Arriving safely in Kupang
Posted by yachtcamomile
Our position at 9.00 Tuesday 30th July
10º 09.6 south
123º 34.2 east
Our 4th day at sea had seen some wind and we sailed with the twizzle rig up all day. Now we had a dilemma because as the passage had been slow our predicted time of arrival was going to be after dark. We could motor, but probably still wouldn’t get there in time, or we could slow the boat down. We opted for the latter. I hate doing that, it seemed crazy to slow ourselves down but the approach to Kupang is through a fairly narrow channel and travelling through after dark would be difficult. We were 20 miles from the entrance at 22.00 with 5 other boats around us. After communicating on the vhf radio we all decided to hove-to for the night. We didn’t have the main up so we just winced the gennies in and let the boat drift. We were still travelling at 1½ kts towards the entrance. Bill had 4 hours sleep then let a bit more sail out. At 6am we proceeded into the channel. There were lots of fishing boats on their way back in with their catch plus lobster pot buoys everywhere so I think we had made a wise decision.
Our first sight of Indonesians was in a fishing boat coming towards us on its way out of the channel to go fishing. It looked very rickety with a tatty sail; I don’t think I would have liked to sail in it.
This is the local fishing fleet a little way away from Kupang.
When we arrived Bill hoisted our Indonesian courtesy flag along with our yellow ‘Q’ flag to await the customs. During the day the last of the fleet arrived, mostly under their own steam.
This boat’s engine had broken down on the third day and they had sailed with whatever wind they could find. When they arrived at the anchorage I put a call out on the net to ask for dinghies to help tow them in the last bit. The camaraderie of the rally is starting to show.