Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ninigo Islands to Hermit Islands

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

The sun finally came out and the squally weather went away, as the tropical trough moved off to the west. Unfortunately, we couldn't stay and play at the Ninigos forever--we needed to be moving on, as we have many miles to go before we reach Vanuatu in mid-May.

We discussed among our buddy boats, whether to move down to the SE pass (we were 9 miles away in the NW part of the atoll), for an early morning start. The distance, anchor to anchor, from Longan, was nearly 60 miles. Figuring 5 knots sailing speed for light wind down wind sailing conditions, and with our 12 hour tropical daylight, that we'd be cutting it close for sunset on the other end. However, there were no good anchorages protected from NW down near the SE pass. And, the Longaners were putting on a last dinner for us. So we stayed put and planned a "sparrow fart" departure from Longan. We did have tracks for the first couple of miles, and good Google Earth to take us all the way out the SE Pass.

Berzerker, our token monohull, knowing that their boat speed is slower than the cataramans, had left at 3am. The rest of us pulled anchor in unison at 0615 am, at the crack of daylight (sunrise is around 0630).

We all made it out of the atoll and the pass without any problems. As we went out the pass, the wind was SW, not the NW we expected. Well, "sail what ya got." And we did. But it died and we had to turn the engine back on. Eventually, however, the wind filled in from the NW as forecast and we ended up with a rousing beam reach, in fairly flat seas. For awhile we were making 7 knots, but the wind died and went more behind us, and we ended up turning on one engine to keep our speed up. Fortunately, the wind came back enough to turn off the engine again, and we were able to sail all the way into the West pass at the Hermits atoll.

Though I had plotted a route around the south side of the first island, the lead boat had gone north. Apparently they had discussed the chart with Stanley at Longan and he assured them that "Manta Pass" was deep enough to go through. So we followed them north of the westernmost interior island, and down through Manta Pass, to anchor on the west side of Manta Pass.

Berzerker and Indigo settled for anchorages in 45-50 feet of water, but Dave wanted something shallower. So we nosed up into the shockingly shallow sand area, and found it was 6 feet deep. There were some scattered coral heads ("bommies" as they are known out here), but we were able to work our way into a clear sand area with plenty of depth for our 3' catamaran. We anchored at 01-32.51 S / 145-01.996 E. Eventually Ocelot came in and anchored in the shallow sand area just west of us.

This turned out to be a great spot, fully protected from the wind and seas, no matter how far west the wind went. With minutes of dropping anchor, "Bob", the guy we'd heard about who knew where the Mantas were, came out to say hello.
At 2/4/2019 12:57 AM (utc) our position was 01°32.51'S 145°02.00'E

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Longan Island, Ninigos, PNG

January 28-Feb 4

Our first visitors were Stanley and Oscar. We had already been told of these two from other friends who had visited in prior years. Oscar who seems to be the patriarch of Longan, and Stanley, his nephew, both speak good English. They understand cruisers and wanted to both welcome us to their island, but also ensure that we could rest up today, and be officially welcomed tomorrow. He also wanted us to understand that when his people came by with gifts of fruit and veggies, that we consider them gifts, and that we were not required to trade for them.

We told Oscar of the piles of donated items and trade goods that we had brought for them, plus some specific items other cruisers had sent us for specific people on the atoll. Oscar said "That's very nice of you, but first we want to welcome you to our island in our custom." He invited us all in for a welcoming ceremony the next day.

The day we arrived, we had a number of visitors in wooden dugout canoes, bringing us gifts of bananas, sweet potatoes, coconuts and "cabbage" (local greens, not cabbage). In return they asked for T-shirts, cigarettes, rice and sugar, and movies on their cell phones. There is no cell network out this far, but some of the younger crowd had acquired cell phones that they used mostly for movies and music. It was hard to get much done that first day, with a fairly constant stream of visitor. Fortunately, once they felt they had properly welcomed us, the visitors dropped off almost completely, unless specifically invited.

