|After four days of fighting headwinds
and steep seas the Kimron Jawa Islands rose over the horizon. The highest island is
840 meters high and visible from many miles out. From first siting until we were on
the islands was 8 hours. This put us in the middle of the islands trying to beat to
windward up a narrow channel in the dark with a third generation photocopy of a 20 year
Dave T. was navigating Tom was
helming and Dave D. sleeping in his off watch period. Dave D. got a little bit
aggressive about trying to stretch every last inch out of each tack and on one of them
after coming about there was the sickening crunch-crunch sound as we skimmed over the
reef. Fortunately the tide was at just the right height so a quick about-face got us
out of there with only a badly bruised ego and scratches on the bottom of the keel.
Poor Dave D., awaken from his sleep by the boat
bouncing on the hard was very distraught that we were heading back out to sea. He
was convinced that we should park the boat firmly on the reef and man the life raft.
He did a check of the bilges and announced that we were not sinking so our course
||This is a
typical Javenese style fishing boat. They are powered by a fairly large bore single
cylinder diesel engine driving a long shaft that the pilot drops into the water.
Steering is accomplished with a rudder tied to the port side.
The typical boat draws about ½ meter of water. This
allows them to drive the boats right up to the beach. With flat bottoms, they careen
on the beach while the tide goes out.
We did manage to finally work our way up the
channel and arrived outside the port entrance at 02:00. Not wanting to attempt entry
into an unknown port in the dark we hove-to for the night. This was not what Dave D.
wanted to hear, still concerned about the structural integrity of the boat he wanted to
get to port quick. The idea of parking the boat in open water just did not sit well.
While Dave T. and Tom sleep, Dave D. sat watch, plotting the boats position every
15 minutes convinced we would crash into an island.
By morning light we were had drifted 2 miles down
wind into open water. We then went around Kiron Jawa Island and entered the port.
The anchorage was very much a local fishing port. The bottom seemed to be
either 14 meters deep or 1.5 meters deep. After trying to get the hook to stick
unsuccessfully on the edge of the drop, the harbourmaster signaled to us that we could use
his friends "dock." The dock was a stand alone teak deck in 3 meters of
water with a teak table and chairs. We tied up to this and stayed for the next four
days enjoying the island immensely.