Page Two

011Darwin to Kupang – first leg of the Sail Indonesia Rally 2012 As an introduction it’s already  early March 2013, Jolie Brise is anchored in Ao Chalon Bay near Phuket, Thailand and it’s time to put together some notes and photos made at various times as JB traveled with the Sail Indonesia and Sail Malaysia Rallies and then on to Thailand. We commenced the Sail Indonesia Rally on 28th August 2012 in Darwin,  finishing at the Singapore Straits on 27th October 2012. 2012routemap The Sail Malaysia Rally commenced at Danga Bay Marina, Johor Bahru, Malaysia on 7th November  2012, finishing in Langkawi, Malaysia on 10thDecember 2012. The first photo shows a few of the  approximately 110 Sail Indonesia Rally yachts anchored in Fannie Bay, Darwin waiting for the rally to start. The massed start of about 110 sailing craft from Fannie Bay Sailing Club was spectacular and the boats quickly spread out on the first leg to Kupang.  Jolie Brise took three days for the crossing whereas Mojo,  a thirteen metre racing catamaran took half the time. Weather on the crossing to West Timor varied from drifting in calms to 20 knots in lumpy seas. Crew Jill and Ross and skipper Rob had a relatively comfortable trip as Jolie Brise is a Joubert designed Magpie 34 yacht, just 10.4 metres long but known to be seaworthy and dry in bad weather.  Nevertheless we were glad to arrive in Kupang especially as it was the first non coastal voyage for Jill and Ross. Kupang West Timor will remain in my memory not just as the city I worked and lived in during 2005 but as the port where Jolie Brise went aground on anchor on a strong onshore Jolie Brise aground 002 wind shift when skipper and crew were 200 kms up country visiting Ikat weaving villages with fellow cruisers Michel and Marianne from ‘Sostene’.  The weather has been different in 2012 compared with 2010 when I’d crewed on Scot Free III from Darwin to Kupang.  Then, the weather was benign, the breeze blew only from the east as it’s supposed to and never more than ten knots.  So in 2012 we anchored close to the shore [too close as it turned out] so as to keep dinghy rides to Teddy’s bar, the rally headquarters in Kupang, as short as possible. Mid afternoon the wind squalled from the north onshore at 20 knots, swinging Jolie Brise around on thirty metres of veered chain. The yacht was soon pitching with the chop, banging the keel on sand and rock, breaking  a 20 cm piece off the bottom trailing edge of the keel. Within minutes JB was surrounded by rally participants who had noticed the unnatural rolling of the boat.  They pulled her over with the main halyard extended to reach a powerful inflatable on one side to free the keel and with the help of an Indonesian Jolie Brise aground 007 Navy Patrol Boat which was fortunately manned and near at hand, Jolie Brise was towed off the reef to be anchored in deeper water.  My heartfelt thanks to all the Sail Indonesia Rally sailors who helped and to the crew of the Indonesian patrol boat who did a professional job manoeuvering their boat into position to do the tow.  Lessons learned for this skipper!!!  Around eight PM we arrived back at Teddies Bar to be asked by Lizzie from Rumrunner II  “have you heard what happened to Jolie Brise”.  My heart sank!  But amid relieved smiles we soon learned Jolie Brise was afloat safely anchored with no apparent damage. Next – Kupang to Bali  

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Posted in Sailing, cruising, adventure, Indonesia | 1 Comment