The next day, we (as we had been asked to do), all arrived on the beach at the same time, while the villagers gathered to welcome us. They sang a beautiful song of welcome, and then they fed us. And at first, only we sat at the table, and only we ate. It was weird, but once we cruisers all had a generous plateful, the rest of the two families who were hosting us (Oscar and Stanley), all dug in to what was left over.

After lunch, one of the teen age girls (plus a few trailing kids) took us on a tour of the southern part of the island, including the school. This was an incredibly clean and neat village, with every path swept nicely and lined with flowering shrubs. All of the houses were constructed of wood frames with woven pandanus leaf walls and a thatch roof. During our stay there were several we visited that were under construction. The houses are traditionally built on ground level, but we were told that new construction would be built up on posts, about 4-6ft off the ground. (anticipating sea level rise)

In subsequent days, about every other day, someone on the island invited all 8 of us in for dinner. It was not a potluck invitation--we weren't supposed to bring anything. It seemed to be a genuine desire to get to know us, and be hospitable. We all felt like we were eating them out of house and home! Though every meal featured some seafood from the lagoon, every meal also included a chicken and some rice, both precious commodities in this village 300 miles from the nearest store. We brought gifts and food items to share that we knew they would not get on the island--a big pan of brownies, some fresh-baked bread, etc.

Our friends on Carina, who had last been to the Ninigos for 5 weeks in 2016, had written a "Cruiser's Guide to the Ninigos", providing helpful information about the entire atoll--the 4-5 communities scattered around on various islands and who the "players" were on each island. We had hoped to get around an visit all the communities, but the weather didn't cooperate, and we are on a bit of schedule and feel like we need to keep moving east while the wind is favorable. So we had a decision to make--hit every community for a day or so visit , or stay at Longan the whole time and really get to know Longan. We decided on the latter.

Longan is not the most populated island in the atoll, and in some seasons is on the downwind side of the atoll, and therefore not as often visited by prior cruisers. But in the NW season (now), it is the most protected from the winds we were experiencing. However, a bit of the outside wave action rolls in around the southern tip of Longan from the west-facing opening. With winds constantly varying between nearly north and nearly west, and between 5 knots and 25 knots, we often had quite a bit of wave action in the anchorage, which we hadn't expected at all. We had nearly a week of fairly squally weather while we were there--not the idyllic light wind weather I had pictured, and which we had left behind in Indonesia.

The main atoll is 18 miles long and 9 miles wide, a circle of islands with a deep lagoon inside. And there are a few surrounding smaller atolls nearby, with about 10-12 miles of the primary atoll. Most of the larger islands on the rim of Ninigo are inhabited by a related set of families, though there is a lot of sharing, trading, and intermarrying going on between the families on the various islands.

One of the most amazing things about Ninigo is that the people are still using traditional sailing canoes for their local transportation around the atoll. We managed to arrange a trip up to a "Bird Island" in the NW corner of the atoll, on the traditional sailing canoes. It was really wild skimming along inside the reef, on the sand banks, over the tops of coral heads. It was a squally day and we got into a little squall on our way up--I had my phone out with OpenCPN on it, and my GPS said we were doing 13 knots! There were a lot of common sea birds on the island--one of the young girls climbed around in trees gathering eggs from the bird nests. There were also a number of pigs on the island--it's easier to let them roam on the island with no people and no gardens than have them running around on the home island. There were a couple of cute little piglets--two of whom came back with us in the canoe.

On Sundays, the people of Longan and the people of Amik, the island just opposite Amik, get together for sailing canoe races. On this Sunday, they were to be held at Amik. Indigo II, one of our cats, offered to take Oscar and Stanley, and a couple of us across to Amik. The rest of us were going to sail across in canoes.

It was a rainy day, and it started pouring just after we arrived at Amik. No problem, everyone just holed up under someone's roof until the rain stopped.

