Aug 30 - Labuan Bajo

Position: S08deg31.05min/E119deg52.00min
We continue to motor 30-35 nm daily, sailing when able. I look for what I call the 10/10 effect; that is, at 10:00 in the morning, give or take an hour...after all, this is Indonesia time, the wind comes up to 6-10 knots. Don't get only lasts an hour and then the water returns to glass flat and the wind speed indicator returns to 00.0. This 10/10 effect has seemed to occur regularly over the last week or so. The night before last we had our first rain in over 2 months, a very light sprinkle that lasted a few hours, but hardly enough to wash down the decks. We arrived Labuan Bajo yesterday. This is a tourist area catering to surfers and divers; we've been told that world class surf is about 50 nm from here. Labuan Bajo is also the gateway to Komodo and Rinca Islands, where one can see the Komodo dragons. Komodo Island has been designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World. We've anchored directly in front of the Eco Lodge, and took a dip in their pool along with a bunch of other cruisers. There are restaurants at many of the resorts, and we ate lunch here at the Eco; tourist prices but good food. Today I've arranged diesel delivery from one of the many boat boy boats (7000 rupiah/liter), who will, by the way, also arrange for water and gasoline delivery, laundry service, and act as taxi service (70000 rupiah return trip per boat) to town from the anchorage here about 2 miles away. Convenient. Btw, at this time, it's about 9100 rupiah to 1 USD. Rally events here have been cancelled...a familiar story. We're now at the northwestern corner of Flores Island, after traveling about 270 nm east to west on this northern coast, and it has been a beautiful island to visit. We didn't realize
that Indonesia, being the 4th most populous country in the world, had so many islands and coastline. Most of the population lives in Jakarta, but there are small and larger villages and towns scattered along these coastal islands with lots of people living a simple lifestyle. All have been friendly, their small fishing boats have been colorfully decorated, and everyone we've encountered waves and smiles back at us. Tomorrow, we're planning on a tour to Rinca Island to see the Komodo dragons; more about that later.
Pic: View from the village; our group of boats is in the distance (it's much quieter and out of the way of traffic.) The boat boys ferry us to town, wait for our return, and bring us back for 70,000R (about $7.00)

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