Sunday 05 November, 2006 – 21:53
We arrived in Kumai River in Borneo after 3 days of sailing. Fortunately the last day we were able to sail with the spinnaker up and averaging 8 knots.. It was certainly great to be under wind power after so many days motoring. In fact, there hasn’t been any wind to speak of since leaving Darwin. On arrival at the mouth of the river, the visibility was down to 250 metres. The smoke pollution here is terrible. Due to all the forest fires, the area has been under a blanket of smog for over a month – it does improve a bit during the day, enough to see the banks of the river, but thats about all. It can’t be good for your health – how the locals live here I don’t know.
Going up the river was an experience in itself – You couldn’t see any of the leads or navigation buoys. The only thing we had was way points from the gps and using the radar to see the river banks. There was one hairy moment when a large ferry passed us . We heard the fog horn, but didn’t see it until it was 100 metres in front of us- it was right at the narrowest part of the river with little room for manouvering.
Tomorrow we are heading up the river into the jungle in a local boat to spend the night under the stars (smog) to see the the local wild life and especially the Orang Utangs – watch this space.