« Got Glue? | Main | Rat Race »

July 15, 2005

Kid Magnet

DAY: 31
LOCATION: Flores Island - NE Coast
LATITUDE : 08 degs,36.48'S
LONGITUDE: 122 degs,25.08'E

The past couple of days have been better for April who started off on the wrong foot getting dreadfully seasick on her first day kayaking! I think we were all wondering, not least she, whether she was liable to getting queasy just at the mention of salt water (she was seasick for 32 out of the 33-days pedaling with me across the Coral Sea from the Solomons Islands to Australia!). But the last 2-days paddling have been no problem, and like so often in far flung places around the world that the expedition has taken her she's been drawing inquisitive children to her like a magnet.

It's been hard paddling the past couple of days. The SE trade winds seem to have established themselves well and truly, and combined with the early afternoon on-shore breezes brought on by the landmass of Flores heating up and drawing air in from the north side of the island, the direction of the wind has been very hard to predict, sometimes coming from the opposite end of the compass to what we were expecting.

Yesterday for example we got up early to cross a bay before the wind got really going, but half way across we found ourselves paddling into a 15 knot head-wind. And once we were on the other side and turned westwards again the wind swung around the compass to come at us as a westerly. By the time we reached camp we were all utterly exhausted.

We've been noticing a lot of broken palm trees along the shoreline since rounding the NE tip of the island, a lasting reminder of the 1992 earthquake and resulting tsunami that devastated this region. The island of Pulau Babi that we passed today was completed wiped out, with almost all of the 1,000 inhabitants killed. We noticed however a newly constructed fishing village on the southern tip of the island, almost at sea level. 'They're asking for it' said Chris as we paddled past. I suppose old habits die hard. If the village has always been there, that's where it will always be...

Tomorrow we're looking forward to a short break in the town of Maumere to rest up our weary arms and backs before a long haul across the mid-section of north Flores to the town of Reo, a good 10-days paddle. We need to restock with food and water, and find out about flights to Bali from Bima for our visa renewals that'll be due in around 3-weeks. And if we have time some of us might take a bus ride to the town of Moni where the nearby volcano of Kelimutu has three spectular multicoloured lakes to explore.

Posted on July 15, 2005 12:35 PM


Jason and April! Just read news and am thrilled with word your adventure. I dream of the ocean regularly and look forward to reading more of your journals (read back to 7/05 so far).
Wildfires here just burned 11,000 + acres north of Beulah. Rye was on alert. Fire is contained now except for hotspot.
I sold my CA house this spring and with some proceeds bought a house in Rye and 35 acres near Beulah. I had plans to clear fuel in the understory of the forest when lo and behold the fire came within one mile of the land near Beulah, so I am accelerating my effort. I remember your stories of clearing oakbrush and want to know if you have some tips.
Ginger is good for seasickness if you can get some for April. I think its a common spice in Asia. Fresh is probably best.
May Neptune disperse benevolence upon you. Hugs and cheers with all my best,
Maya Avina

Posted by: Maya Avina at July 15, 2005 9:10 PM