May is for Maintenance

Back in Tampa Garam for another round of maintenance

Ah well, there goes the fun for a while.  Our trip to Triton Bay was great, but lately it seems we can’t go a week without something else to fix, and having been away for six weeks, well…you get the picture.  Some fixes are in the ‘Mayday, Mayday’ red-light-flashing category, and others are in the ‘yeah, we should get around to doing that when we have time’ category.  But either way you cut and shut it, there’s no getting away from the dreaded “M” word. So here, Ladies and Gentlemen, in no particular order, are the nominees for Fix of the Month, May 2021:

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Giants and Pygmies

There are only a few places in the world where the diversity of marine life is so rich, so stunning, that it takes your breath away.  Triton Bay is one of those places.  It’s like exploring Creation’s design studio, packed to the rafters with colourful corals and the most magnificent marine animals – from humongous whale sharks to the most exquisite, tiniest pygmy seahorses.  Be warned – there are a LOT of photos in this post! But, like us, I hope they make you marvel at the beauty of our marine world and give you a glimpse of the wonders of Triton Bay…

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You Never Know What the Day Will Bring

“You never know what the day will bring”, “Every day’s an adventure”, “Expect the unexpected” are just some of the cruising mantras that reflect the notion that nothing is certain except uncertainty when you live a cruising life.  You expect wind from the south? You’ll get wind from the north. You’re looking forward to a quiet day of doing nothing? Something will break and you’ll have to fix it.  Sometimes the surprises are unpleasant, sometimes the surprises are wonderful – and sometimes they’re just plain bizarre.

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Parts Unknown

Point Papisol anchorage on the way to Triton Bay

If you exclude our enforced time back in Sydney last year, we’ve been in Raja Ampat since Sept 2019. That’s quite a lengthy time by any cruiser’s standards, but then Covid has forced many of us to be stuck in one spot for much longer than usual.  Don’t get me wrong, if you’re going to be stuck anywhere, then Raja Ampat is one of the best and most beautiful places to be – but we’re ready to do some exploring of parts unknown.  So, we’re off to Triton Bay, some 396 NM south of here on the west coast of Papua (still part of Indonesia).

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It’s Not All Beer and Skittles

Our friends on “Savannah” riding out one of the many squalls we get here

It’s a quaint throwback phrase from my Pommie origins, but it came to mind after a few recent incidents gave us a timely reminder that life in paradise is not always idyllic. Yes, the diving is superb, the scenery and the anchorages are by and large sensational, but living on a boat in remote areas comes with its own challenges. So, for those of you who think that the cruising life must be constantly blissful, here’s our version of a reality check…

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Dawn Trekkers

Diving’s not the only thing that Raja Ampat is famous for. The lush, green forests here are home to myriads of exotic birds, including huge hornbills whose wings beat the air with an extraordinary ‘whomp… whomp… whomp’ sound as they fly overhead.  Then there’s the guttural, mournful cry of the great-billed herons and a cacophony of other bird calls in just about every anchorage we visit.  But perhaps what this area is best known for are the Birds of Paradise; the iconic symbol of Papua.  Their mating displays are quite spectacular by all accounts, but they live deep in the forests and are hard to find.

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