Sail-Indonesia-Flores
August, 2007:  From Kupang we did an overnighter to Kawula Island, TG Liang Meah.  We traveled with our friends pictured below from left: Hans and Liz on s/v Reve de Lune who are from Switzerland and Brendan and Di on s/v Sunburn from New Zealand.  It was nice to be in an anchorage that we could swim in.  Between Phoebe and Drake is the volcano Ili Api, which is active and bellowing smoke, which you can see in the photo below left.  Drake really misses baths, so he thought he would try the bucket out. 
To the left is a local boat on the hard, there was quite a large tide here.  People actually live on these boats.  We are in the town of Lewoleba, Lembata.  On the way here we had a leak in the gooseneck for our exhaust, we tried to patch it with metal putty, which did not work.  Jim found a welder in town who was able to fix the hole, which cost us around $3.  The Indonesians are great, as you can't get parts shipped in, they find ways to fix everything.
Lembata is known for a village called Lamalera, which is on the South coast and is the one of the only villages exempt from international bans on whaling.  They still use small boats to hunt the whales.  There was a tour to this town, but we opted not to do it, and we would rather see the whales swimming than hanging.

It was a little un-nerving anchoraging below a smoking volcano.  Amy is eyeing a street vendoring in town.  Not much in the way of provisioning here.
We left Lewoleba before the rest of the rally, to get ahead of everyone.  Unfortunately, once all the boats in the rally arrive, the prices of diesel and water all seem to increase.  Above is a pod of pilot whales that were fishing next to us.  Blue Sky stopped in a lovely bay called Gedong, very deep water all the way to the beach, we anchored in the clearest water we have seen in a while and tied a stern line ashore.  There were only three of us when we arrived.  The snorkleing was great right off the boat.  It was wonderful to be in a place with clear water again.  Below is Finn, Phoebe, Drake and Sophie.  Finn is from s/v Sunburn and is the same age as Drake, 7.
Above: Phoebe is with her friend Sophie from s/v Sunburn, who is ten, and with mom below.
It was good to finally see the state of the bottom of the boat, which needed a good cleaning.
We were escorted to the village of Waimalung to meet the head man, pictured to the right.  The locals were very friendly and helpful and did not ask for anything.  The boaters all took gifts for the village ie: rope, to tie up their horses and goats, masks and snorkles, toothbrushes, sewing kits just to name a few.  They tended to be farmers and not fisherman, so I gave them packets of vegetable seeds.  The village is very remote and the children had a need for new clothes.  We prepared for this and had two large bags full of clothes and shoes that Phoebe and Drake had grown out of as well as some of my own.  The moms were very appreciative.  I wish I had more.  After meeting the head man we visited the elementary school and met the Guru, teacher.  We brought him note pads, pens, pencils, rulers, paper, crayons, chalk etc.  They were very excited to get some new school supplies.  Below is a young girl in front of their chalk board  with the ABC's and a group photo of the children in their class room.  We also printed out some of these photos to hang in the school.
The following day the older children were paddling out to our boats and asking for pens and paper.  Instead of giving the children the supplies we went to the middle school to give the supplies to  their Guru.  Top left is the elementary school and right is the middle school, which was a dinghy ride away, about one mile..
You can see the schools playgrounds, mounds of dirt.  When we left home Phoebe's and Drake's playground was underconstruction, much to the dismay of many parents, who felt there was no where for them to play during recess and lunch.  At least they had grass.  These people may be poor, but they are rich in spirit and we always saw them smiling.  Drake and Finn playing aquaboy.  The local children would find anything that floated to come say hi. 
One day six local boys borrowed our kayak and played with it all day, it was great seeing them all having such fun.
After a day, twelve boats showed up in Gedong.  We did not want to have a beach BBQ, as the locals did not drink and we did not want to offend them, so we decided to have a dinghy raft up. This is where everyone gets in their dinghies, brings an appretizer to pass around and their drink of choice.  Pictured below left starting at the back are Warren and Stephanie from s/v Mico Verde, who are from Washington, then Tom and Amy from s/v Sandpiper, and Brendan from s/v Sunburn. On the right, left to right is Di from s/v Sunburn and Henrietta and Benjamin from s/v Uterus and Finn and Drake.  It was a great spot to watch the sunset, as monkeys would come down to the water and play on the rocks.  Top right is a shot of two local fisherman at sunset.
It was hard to leave Gedong, but time to move on. We did a day hop to Teluk Sopa and anchored for the night, then left the next morning for Monkey Beach.  The anchorage was behind an island and through a narrow passage that wound it's way around, thankfully it was noon so we could see the coral patches easily and miss them.  A couple boats actually hit one patch.  We had another dinghy raft up, pictured are Sarah and John from s/v Blue Moon who have two kids, Natasha 7 and Jaimie 5 and are from Australia.  When the sun went down a thousand fruit bats flew overhead, we were curious where they came from.  The next day we went exploring and found them all hanging upside down in the trees on the other side of the island.  When we drove passed they all took off, the noise and sight was pretty spectacular.  Below: Finn and Drake are partners in crime.
After the bats we found our own private island and white beach.  Our friends on s/v Good Hope, Georgie, Brad and their two sons Matt, 7 and Jack 5, were also along for the ride. They are from Western Australia.  Phoebe and I love to shell and we found the best shells yet on this little island.  Sophie and Phoebe enjoy a snorkle while Matt wades out on the sand bar.
Our friend Georgie took this great shot of Blue Sky anchored in Labuhan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo Dragon country.