We had all packed a lunch and left it on Indigo, thinking we'd be able to hang out on Indigo and watch the races. Well, it didn't work that way. For whatever reason, they directed Indigo to anchor at the east end of the village, and the canoes ended up doing their start from the west end of the village. Poor Liz and Chris felt that the anchor spot was a poor one, with a rubble bottom they didn't trust, and they were backed up to the reef. So they didn't want to leave their boat--they ended up staying aboard the whole day.

Once the local villagers heard about Indigo going across, several people asked for rides for themselves or their kids across to Amik. Apparently, on the following Monday, school was going to resume. The elementary school for Amik and Longan is split across the two islands. Amik houses the school for the lower elementary grades, and Longan the school for the upper elementary grades. So on the weekend prior to school resuming, there was a flurry of travel back and forth getting the kids and teachers to the appropriate islands. The kids who are not going to school on their home island board with someone--a relative, usually, on their school island. On the way from Longan to Amik, Indigo ended up with about 10 locals riding along, and on the return trip, about 14, and a bed mattress!

The races were a hoot. They start standing in the water, and must put up their mast and their lateen-rigged sail before jumping aboard and taking off. So part of the crew work is getting the sail up and rigged quickly. These boats don't beat at all, so they do long, fast reaches out into the lagoon. Then when they want to tack, they have to take the sail down and turn it around and put it back up on the other end of the boat. They only have one outrigger, which is always to windward. (pictures and videos will follow).

One day, we took all the donated goods into Longan, and held a big swap meet. Everything was priced very low. According to Oscar, it was better to put a small price on it than give it away for free, that way people weren't just grabbing stuff they didn't need. All the money collected went to Oscar for the common benefit of the village (some to the school, some for gasoline for their supply boat, and some for materials for common use projects). Not only did we have the usual donated good--clothing, school supplies, etc, but we also had a package of 350 copper nails donated by our friends on Carina. Copper nails are especially valuable for canoe-making, as they don't rust, and they are soft enough to be pulled out and re-used. We had also bought 2 Garmin Etrex hand-held GPS's, plus donated a couple of older handheld GPS's we didn't need any more. Shoes, hats, sunglasses, reading glasses, cookware, shorts, and t-shirts, all were rummaged over by the islanders. Terri, the school teacher, collected the money and kept the records.

The islands were originally a copra plantation (making coconut oil), but when other sources of oil became cheaper to produce, the copra business died out. Now their main cash crop is "beche de mer" or sea cucumbers. For some reason, the Chinese think these are delicacies (medicinal?), and they will pay top dollar for properly preserved sea cucumbers. In other countries, the lack of control by the government have led to wholesale destruction of the reef ecology. Fortunately, in PNG, the government is trying to control the harvesting of sea cucumbers. There is a distinct season, and who can buy and sell is tightly regulated. But a couple of months of gathering sea cucumbers, and the Ninigo Islanders have enough cash to buy the things they need.

When they heard we were coming back to the Ninigos later this year, individuals would sidle up to us and ask us to buy things for them. They wanted to know what it would cost, and when we would be back, so they could save their beche de mer money to purchase the items from us. First and foremost on the list were Garmin handheld GPS's, and not the cheap Etrex 10's we had brought with us, but mapping GPS's that run $300-$400 US dollars. We ended up with "orders" for several GPS's, hand-held compasses, binoculars, solar controllers and batteries, and even a laptop. We'll do our best!

We didn't have the best weather when we were there--it was squally nearly every day. So we didn't do any snorkeling or diving, nor get a chance to explore as much as we would have liked. Next time!

