Here is the second part of our trip from Tahiti to the Indian Ocean, with a stopover in Bali. I just asked Sebastien, captain of Moonwave for one word to describe the trip from the Pacific side of Papua to Bali, his answer was “long” ;-) In general it was a long trip from Tahiti to Bali. Check out the first part of the journey: Pacific Crossing [Oct 2020]
And ok, we have to put the whole situation in perspective, we still moved along nicely and only put the engines on the last day or to avoid fishing boats coming really close. Here comes the BUT: we are just not used to doing 200 nm or less a day. The winds were really light for all the trip. We only had more than 10 knots of wind during the passage of the Torres Strait. This passage happened at night, so there was very little traffic and we could sail along nicely. In the Prince of Wales Channel, for the last couple of miles, the wind came directly from the back, but there were also 3 knots and more of current in our favor which helped us a lot to keep moving nicely.
We had a beautiful sunrise over the Australian Islands – we didn’t get any closer than that.
During the trip along side Papua New Guine, Papua and Timor Leste, we followed the sea border between the countries in the North and Australia. There was a bit more wind in the North but also way to many fishing boats. Sailing/jibing along the sea border was the best compromise to get away from fishing traffic.
One day we got an Australian Coast Guard Plane flying over us and afterwards they contacted us on the VHF radio to find our more details about Moonwave and our journey. They were very polite and professional, and it’s good to know that you are “being watched” when on their side of the sea border.
An other fun fact, our family at home followed our trip and each time we came close to an islands or country, they looked them up on the map and on the internet to find out specifics and interesting facts about the topology, cultures, population, nature and history. [We got a short summary afterwards]. This made them be part of the trip and learn about countries that we rarely hear about back in Europe.
The last days were really light in wind, so we had to motor a bit. But the rest of the trip, Moonwave sailed often more than wind speed. When you do 6 knots with 5 knots of wind, this makes for acceptable average ;-) As soon as there are 6 to 7 knots of winds, she gets alive again.
We passed close to some Indonesian Islands on the way to Bali.
One more thing to mention: it was very very hot as there was also so little wind. The high temperatures made taking naps during the day almost impossible. Which probably also contributes to the fact the trip felt so long, even if it was only 11 days for 2200 nm [yes, our zigzagging to keep the wind always add more miles to the straight line and … also make it longer]. Luckily there are sometime dolphins passing by to entertain us. And the sunsets & sunrises provided amazing colors.
We had a great welcome in Benoa, Bali and our yacht agents did a great job of getting us visas and clearing us into Indonesia. Now were are waiting for some parts before we continue our trip across the Indian Ocean.
Here are our first impressions from Bali [with almost no tourists] and let us know your recommendations if you have been here before.