August 28, 2018    |   Lombok, Indonesia - A full-moon Hindu temple holds a commanding view over the rice paddies of southwestern Lombok.

August 25, 2018    |   Lombok, Indonesia - Just anchored off Lombok in the reflection of Mount Rinjani, the countries second tallest volcano. All quiet tonight.


Day 4,101 - Moyo, Indonesia
18:22hrs - August 22, 2018
Dragons, Rays and Volcanos

Over the last week we've hiked Komodo Island in search for more of the legendary dragons, and with cruising mates Bobby and Sam off Confidence, we sighted seven, including a ten-foot monster that seemed entirely Jurassic in nature, an experience that completely recalibrated my belief on where I reside on the food chain. The dragons on Komodo, however, are a tamer lot, familiar with tourists and selfie sticks, so unlike their wilder and more aggressive cousins we encountered last week on the southern shoreline of Rinca, we got a little closer - I'm pretty sure within striking distance - to take a few choice photos. But our official Komodo National Park guide accompanied us, armed with a really big stick, so I'm almost entirely certain we were safe.

For five days we explored all the islands within the park and even hove-to to spend a little time drifting and free-diving with a gliding fleet of manta rays feeding in Selat Lintah, a channel between Komodo and Padar Island which boast currents so fierce that, for one embarrassing moment whilst running at full throttle, we actually found ourselves carried backwards.

This week we've day sailed west across the northern coastline of Sambawa, in the shadow of Tambora Volcano which, in 1815, caused 'the year without summer' during the most explosive and devastating eruption in our recorded history. We've been sailing, for the most part, in gentle conditions, dodging FADs (Fish Aggregation Devices) - homemade floats, markers and buoys designed to attract fish and foul propellers. And just two days ago, in eighty feet of water, we anchored off the edge of Satonda Island, a dormant volcano, and hiked over it's ridge line and down to the high-salinity lake that fills its crater. Locals believe that wishes and dreams are fulfilled if rocks, or a gift, are hung from a sacred Kalibuda tree on the shoreline. Our offering was a nautilus shell we found in New Caledonia.

We're about to sail to Lombok, but with all the earthquakes around the island over the last few weeks, the recent evacuation of tourists, and concerns of further tremors, tsunami warnings and even a volcanic eruption, we may sail straight to Bali instead. However, as recently as June 29th this year, Bali's Mount Agung, the island's active volcano, erupted, belching plumes of ash 2km into the sky resulting in 450 cancelled flights and effecting over 75,000 passengers worldwide.

Of course, we have our own means of transportation, but as Dream Time's average moving speed is a modest five knots, we've registered with SMS-tsunami-warning, we'll need as much notice as possible.

August 15, 2018    |   Komodo, Indonesia - Dragons in the morning, manta rays in the afternoon - magic.

August 13, 2018    |   Komodo, Indonesia - Komodo dragons (Varanus komodoensis) migrated north from Australia to Indonesia approximately 900,000 years ago.

August 11, 2018    |   Padar, Indonesia - Hiking Komodo National Park with Dream Time anchored in the eastern bay (we're the smaller spec).

August 11, 2018    |   Padar, Indonesia - Flying our Indo Independence Day flags with Padar's pointy summit as the backdrop, which looks a little like a shorn Bora Bora.

August 10, 2018 (Day 4,089)
Quick Fix: 08° 46.5 S / 119° 39.5 E
Conditions:  Wind: 15/SE  Sky: Mostly Cloudy

After a passage, even our modest 2-day sail over from Kupang this week, it's nice to find a remote bay with a quiet anchorage and a sandy beach to stretch your sea legs. So when we arrived in the legendary Komodo National Park that's precisely what I did. An hour into my stroll, however, a local boat appeared with occupants waving in my direction, not in a friendly 'Hey Mister' manner, but in a frantic double-arm gesture usually reserved for dire warnings or aircraft landings, whilst screaming, "GET OFF THE BEACH!!" It turned out that I was ambling where Komodo dragons, some of the most aggressive in the park, like to hunt. Safely back on Dream Time and just minutes later, two 8-foot long dragons swaggered down the beach, following my tracks, and no doubt my scent. A close call? Perhaps - Komodo dragons can run 13 MPH and can easily take down a water buffalo. I think Lady Luck was watching over me today. But during my daring stroll I did find an impressive nautilus shell, which I named, 'Puff'.