On our last full day, the village held a good-bye dinner for us at the school. We took in what school supplies we had and donated them to the head teacher. We had a great time at Longan, and really hated to leave, but we have a lot of miles to cover if we're going to get all the way to Vanuatu before the SE trade winds set in in late May.
At 2/4/2019 00:00 AM (utc) our position was 01°13.32'S 144°17.96'E

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Passage Maggawandi to The Ninigos

January 25-28, 2019

The Ninigos are a large atoll with a few surrounding small atolls, that lie roughly 140nm off the coast of New Guinea, just northeast of Vanimo, the westernmost city on the north coast of New Guinea. It is possible to day hop down the coast, along coastal Irian Jaya Indonesia and into coastal Papua New Guinea, to within a short overnight sail of the Ninigos. Both because the coast of New Guinea is considered dangerous (because of social issues) and because in NW season, any anchorage we could find would be swelly, we decided to do it as a direct shot of 460nm almost due west from the islands east of Biak.

The forecast looked like it would be a slow passage, with winds on our port quarter at 10 knots, plus a little helping current, we expected to have a nice drift and arrive in 4-5 days.

It started out that way, with sunny skies and 8-12 knots WNW. We all (4 boats--us and Ocelot, Indigo II, and Berzerker) had our anchors up by 9am. For the first hour we threaded our way through the last atoll, and then around 10am, we turned the engine off and were actually sailing! Everyone else had their big sails out, but just as we were finally getting around to thinking about putting up our Code Zero (a big light air jib on a furler), the wind came up a bit and we decided to stick with the working jib.

Everyone has AIS, so it was fun to keep track of who was where and how fast they were going. We managed to stay within a few miles of Indigo for the whole 460 miles, but Ocelot and Berzerker (a 37' mono) gradually fell far enough behind that we couldn't pick them up on radar.

By late afternoon, with 15-20 knots of wind, we put a reef in the main. With a 1 knot following current, we were still zipping along at 8-9 knots speed over ground (SOG)! Later that evening, I calculated that if we averaged more than 6.5 knots, we'd arrive in the middle of the night. (We'd been averaging about 7.5 knots all day). And we'd have to average 8.1 knots to arrive in the late afternoon--not happening. Fortunately, the wind started easing a little overnight.

Dave and I are still on 6 hour night watches. We have an early dinner, and then I take the watch from sunset to about 1am. Then Dave takes it from 1 am to about 7am. The time shifts a little based on when sunset and sunrise actually are, and whether Dave really gets off to be around 7pm. But we try to each get 6 hours off watch, so we can get a good deep sleep. When you are on watch, a 6 hour watch is a long time, especially in challenging weather on a dark night. But it's worth it to get a solid block of sleep. After trying 3 and 4 hour watch schedules, this is what we have stuck with for the last 10 years.

On Day 2, dawn showed overcast skies and light winds. Around 10am the wind was light and almost dead behind us, so we motored most of the middle of the day to keep moving. Around noon, with both of us below doing something, we felt a thud on the hull and then another. We had hit a 12" diameter log, 20 ft long, crosswise on the port hull. And it was stuck between our keel and our rudder. We pulled back the power immediately. We had been motoring on the port engine and feared for damage to our rather fragile saildrive. We were still moving enough to keep the log pinned to the forward side of our port rudder. Dave dumped the mainsail and I turned a little, and the log finally slid out. The engine seemed to be working OK, with no odd noises or vibrations. It was sloppy enough seas-wise that neither of us wanted to get in the water to take a look. So we powered up and kept on. (Note: at this point, Dave still hadn't resolved the cooling water issue on the starboard engine).

A few hours later, with the wind getting lighter and lighter, we went to put up the Code Zero. While we were messing about on the foredeck, I could hear what sounded like an odd-sounding whine coming from the port engine. With no sails up and the power back, and much calmer seas than earlier, I jumped in to take a look at things. Fortunately, the saildrive and prop looked untouched. The log must have bounced off the keel and totally missed the saildrive. The leading edge of the rudder was another matter. There was a softball sized dent in the leading edge of the rudder. Fortunately, the impact didn't seem to have hurt the rudder shaft.

