The Sail Morotai Fleet has now arrived Morotai and enjoying the festivities. This blog is the report from when they left, shared by some of the yachts. The yachts communicate with each other through a pre-arranged time on the single side band radio. I will update this blog as they go along.
From SV Alk (Sept 7, 2012):
Hi guys, As to be expected we did not have much wind on our first day in Sail Morotai. We had good current with us in the Davao channel and then the fleet split in an easterly group and one lone wolf in the W being 'ALK'! We did manage to sail about 1/3 of the way to our anchorage in Basiawan bay. A bit scary for the girls to enter a bay in the dark that appeared to be closed off by light fishermen. But with a good radar watch we had no trouble picking our way between them. After a quiet night we left this morning at first light to continue. At the sched this morning it turned out we had not lost too much ground against the other 6 boats with SSB. The sched via VHF did not work as the distance between boats was too large. More Magic also anchored for the night but on the E side of Davao bay. Break-away is leading the way with Callisto following.
At this moment we are motoring along the E coast of Davao Bay but soon our course will lead us away from the shore, maybe we will find some wind further on...
If all goes well we should arrive in Talaud before dark tomorrow.
From SV Sloepmouche (Sept 9. 2012):
Hi Ellen and Kjartan, Very happy to hear that the send-off went very well and that we all acted the professional sailors we are :)
It is nice to feel appreciated both in the Philippines and Indonesia by the local population as well as the local governments ... quite a difference with the attitude in Europe, US and Australia! Good for you!
We are looking forward to see all the newspapers and the evening news of 3 TV channels from our departure! Thanks for your efforts in getting copies ... Perhaps you could scan the articles and get a copy of the TV news to share onYouTube, on your website ...
We all arrived safely in Talaud. We all mostly motorsailed close-hauled as the wind was not very strong (except in a few memorable rain squalls!) and we all wanted to get here in time for the local activities. The seas were often confused and uncomfortable but all around it was not too bad. I don't know where s/v Freiheit is as he did not check into the USB/VHF nets but he was reported by Henrich as having run into some fishing net still in the Philippines ... no news since then! Did you hear anything? Everybody otherwise is accounted for ... s/v Ela arrived last evening after dark. s/v Catimini is doing good progress and should arrive later this evening.
The local people and officials have been wonderful so far! A local boat with about 25 officials or pseudo-officials came to each of us to clear us into Indonesia. Only a few of them boarded, everybody was well mannered and the paperwork went smoothly. :) At 3pm we had some flower leis and dancing show to welcome us into town. From there we were driven to a nearby beach day facility and had some welcoming speeches and a nice dinner buffet as well as music, dancing and we each got a nice wooden sculptured traditional boat made of ebony :) We wished you were here to receive the nice welcome as you well deserve it :)
Today some of us attended mass, the bank opened specially for us to exchange money and this afternoon, we were all invited to go with our boat to a small island nearby they want to promote as tourist attraction. We had a nice beachparty and lunch there. Hopefully today everyone was also able to fix some of these equipment failures we had during our first passage.
We thank you all again for your wonderful hospitality and in organizing so many things in the background for this rally to be a success! We all where very impressed by the people in Samal and Davao City. I think Ocean View Marina has many very attractive facets to become a very popular marina and boatyard for the sailing/cruising community and I am sure you will see more and more yachts! We certainly look forward to seeing both of you again in a few months ... and have a long overdue serious haul out!
Luc and Jackie on s/v Sloepmouche - Noonsite editor and SSCA Commodores
From SV Alk (Sept 10, 2012)
Hi Ellen, Thanks for the WX info! Very useful! The grib files show the same pattern.
All boats left today already for Morotai. We leave tomorrow morning and hopefully the wind will have shifted more to the W by then. Mary from Sweden arrived yesterday and they are the only ones left and anchored next to us. They may leave with us tomorrow. They were very tired from their journey from PNG with current and wind against them for 1000M! Not an easy matter with a 6 and 4 year old on board!
