Bemo

Fruit stall

Kupang is the busy, bustling capital city of West Timor. The town is vibrant and noisy, full of honking horns and heavy thumping rock music pouring out of the bemos, the base turned up so loud that you feel like you’ve got a second heart beat. We soon found our way around the highlights of Kupang;

Charlie

the Immigration Department, the Customs House, the supermarket and of course Teddy’s Bar being about the sum of them. Neil spent a delightful few days cleaning out the diesel tanks then Charlie and the other boys on the beach gave us a hand with filing up with fuel and water. Soon we were ready to go but the weather was blowing a hoolie. We waited a couple of days for the wind to ease a little and finally departed Kupang and Indonesia on 16th June.

ocean

The first couple of days out were plain sailing, literally. We had a 15-20 knot breeze on the starboard bow and made steady progress eastwards following the south coast of Timor. We had sunny days, we saw pilot whale and several pods of dolphins and Neil caught a skipjack tuna. Unfortunately on the third night the weather changed. The clouds closed over us and the sea became quite rough with a 2-3m swell and a short chop. The wind swung around to the east and strengthened to 20-25 knots. We changed tack and for the next 36 hours made slow progress southeastwards. Luckily the first couple of days had adjusted our stomachs to being back on the ocean so neither of us suffered from seasickness.

bow wave

Once we entered Australian waters we had a daily fly past from the Coastguard or Marine Patrol. Knowing we were on someone else’s radar was reassuring but their weather summary “same weather all the way to Darwin” was not really what we wanted to hear! This meant at least three or four more days of bashing into the swell. We made long tacks to the NE and SE and slowly slowly ate up the miles. On the morning of the 22nd June the wind steadied, the seas seemed to moderate a little and the horizon brightened – aah, at last we hoped to be seeing the end of the low

Tipperary Water Lock

which had been hanging over us for so long! At 4pm we arrived at the entrance to Darwin Harbour and finally dropped anchor in Fannie Bay six and a half days after leaving Kupang. After we’d jumped through all the hoops required by Quarantine, Customs, Immigration and the Fisheries Dept. we sailed up Frances Bay and were really happy to pass through the lock into Tipperary Waters Marina.

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