Once we finally got the Code Zero up, after sorting out things after our hurried takedown a few weeks earlier, the wind started rising immediately, so we took it right back down. We finally turned the engine off about 4pm, and at 5:30 put a nighttime reef in the main. We were still doing 6+ knots over the bottom, in part due to the 1.5 knot current behind us. Near midnight I logged that we were doing 8.5 knots, and that I heard a thunder rumble. But with no moon it was hard to tell what was happening weather-wise.

Day 3 was full of squalls with rain and wind to 30 knots (none of which was in the forecast). With two days of solid overcast, and the extra power requirements of the instruments and the autopilot, we were worrying about low batteries. I started managing the refridgeration systems, turning the thermostat up on the freezer, and turning the fridge off during the night hours. The fridge needed a good defrost anyway!

In the middle of the day, I logged that we had taken the main completely down, as the wind was dead behind us. And we only had 10 feet of the jib out, and we were still doing 7 knots. We spent the rest of Day 3 and overnight with just the jib out, using it to control our speed so we would arrive at the pass around 7:30 am. Once the wind died down, we were left with huge seas and not much wind, but with the current and a full jib, we could still make 5 knots easily, but it was uncomfortable sloshing around like that.

We were in VHF and HF contact with Ocelot, who was only 15 miles behind us. They could just reach Berzerker, who was another 25 miles behind them. So our little band carried on for a 3rd night. It was another squally night, with winds up and down, and some rain.

At 7:30 am, we were entering the SW pass at Ninigo, just behind Indigo. We saw a least depth of about 45 feet in the pass, and then it deepened up to 100-150 feet once inside the lagoon. The pass is well protected from the NW swell, so it was an easy entry, with little to no discernable current.

We had another 9 miles across the lagoon to make it up to Longan Island, on the NW corner of the atoll. Though this was the smallest village, this looked to be the best protected from the WNW-NW winds we were experiencing. The western side of the atoll was pretty open to the swell, so the anchorages inside the lagoon off the eastern islands would not be very good.

We had fairly rough conditions going NE to Longan, but thankfully we were squall-free during this time. We could see the scattered reefs and coral bommies on our satellite charts, but they were difficult to see visually in the overcast low-light conditions. Fortunately the GoogleEarth charts are spot on, and as long as we stayed on track, we stayed in depths over 100 ft deep.

At 0935 on Monday Jan 28, we anchored next to Indigo of Longan Island in 45 ft of nice sand, at 01-13.322S / 144-17.96E.
At 1/28/2019 2:15 AM (utc) our position was 01°13.32'S 144°17.96'E

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Leaky Saildrives

Jan 22-24, Padiado Islands, East of Biak, Irian Jaya, Indonesia

While we were hauled out in Samal, Dave had taken the saildrive legs out for some maintenance.

Once we got underway, Dave noticed that the port saildrive gear oil was looking kind of "milky". This is an indication that salt water has gotten into the gear oil. Not good. Since he had just re-done the seals in the lower unit, he was scratching his head about the cause. He thought maybe he had pinched an o-ring when he was putting it back together. The starboard saildrive looked better, but still showed a little milkiness. He did the best he could on the port drive to suck out all the bad oil and replace with good oil. A few days later it was looking bad again.

So we continue on, using only the starboard engine. This is OK, we can make 5 knots under motor with no adverse winds, and maneuvering is a little tricky, but we managed. It required a haulout to look at the problem and try to fix it, and we knew that there wasn't much available in eastern Indonesia. We started looking for a place to haul out on the beach. At first we thought about that perfect beach in Batanta (near Sorong) where we'd changed the zincs in July or August 2016 (see pictures by finding our blog entry about that "haulout").

But the tide cycle wasn't right--the big low tide was in the middle of the night, and all our buddy boats were just about to head east from Sorong. So we started looking for likely spots further east, for a few weeks hence where we might have a good daytime low tide. We found a lagoon 20 miles east of Biak that looked possible. There were a lot of beaches, it was protected from SW-N-SE, and the time we would be there coincided with the next bout of high tides. But... again the lowest tide, where we'd have plenty of time to work on the saildrives, was in the middle of the night. But as we proceeded further east beyond that, the tidal rhythms changed, and the tides are not as big. So it had to be Jan 23 or 24, or forget it til we found a proper haulout facility.