Just got my internet setup with Telkomsel working. My Malaysian dongle did not work with the sim card so I had to buy a new modem for IDR 600.000.
Here in Melonguane the connection is dead slow but I can send mail. Do not know if any of the others got setup for internet. Maybe coverage will be better in Morotai but we can work with what we got. Nobody got fuel here so have no info on that.
From SV Alk (Sept 13, 2012)
Hi Ellen, Yes, that is certainly true about forgetting the hardships of sailing once arrived! The trip to Morotai was hard on the wind which is a wet ride on ALK. All four of us sitting in the cockpit got soaked and skies were grey. But we sailed fast, at times 7 knots. In the night the waves were a bit calmer and when we arrived in Morotai the sun was shining again!
Freiheit got here as well but Bruno had to be towed in some bay N of here and was towed to Morotai due to engine problems which do not seem too difficult to solve and his rolling main sail got stuck in the mast. On the way, in the middle of the big ocean, he had a light collision with Sloepmouche but only minor damage to both boats.
Bad 'luck' seems to be part of Bruno's life but he keeps on smiling.
sv Mary was next to us in Melonguane and when we left at sunrise we saw no life on board yet but they arrived here just before dark as the last boat and were able to join the dinner party with the kids at the regent's residence.
Will see what today brings...
From SV Shiralee (Sept 18, 2012)
Dear Ellen and Kjartan
Thank you both for taking such good care of us at Oceanview and all the effort that went into the preparation for Sail Morotai 2012. We really appreciated everything especially with our entry and all the required paper work and officialdom.
Your attention to detail is amazing and we were especially touched by the trio who serenaded us farewell. The party was great fun and we loved seeing the traditional dances. Thank you so much and also thank you to Chenee for all her support.
We sailed 80% of the distance to Talaud – unfortunately, we had wind on the nose most of the way so it was an uphill journey making this a tiring trip. Conditions were good with only one ‘white out’ for a few hours on the 2nd night and the entire trip took us 52 hours.
Our entry/clearance into Indonesia at Talaud was very straight forward and could not have been easier nor more pleasant. The customs boat came out to each boat, we processed the paper work within 30 minutes then the officials were off to the next boat…all with a smile and cheerful welcome.
Yesterday afternoon at 3pm we were officially welcomed to the island by the local government and people who had done so much preparation and organisation with special ceremonies of welcome followed by a drive to a nearby beach for dinner, more entertainment and presentation of gifts to all cruisers. Luc from Sloepmouche has taken a video and will be putting it up on U-Tube. The only comment is that the anchorage is very confined and has very poor holding, consequently, a few of the yachts drifted. To obtain rupiah the local bank is opening this morning (Sunday) at 10am so those who require currency can obtain it…..this is truly a sign of goodwill and support.
Best regards to everyone at Ocenaview and once again, thank you for everything. We hope you and Kjartan can now take a well deserved rest.
Robyn & Paul
From SV ALK (Sept 18, 2012)
Things are starting to calm down in Morotai after D Day yesterday. The parade was chaotic .... but at least the first yacht(which happened to be ALK) was spotted by SBY after the convoy of navy ships. They went twice the speed agreed upon and the yachts could not follow in the agreed 100m distance. By the time the other yachts passed the podium, SBY was long gone. But we had fun. Dinners were sometimes a bit chaotic and particularly meeting time changed by the minute but fuel, water and laundry were well organized by the local team. Rustie's team of tourist guides that were shipped in from Ternate were friendly ..., but... Rustie turned out to be a reasonable singer at the last dinner. As an organizer he had less talent! The people of Morotai are incredibly curious and friendly but after 4 days everyone is getting tired of having their pictures taken by every person with a camera or phone. The whole things borders on mass hysteria! In a few days we will head for Bitung but I guess ALK will be the only yacht so we will go 'in cognito' and do our own thing. Meanwhile you can expect a few boats returning to Oceanview soon.
