Batanta and Back

There’s not much more we can do until the new prop arrives so we decide to head over to Batanta Island for the weekend, about 20NM north of Sorong. It’ll also give us a chance to do a sea-trial of the gearboxes and new oil seals as it’s unlikely we’ll get enough wind for sailing.

There’s good news and bad news. As predicted, there isn’t any wind so we motor all the way.  The good news is that the port gearbox doesn’t lose any oil – this is a bonus as we thought the oil leak on this one was more complex than just the front oil seal. The bad news is that the starboard gearbox still loses all its’ oil in 2 hours of motoring. This is the one we were pretty confident would be fixed so it’s a bit of a punch in the gut. It’s also a mystery where the oil has gone as there’s no oil around the gearbox or in the bilge. We can only assume it’s going out the bottom of the leg, which means we’ll also need to replace the bottom oil seals when we haul out.  We don’t have any spares, so the next challenge will be trying to source these locally. There’s no cell coverage here so not much we can do until we get back to Sorong.

There’s a couple of pearl farms here in the bay, but it’s very quiet and peaceful
local kids out for a sail

In the meantime we enjoy the serenity of Ayemi Island on the SE corner of Batanta Island.  We do a little dive on the coral bommies under the boat to play with our new Sealife camera and underwater lights. There’s a lot to learn, but the initial results are promising. Can’t wait to get to the dive sites in Raja Ampat to test it out some more!

I love these guys!
Starfish amongst hard corals
I think this little fellow is a Blennie
And another clown anemone fish

We head back to Sorong and anchor off Doom Island again. I hope we get a chance to explore this one day – it was the original Dutch settlement and has quite a history. We meet Jhon and his family – Jhon acts as a local ‘agent’ for yachties, organising fuel and transport as needed.  We don’t need anything from him currently, but promise to come in and visit the island when we have more time. 

Anchored off Doom Island – it doesn’t look very appealing from the water but apparently is quite a tourist attraction
This is the christian side of the island with the church on the hill – the muslim mosque is on the other side

For now, our mission is to find some oil seals for the bottom of the legs and ensure that all the customs paperwork for our prop is in order.  Ayu and Wick to the rescue once more – Ayu confirms the paperwork is complete and has sent it to Singapore to accompany our package, and Wick takes us to Semeru Teknik where we find some seals that might do the job. So now it’s just a waiting game until the prop arrives.  We’ve met a New Zealand couple, Murray and Carol, on “Jams” and organise to meet them over at Waisai on the weekend to watch the rugby world cup quarter-finals. Now that sounds like our sort of plan!

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