Fri 7Sept Last day (Day 7) from Darwin to Bali... lovely sailing!

Fri7thSept07
8am: What a great sail in bright sun I'm having just now....beam reaching at 6.5 kn in 15 kn of wind with slightly reefed genoa! Changed course slightly to mke for nearest Indonesian island to north of me shortly after sunrise: Pulau Sumbawa (lovely name!) Rhumbline course to Bali was threatening arrival in dark unless I slowed down anyway, so I thought I'd take a peek at a couple of other islands on the way, thereby lengthening passage a touch -in theory, at least! Actually making excellent speed now, so may yet have to reef down overnight... but since I'm having to cut out hoped-for sail to Lombok from Bali (due to lack of time...!!), I thought I might as well see something since my route was passing pretty close anyway. 

Just threw overboard yesterday's flying fish which I'd found on deck in the morning ... had intended doing it as 'ceviche' but got too busy with preventer project & other things.

2.45pm Fri: Still having a lovely sail. Passing S end of Selat Alas (channel between Lombok and Sumbawa) - clearly good S-going current affecting us - making 6.6kn boatspeed but only 4.4kn SOG. Wind up to just under 20 kn, sea's a bit rough but not bad, occasional bit of surfing in biggish wave (8.3kn just seen!).

Just got email from Bali Marina: ... "you may have to anchor because the marina is still full at this time and we are trying to find a space for you."!! (Probably they didn't like to say 'no', so instead they said what they know you want to hear!!) Oh well, no big deal...

Hearing occasional English voice on VHF.

4.30pm: Well, it's always nice when things calm down after some excitement!! TEATIME!! - & I feel I deserve lots of Tim Tams (Australian yummee choc biscuits.... )!!

I needed to gybe the main but realized the wind was rather strong for the full canvas that was up - so thought I'd better reef first. Not too easy when almost dead downwind... but even worse when the wind gets up to around 25kn - as it did.... I'd just about got the first reef in when the knot came undone..... Well, I'd tied the new line in, so no-one to blame but myself - had thought it was rather slippery rope at the time - so should have made doubly sure of my knotting!! Fortunately, since wind was up so much, partly-reefed sail more-or-less stayed put, held against lazyjack lines, so hurriedly went for 2nd reef - took a time, but eventually got it in OK.
I reckon that was all due to an 'acceleration'/'cape' effect - there were the high mountains, which I'd seen from afar, on the one island (Sumbawa) and the channel between the two islands both enhancing direction & strength of already quite strong wind - should have taken rough water as a warning to reef far earlier, when it would have been easier (but was just thinking 'wind over current'!). Always so easy, when running, to ignore building wind!! Problems come when you want to manoeuvre... now
it's still around 20kn - but far, far calmer. Just took pole down since about to change course more to port, so no longer needed.

Sat 8th Sept07 7am All fine - approaching Benoa (Bali) now in pre-light of dawn. Had to start motor for final approach - current in channels between islands here far too strong - finding 4.4 kn of S-going current yet again, even now... 2.5kn SOG!

Should arrive in marina (or anchored off!) within a couple of hours or so, current permitting!!

More anon!

Written by : Mike

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