Sailing around Bali

It was finally time to set sail again, but not before we filled up all the jerrycans and the tank with some crisp clear diesel. The marina had recently obtained a fuel barge, right up in the bay. So after checking out and settling the bills for the Marina and bar, we dropped our lines and motored 500 meters to dock with the Spob Mary, the fuel barge. The boys on the barge made swift work of fillings up the jerries and tank. But unfortunately the brand new BEP sonar fuel gauge is just as unreliable at the old floating fuel meter. So we couldn’t quite tell how much we would need to fill up to to top the tank off.

Our first stop was just across the Lombok straight in a little cove in front of the town Ahmed. The water was flat calm, there was hardly any wind, so we motor sailed for most of the way. The flat calm conditions with very little swell made for a calm anchorage for the night. We were anchored in front of the mighty mount Agung, the huge volcanic mountain that dominates the ‘skyline’ of Bali.

From the breach we heard reggae music pumping, and an occasional whiff of cannabis smell drifted across the bay. We did not make any effort to unload the dinghy an go ashore, as we have planned to leave for Lovina the next morning. At midnight the new years fireworks broke loose over the island of Bali like a man made volcanic eruption. We all raised our glass to a happy 2024 and turned in for the night.

The sail up to Lovina was in similar light conditions for the first couple of hours, but in the afternoon we could finally give the engine a rest and sailed into the bay just before sunset. Lovina is famous for Dolphin tours, so dozens of little boats filled with tourists zoom on and off I the morning, hoping to get a glimpse of the fish-like mammals.

We were greeted by a friendly dolphin boat driver named Bodi, who came out to greet us and of course get some jobs. He guided us to a good anchoring place in 8 meters of water, close to the dinghy dock of the ‘funny cafe’. We asked Bodi for 3 tins of premium diesel and for him to take the laundry. He gladly accepted the opportunity to make some extra cash, and we had a local guy who was now working for the boat and therefore make sure nothing unbecoming would happen to it.

We stayed in Lovina for a couple of days as this would be the last spot I a while to get fresh supplies. We also tried to find some mechanical items to fix thing aboard, but to little avail. The evening in Lovina where even louder than the reggae beach of Ahmed. The beach bars blasted their music, and the local temple held a daily show of local folklore dancing and music. It sounded like very very loud banging on tin cans. Also the occasional leftover fireworks were shot off to make the party complete. At Lovina we enjoyed a massage and some local Babi Guling. Not as good as we remembered it from our trip up to Ubud, but still a welcome change from the Nasi goreng or Satay Ajam.

We left Lovina early in the morning, hoping to find some Dolphins ourselves on our way out. We followed the tourist boats and hovered around for a bit. We did see some splashes I the far distance, but other than that, no dolphins were interested to visit us. Probably because we didn’t bring anything to feed them.

As we set sail to our next stop, Menjagan Island, we had a bit of luck with the wind. We had some good light wind sailing up to the island and arrived late in the afternoon. The idea was to go and explore the national park the next morning, but no one seemed to be keen to pay the park fees and go ashore. Instead we took advantage of a good breeze to sail up to the bay of Tanjun Lemout that afternoon This would make our jump across the Bali sea into the Java sea the day after 5 hours shorter, making it possible to pass the tip of the Surabaya peninsula in daylight. In the evening I cooked up some fresh steak on the BBQ on the back of the boat. The peace and quiet of Menjagan was a a shrill contrast with the noisy nightlife of Lovina, a welcome change.

When we arrived I front of the Lemout bay we were greeted by a couple of dozen fishing boats pulling in nets right in front of the entrance of the bay. Also the weather turned for the worst, with a big rainstorm above our anchoring spot. I turned the boat around and went to sea for half an hour to wait for the rain to pass before making the attempt the thread through the maze of fishing nets. The local fishermen were getting very excited about the lady in bikini on the front peak. And cheered on with loads of screaming and hollering we entered the bay where we dropped anchor for the night.

A quick chicken salad wrap and a couple of beers before turning in, as the next day would be a sunrise start to get as far out into the Java sea as possible on our way to Pulau Karimunjava. This would be a two to three day journey and our first night watches. The weather is not looking great. No wind whatsoever, so a lot of motoring is to be expected..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *