Thursday, October 4, 2007

Rinca Island

September 7, 2007
Lehok Uwada Desami, Rinca Island
coordinates 08.42.209S,119.39.602E

We came in search of the worlds largest lizards, Komodo Dragons and we were not disappointed! While dropping the hook we could see a dozen monkeys running from tree to shore and back again. We quickly launched the dinghy to see what else we could find before the sun set. At the far end of the bay Bruce and Matthew ran a reconnaissance mission, found tracks of many dragons on shore and much to their surprise spotted a couple of dragons. We thought it would be much harder to see the great creatures but they kept popping up everywhere. The next morning some local fishermen were on shore feeding the dragons some of the by catch from their evenings ventures. It gave us the perfect photo ops.

Komodo Dragons are large monitor lizards. They can grow to be over 3 meters long and weigh over 100kg. They are majestic and powerful looking when they are standing still but there is something amazing when they start striding on those stout and muscular legs. We hear they travel up to 22km/hour. They can cover some serious ground in a short quick burst when they want to. All komodo's are carnivores, eating everything from large deer to other small komodos. It was eerie to watch them track our footsteps with their keen smell. They kept us well herded on the edge of the beach even if we were the ones holding the long stick. Though we didn't have any troubles with them, we wouldn't think of leaving the kids on the beach alone. We took a quick snorkel/dive on a local coral head and saw some amazing aquatic life. More varieties of coral than we had ever seen before. It was so tempting when we spotted some lovely pure white large cowries, if only they weren't occupied. The kids from Luna, Pelikaan and our boys found this beach to have the perfect collection of scrap bamboo and drift wood to recreate Kon Tiki and spent the day conquering the bay on their self built vessel. Complete with their own home made bows/arrows and spears, they even caught themselves some fine little fish to cook over the fire. I believe they could give Robinson Crusoe a run for his money. On to the north end of the island for more adventure.

Lehok Ginggo, Rinca
A well protected anchorage provided the perfect backdrop for Matthew's 9th birthday. With all the crews from Luna, Pelikaan, Moorea and ourselves we trekked up to the top of the island for a great day hike and then an afternoon swim. Next day was filled with the festivities and games of a joint birthday party for Soleil from s/v Luna as she was turning 9 in a couple of weeks herself. 3 legged races, water works, consumer relays, obstacle courses in which all crew members, adult and child alike, had to participate. And of course no treasure hunt would be complete without a compass in hand and a komodo dragon to cross your path. We are trying to impress on Matthew that not many 9 years old's can say that! Our last morning there was remarkably calm so we whipped out the wake board and took a couple of laps around the bay before the winds picked up and carried us on to our next destination, the island of Sumbawa.
until next time,
your crew on Ohana Kai

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