Toucan's Travels Blog

This is the blog for Toucan’s Travels from the east coast of the US to the Caribbean, down to Panama and through the canal and then across the pacific back home to Australia. Hopefully, our blog will convey exactly as it is with both the highs and the lows.

Mr Fix-It – Sorong, Indonesia

Prior to arriving in Sorong we’d been in email contact with Warwick (Wick) Alliston, an ex-pat Aussie who owns Helena Marina, and also happens to be the OCC (Ocean Cruising Club) Port Officer (email: wick.eon@gmail.com; ph: +62811485371). Everything we’ve heard about Wick is positive, and our experience proves to be no exception – he’s simply a godsend, and one of the nicest people you could ever meet.

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Pirate(s) of Manokwari – Passage to Sorong

We have wind! We don’t care if it’s on the nose, we’ll tack our way to Sorong if necessary. Anything to avoid using the engines (and all that oil). However, we discover this is the least of our dramas on this passage….

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Selamat Datang! Biak, Indonesia

Welcome to Indonesia! It’s only 350NM from Vanimo but we’ve been transported into a completely different world. Mosques, calls to prayer, big boats with big outboards zooming past, fishermen’s houses on stilts over the water, the smell of the fish market, the noise of traffic. Our senses are bombarded by it all, and we sit slightly overwhelmed in the cockpit figuring out how to get ashore.

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Spinning Out – Padaido Islands, nr Biak

Our sail from Vanimo towards Biak is almost perfect – flat seas and 12 kts of wind from the right direction for almost two days. Wow, that’s got to be a personal best for this trip! Our calculations see us arriving late on Friday afternoon, so we decide to hang out in the nearby Padaido Islands for the weekend before checking into Biak on Monday morning.

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Dodge City – Vanimo, PNG

Approaching Vanimo on the mainland we’re full of apprehension – a bit like Manus Island, it has a bad reputation amongst yachties. In the last few years there’ve been several reports of boats being boarded and robbed at night. If we didn’t need to get our Indonesian visas here we’d be giving it a big miss, but we have no choice. So our plan is to get in and out in the same day if possible to avoid an overnight stay. It feels akin to riding into Dodge City to face the outlaws.

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It Takes A Village – Longan Island, Ninigos Pt 3

We’ve heard a lot about Longan Island from other cruisers, and it sounds like a great place to share the last of our trading goods.  I’m also keen to distribute more of the ‘Days for Girls’ kits to the school there.  Longan Island is on the north side of the lagoon, about 4 hours away from Mal.  There’s a south-easterly blowing so we unfurl the jib and have an easy sail across.  But we also realise that the anchorage at Longan isn’t going to be comfortable in a southerly breeze, so instead late in the afternoon we drop anchor off the north side of uninhabited Hotum Island. I have a feeling it’s going to be a very social time at Longan so we’re looking forward to a quiet day of snorkelling and relaxing at Hotum tomorrow.

Pretty Hotum Island
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