It’s been some three years since we last made a passage of anything longer than a couple of nights at sea. So how do we prepare? It seems you don’t forget the routine. Firstly on checking the maintenance log it was time for an engine oil change, in fact one was over due so that was Friday morning’s task. Then the tank was topped up with diesel from the cans on deck and those in turn were refilled. In Mamuju the rules regarding foreigners buying fuel at the petrol station were strictly enforced as Michel from Javerne discovered having tried three. However there is always usually someone who can help, this time via our new friends, the officials at the jetty. Friday afternoon’s chore.
Then there is the fresh food provisioning. I made a list based on 6 or seven nights at sea plus a margin for when we arrive so we don’t have to rush to the shops immediately – 6 or 7 onions, carrots, some green beans or other green stuff that will keep plus ginger and eggs. We have some fruit including a pineapple, potatoes, a pumpkin and two cabbages. I’d bought a couple of blocks of cheddar for lunches at Hypermart on Thursday. If all else fails there are plenty of tins in the bilge.
I spent the early part of Friday morning cleaning galley cupboards. On arriving back from supper on Javerne the evening before we spotted a couple of small insects scurrying across the worksurface behind the sink. Suspicious I opened the lower cupboard extracted the contents and shone in my super bright LED torch. Half a dozen or so tiny beetles that looked like baby cockroaches less than half a centimetre long were revealed and if it looks like a roach then it usually is. Everything came out of both sides of the cupboard, I sprayed lots of insecticide in, slid the doors shut then went to bed. It was a cleaning job for the morning. Thankfully after a thorough clean of all the galley cupboards both sides of the stove and the shelves behind the stove we found no more little ‘passengers’ and on the plus side everything is clean and tidy for our trip up the Java Sea.
We may though still have weevils as I found one boldly wandering around the rim of my cereal bowl as I went to eat my breakfast however a check of all the dry stores revealed nothing. As I’m OCD about insect infestations, everything is double wrapped using in a plastic box or zip lock bag over the original plastic packaging, all cardboard being removed and disposed of without coming below. We did find weevils recently trapped inside a box containing a bag of pasta so I suspect it might be a one off escapee but will be monitoring the situation closely. Fingers crossed.
Time to say goodbye to Javerne who departed for Lombok on Friday evening and to En Dian who has joined them for the early part of their passage but is heading to Belitung like ourselves and Mai Tai. Time to celebrate our 18th Wedding Anniversary too – Kay found a pizza cafe, Papa Pizza, with good reviews on Google. It was a longer walk than planned involving some off piste wall walking by the river but well worth the effort with excellent pizza including a beef rendang topping and delicious pancakes and ice cream for dessert all with good attentive service and a smile.
So market done, veggies washed in a dilute beach solution; did I say I am OCD about pests? Then dried and stored. The laundry is drying on the line on the foredeck. Next task is to pack securely everything the pair of us have spread about during our time at anchor – galley bits, cameras, computers, projects both boat and crochet, books and more. The heads are restocked with toilet paper, toothpaste etc so we don’t have to go delving into the deeper recesses of the boat whilst rolling around at sea.
The handheld VHF is charged, the navigation was done then redone based on the latest weather forecast. The last of the rubbish is still to be run ashore. By Saturday we were ready to go. Now we just have to wait for the weather, probably an early Sunday morning departure. By the time you read this we will be well into our 700 and a bit nautical mile passage west to Belitung.