to land, I'll start up the motor & motor-sail for a bit overnight. Hopefully, we'll stay ambling at around 4 knots under sail alone. Light winds are forecast for the first day or so but there should be reasonable Trades once I get further west - my rhumbline course is just under 260T. The moon will be waxing as I sail - so it'll be lighting my way more and more over the next few days - always nice!

It has been very nice to be back among a cruising community for a change (last was in Vanuatu). It's always enjoyable chatting to other friendly 'yachties' about their cruising experiences & there's always something to be learned from that! Several helped me away from the marina today - I was docked beside a very long boat with an enormous bowsprit & threatening to get blown onto that as I left - but with helping hands on several lines as I started away from the dock, all went well.

In my week in Bali. I managed to see quite a bit, exploring a little of Kuta and Sanur on foot, as well as taking a longer tour around the island by taxi (VERY cheap in Bali!) on both Wed & Thurs. I saw the craft centre of Ubbud, renowned for its lovely wood carvings, several temples and palaces, the monkey sanctuary (lots of very twee babies!), a Batik centre (I was very tempted to buy some beautifully patterned silk!), temple dancing at sunset with an accompaniment of a large chorus of men (no orchestra) and generally got to see a lot of the lovely & fascinating countryside and towns. Not being familiar with the Hindu way of life, it was very interesting to get to know & understand a little about that religion - an integral part of everyday life in Bali.

Sun has now set, lights are appearing onshore, speed still around 4knots... We're sailing very gently in a fairly calm sea towards a crescent moon hanging high up above the remains of the sunset - looks as though the night will be clear and dark tonight - good for stargazing...

Written by : Mike

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