So that's why our time in Biak was so rushed--we needed to get out to the selected spot on the 22nd and scope things out--look for a place we could get into at high tide that would be a level spot at low tide. Once we got to Mios Weundi late in the afternoon of Tuesday the 22nd, we were surprised to find that our haulout beach was occupied with some fishing families, complete with kids, dogs, chickens, etc. Hmmm...

The next morning we went in in the dinghy at high tide to check depths and just look at the spot. It turned out that our perfect beach (selected via GoogleEarth) was inaccessible because there was a ridge of sand blocking our access, even at high tide. Dinghying around in the curve of the island, we found another spot that looked good. The only drawback was that it was covered in a fine grass. Not as nice a work platform as nice sand, but in actuality, the grass was better because it held the sand together, and made a nice firm surface.

We met who appeared to be the headman. He spoke no English and we no Indonesian. But with signs Dave attempted to tell him that we planned to beach the boat there at 6pm. I am not sure he understood, but we got "bagus" (good) and an OK sign. We didn't--but should have--brought a gift in for him--a few cigarettes, a small bag of rice, something. At around 5pm, our buddy boats arrived from Biak (thank god, as we couldn't have managed without their help). Jon on Ocelot and Chris and Sue from Indigo II volunteered to (a) help us get the boat beached at sunset and (b) come in at midnight and help with the work on the saildrives. Both boats are catamarans and were keen to see how we did the project.

It was no big deal getting beached. Though high tide was not til around 8pm, we went in just before dark, and made sure we got secured in place when the tide was a little lower than the high the next morning. If we couldn't get ourselves off in the morning, we'd be stuck for about 2 weeks til the tides got higher again! We drove in slowly to the selected part of the beach, and when we stopped, I jumped off the back with the Fortress anchor, and walked it out 100 feet to secure our stern. Dave dropped the 100 lb _____ and Jon and Chris muscled it out ahead of us about 100 ft. Then we tightened it up and had happy hour.

As soon as we got set, the wind uncharacteristically switched to the north (from WNW). A squall was passing south of us, and we were not very protected from the north. I worried for an hour or two but it all amounted to nothing. As the tide rose to its peak, a slight swell started moving us around, jerking us back and forth like a yo-yo between anchors. It seemed we'd never settle back down in the sand. But of course we did. (Dave took a nap, but I couldn't as I was fretting about the weather, the jerking, etc).

Finally about 10pm we were firmly on the bottom, and by midnight, we could see wet seagrass under the boat. Dave went and collected our volunteer helpers, and they couldn't get the dinghy all the way back to the boat, so he tied the painter off to the stern anchor line. And they set to work.

I was designated to stay on board to hand things down, and take things up so they could be worked on. Dave, Jon, Chris, and Liz were working on first the port saildrive and then the starboard. They took the lower units off. The seals and o-rings looked OK, but Jon said the bolts on the port drive were very loose. He suspected that was the cause of our leak. Dave brought each lower unit up into the cockpit so he could look at the seals and o-rings and make sure the mating surface was clean. I spent some time cleaning all the bolts in diesel. Meanwhile the tide went out and out. Eventually we had a grassy spot behind out boat going out nearly 200 feet.

Dave couldn't find anything wrong looking with either the port or starboard lower units, so we had to conclude (hope) that the problem was that the bolts either didn't get tightened properly, or hadn't stayed tight. This time, instead of using a grease on the bolts, Dave used a threadlock, and with everyone looking on, torqued each of the bolts.

