Sophie is currently tied to the cliffs in the lagoon of the island of Balbulol of the east coast of Misool in Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Per Ardua is rafted next to us, and Ocelot is tied up on the other side of Per Ardua. I think this is our best anchorage yet in Indonesia.
We spent two nights anchored near Mustika, the place where we stopped after catching the six Spanish mackerel. It was not a good anchorage, at least during the northwest monsoons here, because we were exposed to a northerly wind. There was also a current that was so strong I was swept away in an attempt to swim the 20 meters between Per Ardua and Sophie. Peter tried to rescue me in an inflatable kayak, but the current was too strong for him to pull both of us. Jenna had to drop our dinghy and zoom 300 meters to rescue me. She was a little worried. I was enjoying a swim. The highlight of our stay was Sam’s 10th birthday party on Per Ardua. He loved his multimeter and tested the resistance of every component on his family’s boat. They served up homemade pizza, and somehow a bottle of Jameson’s managed to disappear. It was a fun night in a bad anchorage.
Balbulol is simply spectacular. 02.01.494 S. 130.40.429E. We are in a small cove surrounded by cliffs that run 30 to 100 meters high. It’s totally protected here with no swell and little wind. The water beneath us is 35 meters deep, hence the need to run lines fore and aft to attach to the cliffs. A coral reef clings to the cliffs as they run straight down underwater. Actually, they don’t run straight down, they run inward creating caves and coral overhangs. There is great diversity of coral and many large fish. I saw this grouper-like thing that was 4 feet long and must have weighed hundreds of pounds. I also saw a shark, but she was on the small side.
We will spend up to a week here. Leo finally finished up his oral report last night and has completed 4th grade. We are spending 4-5 hours a day in the water. We have plenty of fresh produce, fish, beer, and cheese. We are listening to classic 70s rock, including Foghat, Boston, and Heart. Nothing is broken, and the boat is clean.
After I write this, I think I will go back in for another swim. Then maybe a nap. Then I might go for another snorkel.
Things are pretty good right now.