We are currently crossing the Banda Sea. It is a challenging sailing here, with strong currents that change direction all the time and swirl up the ocean that becomes unpredictable. Squall line up on the horizon forcing us to have done 19 reefs within the last 24 hours. http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=DC2705
After Ambon, the capital of the South Malukus (previously called Mollucass) we headed to the Banda Islands.
We have enjoyed 12 amazing days meeting people, learning from the local history and culture, diving and sharing experiences with 3 other boats. We had not been 4 boats in one anchorage since we left Vanuatu in October last year.
We are preparing some information on our time in Banda Neira for when we have internet connection. Last Tuesday we departed the Banda Islands heading for the Wakatobi archipelago.
They are right on the “Wallace Line” that separate Sundaland from Wallacea. Sundaland to the west include Sumatra, Java, Bali and Borneo and they have similar mammals like East Asia, including tigers, rhinoceros and apes, whereas Wallacea ,from Lombok to the East and throughout the Arafura and Banda Sea has similar marsupials and birds like the Australasian continent.
Wakatobi is to the SE of Sulawesi and because it is right on the Wallace line it has both, boasting with wildlife both below and above water.
We will have no time to look for marsupials and mammals in the mountains of Sulawesi but hope to enjoy some of its waters. It boasts the second largest coral atoll in the world and is home to 750 coral species and 942 species of fish.
Here live the Bajo people, known as sea gypsies. They are sea nomads and as such dispersed throughout Malaysia, Borneo, Philippines and Indonesia but they all speak a common language and although they are Muslims they still practice an animist religion.
They built their homes above water and are known to be masters of spear fishing and free diving.
Tomorrow is Noa’s 10th birthday.
Initially she wished not to spend her birthday on the ocean but we will not make landfall before 48 hours, but we will make it a very special day on the sea.
All good on board.