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July 9, 2005

Moving on from Larantuka

DAY: 25
LOCATION: Larantuka, Flores Island
LATITUDE : 08 degs,20.57'S
LONGITUDE: 122 degs,59.19'E

Yesterday we bid farewell to our good friend Jansen who jumped in at the 11th hour to help us out paddling the double from his home town of Kalabahi to Larantuka. It was a bit of a rushed last minute affair. After being told numerous ferry schedules back to Alor by numerous people, including the local agent for Pelni (who of all people should know, right?) we got word of the 'Awa' arriving in a 4am yesterday morning and we had just 10 minutes to get him packed and down to the wharf to catch the only way out of here for the next 2-weeks. He left the same way as he started, with just a few minutes to pack and say goodbye.

So we'd all like to extend our thanks to Jansen and his family for helping us out. We'll miss his guitar playing and quiet demeanour. When ever us tourist were bickering and arguing about this and that, he would always patiently wait out our domestics in the wings until we'd finished, then rejoin the group as if nothing had happened. Thank you Jansen for being such a long-suffering salt.

Tomorrow we head north and around the NE tip of Flores for Maumere. We ended up being here a day longer because of extra repairs needed to be finished on the underside of the boats that are getting serious abuse from being dragged up all the coral sand beaches fully laden with gear. These boats are designed to take a beating, but I think we're really driving them to extreme given the weight we're carrying and the beaches we've encountered, many rocky with little sand to be had.

Another reason for an extra day here has been due to one of the video cameras needing repair. It's a brand new Sony PD170 and top of the range for small broadcast quality cameras. However it has been rendered completely useless by a tiny 2mm x 2mm spider that has somehow crawled into the lens apparatus and spun a web in between two of the lenses - completely inaccessible to anyone else of course, including ham-fisted lay lens-technicians (i.e. myself) armed with a leatherman penknife as a high precision electronics tool.

Kenny has been on the phone to Sony Pro Repair that have been in turn faxing him schematics of how to take the thing apart that he has then been relaying onto me in verbal form via the satphone. Needless to say we haven't got very far. If it wasn't such a hilarious situation I'd be seething.

Posted on July 9, 2005 2:33 PM