Welcome to the blog of the sailing yacht Sea Bunny.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Pinnacle Rock in Paradise

Four Friends
Towards the end of our visit Four Friends, a charter schooner based in Singapore, arrived with fourteen 17-year old students, all girls except for one, from the Arts School in Singapore together with teachers and kayak instructors.

Pinnacle Rock
We were fortunate to be invited to join them in scaling what the skipper of Four Friends calls Pinnacle Rock, a small , 67 metres high, island at the NW of the group. The top part of this involved a traverse up a fissure in the rock, for which ropes were laid. Richard opted to miss out this bit! Susan sat up top and leisurely watched a shoal of fish meander by.

Setting the ropes

Susan on the climb

View from Pinnacle Rock

It is also possible to get to the top of a rocky outcrop on the main island for a good view of the main lagoon. The path starts between two palm trees at the western end of the beach.
The outcrop

Pulau Bawah, Anambas, Indonesia

Our first over night passage since our return from Borneo at the end of 2010 of 145 nautical miles was to Pulau Bawah. This is in the Anambas archipelago which is not much visitedby yachts as there are no check-in facilities. You have to have a CAIT or a Riau Islands permit and check in or out of Indonesia in Batam or Bintan. As we were in Batam, checked in and aiming to return, this was not a problem.
Sea Bunny at anchor
However, yachts that have decided on the spur of the moment to visit the Anambas while on passage from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak (East Malaysia- Borneo) have met with a less than friendly reception from the local authorities.
We had acquired a waypoint for the entrance from friends, together with warnings not to try to enter the large deep water lagoon, which is totally surrounded by reefs with less than 0.5 metres of water over them at low water and less than 2 metres at high water.
The smaller, accessible, lagoon has an entrance, marked by two floats, with about 3 metres depth at low water in the deepest part. It then deepens to 17-20 m with no bommies.

Foundations for a resort villa

We had been told that the islands are uninhabited. Not so!  On our first evening we were presented with fresh coconuts by the construction crew from central Jarva here to build a 14 beach villa resort with attendant infrastructure. Occupation at the end of 2014 and intended for clients flown in by seaplane.
There are plans for moorings in the lagoon and yachts will not be discouraged.

Up to 10 of these shelter most nights

Up to 10 small fishing boats manned by the Orang Laut, sea people come in each night and wave to us.  These either raft up if conditions are suitable or anchor separately if there is a bit of chop the people never going ashore

Susan enjoys the clear water
We spent our time going for a daily walk on the beach, snorkelling and, of course, doing boat jobs.
Chilling out listening to a daily feed of Desert Island Discs and playing board games.
The snorkelling was the best since, probably, East Malaysia with visibility outside the reef over 10 metres, a little less inside. Richard even put on SCUBA gear to start a hull scrub, while Susan cleaned the topsides.
According to the construction manager  liveaboard dive boats rarely visit..

Soft corals in the lagoon

Yachtspeople may be interested in our anchorage notes for Pulau Bawah