From SV Expeditus (Sept 21 and 22, 2012)
Hi Ellen & Kjartan,
Just to let you know we have had a positive response from our engine mount
supplier, & they will send out new mounts to us. I have taken the liberty of
asking them to send them to you at Linmarr towers, so hope this is ok.
We have had a hectic time here with welcome dinner, farewell dinner & a few
in between, and bus trip to war remains & museum. The tourist people here
have been very helpful in helping to obtain fuel , water & washing. It is
illegal to sell fuel in Jerry Cans apparently (subsidised pricing for locals,
& anti bomb making restriction for diesel?) but they managed to make it
happen for us. Everyone got about 100 litres of free fuel, and was able to
One event was supposed to be a lobster feast, with 2012 lobsters available,
but it hapenned in the middle of a cultural show & nobody called the
yachties, so most of us missed out!! - Still the locals would have enjoyed
it. We were also taken to a couple of islands, for swimming & General
Douglass MacArthur's statue.
There was some confusion between checking out locally from harbour to
harbour, and for clearance for the Phlippines, so Ela, Freiheit & Expeditus
crews had to have a speedboat trip 24 miles to Tobelo to get immigration
clearance. Will get harbour clearance soon & be on our way back to Samal.
Ela left 48 hours ago. Not sure when Bruno will depart, he is still trying to
find out more about his engine problem - maybe some confusion over which oil
to use in saildrive gearbox - 2 different specifications in instruction manuals??
So we have a couple more days here, then will start our way back, hopefully
with a bit of island hopping.
Cheers for now,
Mike & Gay
Hi Ellen & Kjartan,
Only Freiheit, Expeditus, Slouepmouche, Callisto, Shiralee, & Catamini left
here. Ela in Talaud. All others gone, about 26 were here altogether I think.
Shiralee & Bruno leave tomorrow, we probably leave Monday or Tuesday.
Had about 10 of the tourism people over to Expeditus the other evening to
show them the boat & some video of sailing. They were keen to ask a lot of
questions to learn more about what yachties are looking for, so that looks
promising for the future.
Will pass my wireless broadband over to Shiralee tomorrow so no more emails
until we are back in Samal.
Looking forward to getting back to Oceanview!
From SV Sloepmouche (Sept 20, 2012)
A video presentation by Luc of SV Sloepmouche which shows all the events in Indonesia, starting with the Kick-Off party at Oceanview Marina. Well done, Luc and thank you for sharing.
title="Glimpses of Sail Morotai 2012">YOUTUBE
From SV ALK (Oct 3, 2012)
Dear Mr. Aji and Mr. Turman
Thank you for the contact details of Mr. Johnny Banjarnahor in Bitung.
We anchored near his office and he and his staff Mr. Yospendi took good care of us.
By the way the correct anchor position is 1 27.20N 125 12.75E which is just N of the jetty of the DKP office. In 25m the holding is good.
Mr. Johnny's man took us to the Tourist Office where we met with Mr. Benny Lontoh who was very helpful in planning our shore activities.
He was quite curious as to the other boats that were scheduled to visit Bitung and he mentioned that around September 19 he had his staff ready at the DKP jetty for the reception but never saw any boats! Unfortunately I had to inform him that to my knowledge most of the boats sailed S along the W coast of Halmahera after leaving Morotai. There may be one other boat 'Catimiri' that will visit Bitung.
Since leaving Morotai we have encountered consistent S-SW winds which are normal for this time of year according to the wind pilots and sailing straight from Morotai to Bitung would have been a hard beat! As it was we did our southing by going to Ternate along the Halmahera coast which was quite difficult against the S wind which blows very steadily along this coast.
Anyway the detour to Ternate was well worth the effort and from there we had good sailing to Bitung. This route allowed for a stop in Pulau Tifore which turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. The anchorage was well protected and quite beautiful and people very friendly, as almost everywhere we have been in Indonesia!
Finally I would like to thank you for organizing Sail Morotai which has been a most wonderful experience!
With kind regards,
Hans van Rijn
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