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August 31, 2005


DAY: 78
LATITUDE : S 08 degs, 14.65'
LONGITUDE: E 116 degs, 29.42'

Our first look at the coast of Lombok has given us yet another contrast between the islands we've visited. The farther west we travel reflects a variation on a fairly central theme with technology playing a bigger role the further west we go. On Flores, I saw men repairing a road with buckets of cement they'd mixed by hand and using rocks they had hauled from the beach far below. Today, we saw a crew using a large CAT earth mover to do the same kind of work. Industry dots the shore line on the north coast of Lombok with fairly sophisticated generators providing power. Mechanization has a toehold here that we haven't seen much of til now.

We had taken a mid morning break from paddling in the middle of a 'herd' of jellyfish when we noticed how fast we were drifting back the way we had come. The tide was strong, about one knot, heading toward the selat we crossed yesterday. Our forward progress is generally about three and a half knots, so it was no wonder the coast wasn't exactly zipping by. Well, actually it was, but in the wrong direction! To avoid losing any more ground, we hurriedly got stuck into the paddling, trying to make as much to the good before we got too tired battling against a strong tide.

After five hours and only fourteen miles, it became important to find a campsite before low tide made a landing difficult. We spotted a black sand beach near some rocky cliffs which looked like a possibility. And, on a hot day as we've had recently, black sand is preferable to white as it seems to absorb heat rather than reflecting it. A large tree offered shade near the water's edge making this spot seem ideal. (Sometimes setting up camp can be a chore when you're trying to lift a loaded 'Queenie' up onto a beach before getting blasted by the next incoming wave, sand flies chewing on your ankles and running the gauntlet of locals who are crowding around to see the kayak!) But, this camp tonight appears quiet; no mozzies, few ants, and local fishermen who seem content to get on with their work.The pounding surf is the only distraction. I guess one can't be too picky!

Current position

Posted on August 31, 2005 12:32 PM