12 August 2019
As we reach the final few weeks of the rally Temptress’ crew have been turning their thoughts to what next. In broad terms we would like to sail south down between Borneo and Sulawesi then turn west towards Belitung, Indonesia (an approximately 1200nm trip). After Belitung we’d like to spend some time in both Langkawi, Malaysia and Phuket, Thailand before the North East Monsoon gets established sufficiently for Temptress to cross the Indian Ocean to Cochin, India.
The voyage’s first phase will be against the SW Monsoon however the west coast of Sulawesi should offer some shelter. Having roughly mapped a route out on our electronic charts we turned to a map of the island to get some idea of places large enough to have a market for reprovisioning fresh food. The Sail Malaysia Pilot Guide has a short list of potential places to anchor with brief descriptions from yachts that have stopped there in previous years. Both sources seem helpful to our planning for now.
Planning is in two parts, firstly which route gives us the best shelter from the adverse monsoon winds and where are there bays or islands we can safely anchor to rest. And secondly where will we find markets for vegetables and meat as well as sources of diesel fuel for the boat.
About a third of the way down the Sulawesi coast is Donggala badly hit by an earthquake late last year, not we feel somewhere to stop. We’ve no idea of the impact on the seabed or whether the town has recovered enough to have a market or diesel fuel available. Likewise the city of Palu further in the bay that was virtually destroyed by the resulting tsunami.
Further south still is the town of Mamuju, some 500nm from Nunakan where we will check into Indonesia. The guide says food and fuel are available so that has been added to our list of places to anchor. After that we will gradually turn west initially towards the Kalimantan coast of Indonesian Borneo then head across the Java Sea to Belitung. There are a few islands where we may be able to drop the hook if we wish but basically the 720 nm from Mamuju will be a five day passage, hopefully sailing with the wind behind us.