August 9, 2018 (Day 4,088)
Quick Fix: 08° 46.5 S / 119° 39.5 E
Conditions:  Wind: Variable  Sky: Mostly Clear

Tsunami Warning
Lombok, an island west of our position here in Indonesia, has recently experienced 7 significant earthquakes. Tremors measuring up to 6.9 on the Richter Scale have tragically resulted in over 300 fatalities, an emergency evacuation of tourists from the island, and a tsunami warning for our region. Life jackets which are usually stowed outside in the sail locker when we're anchored are now inside the cabin within easy reach. Cell phone and WiFi signals are unreliable to non-existent on Dream Time so we usually only hear of these warnings long after the critical broadcast. There's safety when sailing in deep water but we're now anchored in the Komodo Islands with no mobile service. We've attached a rope to the end of our anchor chain so ground tackle can be dumped and quickly cut free if necessary. Not much more can be done, so life carries on much as normal - today we're going ashore in search of dragons.

August 7, 2018    |   Kupang, Indonesia - Open 24/7, pasar vendors nap amongst their wares during quiet spells - could you wake someone to buy $0.30 worth of garlic?


Day 4,086 - Kupang, Indonesia
07:08hrs - August 7, 2018
We Have Arrived in Kupang, West Timor!

We have arrived in Kupang, West Timor! It’s all still a little overwhelming and we’re still a bit jet lagged from our 5 day sail here, and with the check in paper dance full of cheery smiling officials shuffling multiple documents from one desk to another made for a dizzying start to Indonesia. But we’re here, we made it and everything is new and different and fascinating it’s hard to know where to look first.

The sheer number of people and traffic somehow not bumping into each other is something to behold, and we are enjoying the funny chaos of it all. Everyone is so sweet and friendly and they want to practice their English on us so there’s a constant flow of hellos and how are you’s and good-byes etc. it’s lovely. Also amusingly the men are all somehow fascinated by Neville, they all want a photo with him, I think it’s because there aren’t many tourists here he’s as tall and interesting to them as they are curious and interesting to us. The other entirely cool thing we’ve seen here is the mixture of religions peacefully cohabiting. Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and Christians all just getting on with their busy lives in this one city without any apparent difficulty, I wish there was more of that in the world.

Also we had a tourist day, visiting the ‘monkey cave’ where we met alot of very cute monkeys, but no cave, and then a ‘crystal cave’ that was an actual cave but there were no crystals. There was however a very welcome cool sparkly freshwater pool at the bottom for those willing to navigate the slippery climb down to the bottom. Then we wandered through town and made our way to the city market and communicating almost entirely with hand signals we tried to figure out what to eat for lunch, I’m quite sure we managed to entertain the folks there as much as they entertained us. There were all the usual market fare including little fish and small plucked chickens laying out in the open on various tables ready for someone braver than me to buy them, I stuck to the fruit and veg. But the market does stay open 24/7 so we can go back and get that chicken anytime if we change our minds which is very convenient.

So, we’re having a lovely time in this very different and interesting part of the world. We’ll be sailing to a much quieter part of Indonesia in a few days, Komodo, and apparently there’ll be dragons! Watch this space...

August 4, 2018    |   Kupang, Indonesia - An impressive breakwall of waterfront properties clinging to the shoreline of West Timor.

August 4, 2018    |   Kupang, Indonesia - Chatting with a local fisherman, and although we had no idea precisely what he said, it was a most friendly exchange.

August 2, 2018 (Day 4,081)
Quick Fix: 10° 09.4 S / 123° 34.4 E
Conditions:  Wind: Variable  Sky: Clear

Our Not So Epic 485 Nautical Mile Voyage
In 1789, after his command had been seized during a crew revolt that would be known to history as Mutiny on the Bounty, and armed with only his sextant, a pocket watch, and a resolve few possess today, Captain William Bligh sailed an open 23-foot boat with no charts or compass 3,618 nautical miles from Tonga to Indonesia. His remarkable voyage was an epic 41 day maritime accomplishment, one which ended when he landed his boat at a remote tropical settlement on West Timor. And today, after our not-so-epic 4 day crossing of the Timor Sea on a voyage so mellow it would have put Bligh to sleep, Dream Time has anchored off the very same city - Kupang. With no wind we motor-sailed the first day in glassy conditions, followed by 3 days of smooth sailing in a gentle 8 knot breeze, and during a final burst of 20 knots (and not being as bold as Bligh) we hove-to to wait for a hazy sunrise to make our final approach. Halo Indonesia!