18th June 2010
Dear human race, one final despatch.
After running low on provisions and surviving briefly on a mixture of baked beans, petrol and sugar, wearing only the uncured pelts of komodo dragons and unlucky tourists, we are back in a more or less civilized state.
Following a gruelling Indiana Jones style expedition through stony creek beds and vine-draped jungle, Sonny sighted the first dragon high on the slopes of Rinca Island in Komodo after I nearly stepped on it. Our curiosity turned to terror as it swung back to size us up for dinner and we beat a hasty retreat. Later we found more dragons on the beach as well as deer and pigs. Fortunately neither the deer, pigs or us were eaten. Again, the snorkelling in Komodo was incredible and Joel kept us in good supply of fish with his speargun.
As is true of all short-cuts we made a bit of a booboo and went the more direct route to Kupang south of Flores via the Suva Sea. Jigal passed with flying colours after being subjected to 2 days of bashing into trade-wind inspired nasty high frequency 3m short steep breaking swell and 25 knot winds. Arriving in Kupang we kept falling over due to vertigo.
We quickly recovered and set about tearing apart Teddy’s Bar with our new cruising buddies in a maelstrom of Taranaki rules pool and Karaoke. The Bintang didn’t help Joel’s knot tying ability and our tender left at dawn for the return trip to Broome shortly followed by us. We caught up fortunately! ESE trade winds gave us a good sailing breeze and we hammered our way into more short steep 3m swell which subsided after 24 hours and allowed us to make a cup of kopi susu without holding the kettle during the rest of the crossing.
With the Southern Cross guiding us back in to Australian waters, customs ensured that we never felt alone as they frequently flew over to give us phonetic alphabet practice. The fishing improved dramatically as we neared the Kimberley coast with mackerel, tuna, cobia and mahi-mahi included in our diet. We sailed past Scott and Ashmore reefs at night, nearing land around the Lacepede Islands north of Broome.
We cleared customs eventually after a scare about a potential apocalypse brought on by some ants on the boat which were soon identified as ‘cosmopolitan’. I actually found them quite pretentious as far as ants go. Our illicit cargo of Indonesian condensed milk and coffee luwak was not discovered and we were welcomed on the beach by family and friends in a touching moment under brilliant blue skies and perfect weather.
Back in Broome Jigal is now moored at Gantheume Point and undergoing some TLC after 2400 nautical miles from Sumatra.
Can’t believe we made it really!