Our "classnews" Feed

03 Sep 2012 17:02
Kathie Blanding's Harrowing Experience with a Krakatoa Eruption, Part 2 
enfeedia RSS feed publisherFrom: Kathie (Harrow) Blanding
=== PART 2 ===

We left Nongsa Marina with another boat, JJMoon on 19 August, making day-hops to anchorages at Mesenak and Kentar. Kentar is only 3.5 nmi North of the Equator, so the next day, as we sailed across the Equator for the 3rd time, we had a beer in celebration, and donated some to Neptune. Maybe, it was not enough as later, the seas became rougher, and winds blew harder.

To get to Belitung we planned one or two overnights, depending, as Barry on JJMoon put it, on how much we were "feeling our beans". We made the fateful decision to do a two-night passage but soon after, the wind piped up to about 17 knots against us, and the waves were sometimes as large as 3 meters. Not a bit pleasant. On the last day there was chance that we might arrive at the Belitung anchorage after dark because the wind and waves were constantly changing. Suddenly, in the afternoon of that day, the winds settled down to about 8 knots; the seas were almost calm, and the current was even helping us. Sunset was at 6:05pm; we anchored at 6pm. We were really glad to be there!!

At Belitung, Harun Cahyadi assisted us with our clearance, helped jerry-jug our fuel (340 liters), took us to the local market as well as haircuts and hardware stores. Harun was a huge help to us, spoke excellent English, and was very generous with his time and resources. We were anchored near his uncle's land, , and there was a lovely, sparkling swimming pool open for our use. On Sunday afternoon we went in for a swim and had a great barbeque with Harun and his family.

Krakatoa was calling, so on Tuesday, 27 August, we pulled up anchor and sailed away. Our course from Belitung turned to the west enough that we actually sailed a close reach on the SE trade; it was glorious. We had forgotten how wonderful and smooth it is to sail. Sunflower does a great job. Unfortunately, the wind died on the second day and we had to turn on the engine to motor through the oil rigs. We went through the narrowest part of the Sunda Strait at about 1am. Many, many LARGE boats were crisscrossing in front of us; the current was moving us very rapidly (7+ knots); and there were some very strange, mixed-up waves. It was very exciting, and we were relieved once through that area.

The next morning, we pulled into Krakatoa at about 8am. Krakatoa became an interest for us after we read Krakatoa by Simon Winchester's fascinating book with great history. The island of Krakatoa had erupted several times before 1680. On 27 August, 1883, the island completely exploded, with sound waves and tsunamis traveling around the world. According to Simon Winchester, it was the most 'devastating volcanic event in modern recorded human history' and the airborne debris lowered the planet's temperature and changed the appearance of the entire world's sky. History is lesson over.

We hope that you are all well, and enjoying life. Tomorrow, Sept. 4, we will leave for Chagos. It will be about a 10-12 day sail. We should have good wind and, hopefully, no motoring.

We will send another update from Chagos. We are entering our position reports so that you can find us on shiptrak.org. You can communicate with us via sailmail at WDA2604@sailmail.com. This address does not take attachments of any kind; you can send those to sunflowersailors@Yahoo.com. We will pick them up in October.

Love, Kathie and Dave
S/V Sunflower at Krakatoa