Saturday, October 27, 2007


September 12, 2007
Lehok Uwada Desami & Lehok Ginggo, Rinca Island
coordinates 08.42.211S,119.39.601E

We departed Roti with the escort of dolphins, always a good omen and enjoyed a quick and easy double overnighter to reach the island of Rinca. We pulled in to the anchorage in the afternoon and quickly deployed the dinghy to start our search for Komodo Dragons. I don't think that we ever really thought that we would see too many or if we did it would be more like that video footage of big foot. You know, very aloof and far away. Within minutes Bruce and Matthew, who were running recognizance found
loads of tracks made by the beasts and before you know it they sighted one just like we suspected. Walking away quietly into the jungle. So excited the raced back to tell us the news and bring us to see. Along the way we were all tickled to see deer and monkeys running back and forth to the water as the sun was setting. Our pals on Luna and Pelikaan had anchored by this point and we were all on the hunt. By the time we ended our exploration of the shore and were heading back to our boats, we
spotted another one right on the beach off our boats. These creatures are powerful looking and command your attention. They don't get more prehistoric looking than this. They move with such a slow deliberate pace and stop to smell each footprint you've left behind. I don't care how slow they look, we never turned our backs. They certainly have stealth on their side. Thinking we were so blessed to have seen this one up close (close being a relative term), we didn't think it could get any better.
Weren't we surprised.

The next morning every one ventured ashore just beyond a large rock formation where a local fishing vessel had come in from a nights work. Pelikaan landed there first and were quick to call us when they discovered the locals feeding some really large komodo dragons left over fish pieces. What a treat for us to see them in action. We walked softly and carried our own big sticks. They are curious enough creatures and certainly not afraid of us. They would circle the dinghies and corral all 13
of us to what ever part of the beach when they felt the need to lay out the boundaries and ownership of the sand. We gladly obliged. Though you can't really see their teeth much we have no doubt at the injury they can inflict. It is actually the saliva that is so dangerous, creating severe infections in the animal that they take down. At most we had the privilege to see four at a time walking the beach. Indigenous to only Rinca Island, Komodo Island and a few on the coast of Flores we believe
the species is doing well here.

The kids spent the rest of the morning collecting debris, abandoned logs and twine from the shore to recreate their own Kon Tiki. With much work and perseverance they got it afloat and even managed to catch their own fish by hand and spear to cook on the bon fire that night. Robinson Crusoe has nothing on them. We got in one quick dive for those with tanks and snorkel for the rest of us. It never fails to amaze us when we find new corals and colors we haven't seen before. Isn't this world wonderful.
The next day we departed for the north end of the island to prepare an extraordinary birthday party for Matthew's and Soleil from s/v Luna who were both turning the big #9.

A very protected anchorage tucked way up inside the island all four boats setting to stay for a day or two. We all took to shore and hiked to the top of the ridge to admire the view. Always fun to see our boats from a different point of view. It was so blazing hot though that by the time we made it back down to shore all we could do was dive in and enjoy the perfectly temperate waters.

September 11 was our big day of fun and festivities. We divided the fleet into adults and kids and the games began. Potato on a spoon races, obstacle courses, three legged races, consumer relays (which involve eating a variety of foods and a lot of monkey business), water works relays and of course a treasure hunt complete with compass to navigate in order to find the buried treasures. We even had the special treat of a komodo dragon making his was quickly through the party. Not many 9 year old's
can say that! Cake and goodies was topped only by the bonfire complete with marshmallows, who could ask for more.

The only thing that could make the stop better was the glassy lake like water conditions that next morning that begged for some wake boarding. We couldn't let that opportunity pass so we each took a few laps until the winds picked up. When the winds raise up so do the sails and we were off again. Next stop, the island of Sumbawa.
until next time,
your Ohana Kai crew

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