Komodo, Indonesia
September, 2007: Drake and Phoebe underway to see the Komodo Dragons.  Strong currents are found passing through the Linca Strait between Komodo and Rinca.  We had to plan our trip to have the current with us, which is difficult, as the currents don't really work with the tides.  It is the upper and lower transition of the moon, and what phase it is.  All very technical, so we just went for it.  Fortunately the currents were with us, and we reached 10 knots going through the strait.  Below is a picture of  a whirl pool, with these currents, you see many of these and overfalls, the water is very disturbed.  At on point we were pushed 20 degrees off course.  We anchored in Teluk Ginggo on the north west side of Rinca, with 4 other boats.
On the beach just behind our boats were deer and monkies.  Obviously plenty of food to feed the Komodo Dragons.  Unforunately we did not see one the first two days.  We found a great spot for a beach BBQ, even the smell of the food did not entice a dragon to come investigate, thankfully!  Everyone pitched in and brought something to cook, we ate very well.  The children's favorite is a Jaffle, a sandwich grilled between a cast iron caseing with baked beans and cheese in the middle.  As you can see by the picture above that Phoebe and Drake are growing up fast.  I am constantly thankful that we have been given the opportunity to witness it & grow with them.
There were two other boats with children in the bay. Above  is Natasha & Jamie from s/v Blue Moon, Jack and Matt from s/v Good Hope & Phoebe   It was Jaimie's fourth birthday which we celebrated on the beach with sparklers.
It was our final day and we still had not seen a Komodo Dragon.  In the morning we went to a beach next to us to explore, in hopes of seeing one.  There were plenty of Dragon dens and foot prints.  Finally we spotted one sun bathing on a hill.  He immediately walked away and hid in his den.  On of the cruisers had some meat on board, which they tied to a stick and made a scent trail in front of the den.  The Dragon appeared in search of the food.  You can see the size of them next to John from s/v Blue Moon.   The Komodo Dragon is actuallly a monitor Lizard, and feed on other animals.  The National park has a tour where you can see many lizards, and some people even saw a group kill a water buffalo.  We decided not to do this tour, for obvious reasons.
The Komodo Dragon was on a mission to find the meat, he came to the waters edge to investigate us.  We immediately hopped in the dinghies and lethim be.  He is pictured between Brad, Georgie and Jack from s/v Good Hope.  We had seen our Komodo Dragon, so were ready to head to the next destination and head back out into the Strait. 
The next stop was on the North Side of Komodos at Gili lawa.  A beautiful bay with great snorkleing.  Manta Rays would swim by, which we have not seen since the Marquesas. The surf boards came out of the bag and all the children boats were in the bay.  There were eleven children, so the boards were a great mode of transportation for them.  Even Peterdog Rathje's long board saw action.  The last time it saw the light of day was Mexico!
Clock wise from the front, Phoebe, Tatyana and Dare from s/v Gwendolyn, Jack and Matt from s/v Good Hope and Sophie from s/v Sunburn.
Small blue fish swimming in the Coral, we even found "Nemo" look-alike from the childrens film Finding Nemo.  The photo below is the unset on the beach.
The coral was very colorful.
At our last anchorage s/v Good Hope went and collected oysters off the rocks at low tide.  Brad from s/v Gwendoyln show us a new way of opening them and cooking them, with a blow torch.  Our contribution to the cook-out is the 5 gallon plastic bucket.  Just in case the fire got outa hand. 
The water was clear and the snorkleing wonderful, above is Sophie and Phoebe, It was hard to get the children out of the water.  Below is Stephanie and Warren from s/v Mico Verde.