Thursday, 25 June 2015

24th - 25th June - Selat Sele - Makbon village - Papua

Wednesday 24th June

01 degree 03.133S
131 degrees 07.236E
Anchorage between Warir and Batimee (mangrove) islands
16.6m, very sheltered

Our decision to explore Selat Sele, absolutely unknown territory in that nobody we knew had been there, did not lead us to glorious new waypoints to put on the internet.

Not quite true…We wound our way through a wide mangrove maze and finally dropped the anchor in what looked like a nice peaceful place.  And it was that – very sheltered and calm.  But…I absolutely couldn’t even think of getting into the water.  It looked so very crocodile-y!  And yes there are saltwater crocs here…

Nothing but mangroves
Thursday 25th June

00 degree 46.059S
131 degrees 32.531
Teluk Dorehum
Anchored 6.4m

So we left there early in the morning and headed for an area a bit north west of Sorong.  We are anchored near a road, and a village of 100 people.  Not a croc habitat, so I have been able to swim a bit.  Dying beige reef, a bit sad…I acquired a dear little petfriend, however.  A small yellow stripey fish, about an inch long, which attached itself to my mask and whizzed back and forth frantically.  At first I thought it was actually inside my mask, which was a bit puzzling, but no, it was outside, but only just!  It stayed with me until I got heartily sick of it and swam back to the boat.  It is probably still there, desperately looking for me under the hulls.

We had one canoe-load of visitors – a large imposing man, with tribal scarring, and his four boys.  They didn’t really speak English, or Bahasa, but they were wreathed in smiles and very happy to drink iced tea.  Our large man was thrilled to hear we came from Australia.  He twined his two pinkie fingers together and indicated that Papua and Australia are not only close neighbours but also great friends. 

The boys were very interested in my mask and snorkel.  They have made their own, out of soft wood, and bits of clear plastic – nifty!

Our plan was to spend the day here and go on to shore, to visit the village, and possibly get a ride into Sorong and back so we could have a better look at Papua – there is a road right along the coast and we are only 30 kilometres from Sorong.  But oh deary me…it is horribly windy!  We had such a noisy night.  The boat stayed rock-solid – what’s not to love about a catamaran?? – but it was very hard to sleep.  I don’t think we will be lowering the dinghy, or swimming, in this rollypolly sea!

10am – a few hours later

We moved not far down the bay and it was lovely, peaceful and pleasant.  Dogs and boys on the beach – this indicates – no crocs!  We can see the wind blowing the clouds fiercely across the bay but – not here!


Well we have done a bit of everything.  I swam for about an hour along the beach and back again, over what must once have been a very splendid reef.  Once again I had a speedy little yellow fishpet right in my mask, all the way there and back.  Maybe it is the same one??

This afternoon we went in to shore in the dinghy and walked along through the mangroves and the sheltering trees on the beach until we reached the village.

There were dozens of dogs, all very vocal in their acknowledgment of our arrival.  They were not in the least menacing but there certainly were lots of them.  A big pack!

Some of the dogs
As for the villagers…they couldn’t have been more welcoming if they had tried.

They called us over and asked to be photographed, with Mister

and with Missus.

The village is very neat and tidy, raked and weeded within an inch of its life.

As we were leaving a mother and son sprang out of the jungle with glad cries – another photo opportunity please!

Pete with Angus and Omi
Tomorrow we will leave this windy but lovely place.   Maybe Waisai to buy potatoes and fuel?

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