Friday, November 08, 2013

Pit stop - Wuring

Racing west along at the lightning speed of 5 knots along the top of Flores Island (Indonesia), we needed to make a fuel pit stop. It would be the big town of Maumere. According to the Lonely Planet guidebook, Maumere is a sprawling, sweaty port town with graffiti-scrawled buildings, crumbling streets, and a profound litter problem.

We first tied up briefly to a concrete wall in front of the town where other local boats were but quickly discovered it was too shallow for Sea Turtle at only 1 metre. Many of the townsfolk were standing around watching as we discovered the shallowness. A local man offered to direct us to a better anchorage/fuel stop at Wuring Harbour just down the way. Yohan, softly spoken and slight of frame with a large mustache, was a man-about-the-harbour and offered to come aboard and direct us safely into Wuring and arrange for fuel.

Best buddies

Incidentally, in Indonesia, getting fuel is difficult for sailors. One needs a permit to buy fuel in jerry jugs. We were told that this law came about after the Bali bombing terrorists used fuel from a gas station that they got with jerry cans. Although, we later learned that fuel prices were subsidized by the government for the benefit of their people, not to be taken advantage of by foreign vessels. Sometimes this law was overlooked for us, but other times, we were refused and had to find someone local who was permitted to buy, of course at an inflated price for their efforts. So far, we've happily paid the equivalent of $0.60 Cdn and at times up to $0.90 per litre.

As we approached, we noticed the houses were all on stilts. When the high tide comes in it goes under several rows of houses. This is not so pleasant looking at low tide when the ground turns to mud, strewn with garbage and boats on the ground.

Stilted state

Wuring Harbour (S08°36.140' E122°12.201') is a very busy place with bustling activity on the docks. Yohan spoke with the police and said "No problem. You can get diesel and the police do not want to see paperwork." Life is so much easier in small places with no hassle of checking in, documents to fill out, paperwork, and more paperwork. Jordan got our jerry jugs and Yohan's friend had them filled along with a couple others and within a couple hours delivered them alongside in his dugout.

As we waited, we wandered around the docks. Crews in cargo boats would regrettably just toss their plastic glasses, bottles, and other garbage directly into the ocean.

Hectic harbour

Upon completion, we sailed (and motored a bit) to a hidden bay where we anchored at 17:15 (S08°27.621' E121°56.672'). It looked very pretty with a sandy beach, coconut trees, a few huts, and a couple of local longboats. Our meter said the water temperature was 31.3°C!! That's just like bathwater.

It was late so we didn't leave Sea Turtle. Several small fishing boats joined our anchorage with flashing lights so no one would run into them. There were flashing lights on shore too and a few fires burning. We slept with the fan running most of the night as the stateroom was thick with heat.

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