The final step was putting the rubber "boots" back around the saildrives. These are flat oval-shaped pieces of rubber that are slit on one side to fit around the saildrive. They are supposed to be glued onto the hull over the opening that the saildrive protrudes through. This is the 3rd iteration for us trying to get these boots on. The first time, we had someone else do it, and they stuck pretty well. Last year, we used truck mud flaps for the boot material, and Sikaflex for the "glue". They didn't hold very well. This time, Dave had bought proper Yanmar boots, and they were a soft flexible rubber. Again he used Sikaflex. And they were already starting to come off. So Chris on Indigo offered that he had had success using Super Glue, and offered a handful of small tubes of Super Glue. They prepped the surfaces of the rubber and the hull as best they could under the conditions, but really struggled getting the boot to stick. The soft rubber wasn't very conducive to getting stuck well, and the boots were a little warped already. They ran out of Super Glue trying to get the first one done, so we used Sikaflex again for the other drive, as the tide was starting to come back in.

Meanwhile as we'd been working, a big black storm built to the SE of us, and starting move in and blot out the moon. We could hear the wind howling in the trees ashore, and I was again worrying about being exposed and the weather. But when I switched on our wind instrument, we had only about 5 knots. Fortunately, we were well protected from this storm.

While Jon and Chris and Liz were working on the boots, Dave and I were filling the saildrives with gear oil. By 0430, everything was done, and there was nothing left to do but wait for the tide (and hope the wind died out). The last thing our weary helpers did was drag the heavy bow anchor back close enough where we could lift it easily when the tide came in.

When it was time to take our friends back to their boats, the tide was still out enough that he dinghy was still high and dry. But the slippery grass made it easy to drag the dinghy out to the water, still about 50 ft away. By the time he came back to Soggy Paws, the water was up enough that he could drag the dinghy close enough to secure it to the boat.

AT 0730, we felt the first bump, meaning the tide was starting to lift us off the sand/grass. About 0810 we were floating enough to kedge ourselves outward using the stern anchor, and by 0820 we were anchored back next to the other 2 boats. The Fortress was so dug in that we put a buoy on it and left it to retrieve with the dinghy. It took Dave a good 10 minutes of standing there and wiggling and digging around the flukes to get that anchor free.

We all planned to stay there for the day and rest up, get ready for passage-making, and wait for Berzerker to arrive from Biak. But about 1030, a boatload of locals, including the head man we had "talked" to, came by our boats asking for money. We felt that we had used their beach, and didn't mind giving them 100,000 Rp ($7 USD). The other two boats were reluctant, because once the locals receive money from one boat, they are going to expect it from everyone else who stops there. Reluctantly one boat gave them 20,000 Rp, and the 3rd boat refused, saying it's not customary to charge anchoring fees in Indonesia. The local men were happy with our 100K, but not happy with the other two boats, and the vibe wasn't good. So we collectively decided to pick up anchor and move to another anchorage, another atoll, 13 miles to the west.

Though we were all tired, we had a fairly pleasant sail and managed to find a good anchorage in NW conditions at Manggawandi. We were pleased to find that both saildrives seemed to be working OK, and no milky stuff in the gear oil. We had used both engines at idle speed to motor off the beach and out to the anchorage, and started out with just the port engine.

Once we started the starboard engine to motor in to our new anchorage, it shutdown on an overtemp after running at speed for about 10 minutes. Obviously we had a cooling water issue in that drive, from running the drives while we were hauled out (to circulate clean diesel in the lower unit, prior to refilling with gear oil, to flush the salt water out). We switched to the port engine and carried on in to the anchorage. Dave eventually spent half a day getting the starboard saildrive cooling water circulating again.

Manggawandi is a very large bay with a nice sand area in about 30 ft. One friendly person stopped by in a canoe and told us we were welcome, and did not ask for money. We could see and hear the surf breaking out on the reef, but the anchoring area was pretty good. 01-17.636S / 136-36.364 E

Berserker finally sailed in at sunset. We had a short happy hour on Indigo, and planned leaving for the Ninigos in the morning.
At 1/28/2019 2:15 AM (utc) our position was 01°13.32'S 144°17.96'E