Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bau Bau to Ternate

Because of our lack of full understanding of the bureaucratic process in Indonesia with regard to our visas we wasted a lot of time in Bali and then had to make tracks for Ternate in order to extend our visa on schedule.    So we missed some great spots, like Bone Rate and Wakatobi Islands.    We actually poked our bow into Bone Rate for a few minutes but were unable to find a suitable spot to anchor.  Like everywhere in this part of the world, the anchorages are very deep and then you hit reef.     We wanted to check out the pinisi boat building operation on the beach but we could only take a quick glance as we backed out of the harbor and continued on our way to Bau Bau on the bottom of SE Sulawesi to get fuel.    We arrived at Bau Bau in the middle of the night but were able to anchor across from the town.  In the morning we dumped our jerry jugs of diesel into the tanks and prepared to move over to town but a squall hit so we waited out the storm and then moved over.   As we were coming in a water taxi flagged us down and soon we had a boat full of uniforms and civilians directing us to the Coast Guard office.    Everyone was very friendly but we were unsure as to why we needed 7 people on board.  

  I visited the harbormaster while Jim guarded the boat.   They see very few yachties in this part of the world so I was a kind of “celebrity” for a bit.   My picture was taken dozens of times and behind the counters heads would pop up like a video game to take a peek at me.    I just smiled and waved and posed.   The head guy looked over the paperwork, gave permission for us to get fuel and then for a fee sent off a crew to fill our containers.    Only one officer was a bit short with me and reprimanded me for not speaking “Bahasa”.

On our way again, a straight shot to Ternate.    We passed between Taliabu  and  Mangoli islands, through Selak Capilulu, a narrow cut with strong currents, reefs and rips.    We arrived at the perfect time, wind and current going with us, but a squall approached just as we made the entrance and robbed our visibility so we backed off for an hour and waited it out.      

Two days later we arrived at Ternate, again in the middle of the night, but we were able to get in and anchored off the main fishing pier.     In the morning we had strong winds which sent a few of the local fishing contraptions down on us.    We decided we better move closer in but it took us an hour to untangle our anchor chain from the rubble on the bottom.   

A very nice young man, Bahar, was sent by Raymond of the Sail to Indonesia Rally, to help us get our visas extended. He became our "Little Buddy" (think Gilligan and the skipper...)   He introduced us to his aunt who makes yummy fried bananas.

  Bastiogne had the cleanest and most orderly little market I’ve ever been in.     We spent just a few days, mostly looking for boat parts, before moving to Jailolo, just 17 miles away, to meet the rest of the rally.  This was our view from this anchorage.  Nice, huh?

Cruiser Notes :   Anchorage at Bau Bau(05 26.2S; 122 34.3E)   (05 27.1S; 122 36.3E)  Nothing much here to stay for.   The cut between the island and the mainland looked interesting but we were worried about currents so chose to take the outside route.    Still a current, probably at least 2-l/2 knots.   I was looking at the island lighthouse at Wakatobi forever it seemed.
Anchorage at Ternate fishing port:  (00 46.04.7N; 127 22 47.4E).   Great little market right off the dock.   We tied up to the Navy boat and gave the guys cigarettes a coupleof times.    There is a solar pump right on the dock and we negotiated to get it in our jerry jugs for 6,000 rph a litre.    Again, solar is subsidized so it is not legal for us to get it without an agent, however, it is done, and the Navy guys looked the other way.   Catch bemos into town just next to the market.   Large supermarket in town near the grand mosque. Around the corner there is a laundry across from the mosque.

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