Truly on our own

My travels so far have taken me to many exotic and strange lands, some seemingly so different it is hard to believe on the same planet. I have crossed the largest ocean, several major seas, and visited 15 new countries. All this and I have not “gone where no cruiser has gone before”, every leg has been documented in some form, cruising guides, websites, or hands on reports from fellow cruisers.Much of my time in SE Asia has been in the company of other cruising yachts,many times in organized rallies.

There is areal sense of security in knowing where you are going and some idea of what youwill find, yet we yearn for the unknown. Tony Robbins lists security and lack of security as two of the six human needs. Both are major drivers for any cruiser. If security was essential I would have never left Seattle. I had years of well-known cruising in safe waters with well-known friends.

Clearly the quest for the unknown drives my very being. Yet, I read every book, blog,website, took every seminar, and joined every available rally. I am clearly not trying to be a “loner” or escape from the world. I recall the story of the ill-fated young lad in “Into the Wild” he was so driven to the unknown that he refused to carry a map into the bush of Alaska as he did not want any information he could not see at hand. This mistake cost him his life, as the map would have shown the ranger station two miles away. This is not my situation, I have every gizmo possible to keep connected to the world and know exactly where I am, two of most of them. I have met cruisers who were more the“Into the Wild” bent, no modern devises, but they are a rare and dying breed.Most of us keep connected in several ways, at any time I can find most of my cruising friends on Facebook!

So the latest legs of the Furthur Adventure have taken us off the beaten path, from the time we left Tawau we have seen no other cruisers, nor do I know of any in the area. Noonsite, the “go to” site for cruising information, only lists the lat/long for Manado and nothing for any of the areas we are headed to. We may have anchored last night in a place no other cruising boat has anchored!

We left Manado after the entertaining fuel procurement and stocking up on provisions,and headed to the tip of Sulawesi to the Bangka Island group. The first place I picked to anchor was a small inlet, well protected from the howling wind but itwas just downwind of a large brush fire and in short order the boat was covered with ash. A hasty retreat back across the choppy channel we found calm seas anda great anchorage just off a large reef. To keep of the coral I anchored inover 50 ft of water, to our amazement and joy, we could see the anchor as ithit the white sand below. Dive gear sorted and in we went. Virtually unlimited visibility and 85 degree water, a diver’s dream. Sion is the only non-diver on the crew and eager to learn. Simone, now a certified PADI instructor had her first student. She diligently set about the class work and shallow water skills.

While class in session, Eedra and I went diving. The next day we took the “class” to a better sandier beach and set out to find a new dive site in the dinghy. The water is so clear the finding the wall was easy. After class, Sion manned the dinghy and the three of us did a spectacular wall dive. Again the visibility made the dive, it was virtually unlimited. Eager to dive in this environment at night, Simone and I did a pre-dinner dive along wall next to our anchor. I turned on the fish lights and we could see them at 80 ft and a quarter a mile away.

There is a smal lvillage on the island where we anchored, it has a nice Mosque and the neighboring village has a Christian church and a cross. They are one mile apart but on different islands. So goes detente in rural Indonesia. The fisherman would put by close to the boat and wave but never approached us. They seemed quietly curious but mostly ambivalent.

We pulled anchor the next dawn and headed across the Molluka Sea for a 24 hour crossing.We will explore an area which was reported to me to be great diving, no more information at hand, let the adventure continue!