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Indonesia, Raja Ampat & Sorong: Go prepared - some tips

By Warwick Alliston - PT EON Engineering — last modified May 12, 2017 05:59 PM

Published: 2017-04-30 23:00:00
Countries: Indonesia

This report and advice from Warwick Alliston of PT EON Engineering, Sorong.

For the Raja Ampat area the SE winds are at most a few weeks away with already some days with light SE breezes.

This year, since December 2016, there has been an unusually high number of "sudden tropical storms" (locally known as "badai") in the Raja Ampat area, often causing havoc in the harbour with anchors dragging, near collisions and entanglements.

This is particularly worrisome if the storms come through at night.

This phenomenon is a well known feature of the equatorial zone and it is not uncommon to have gusts to  50 knots for a short period... normally not longer than 20 minutes.

One of the consequences of this is extra "wear and tear" on ground tackle and anchor winches. I would highly recommend carrying a spare set of winch gears and at least two sets of winch motor brushes. Another very common requirement recently has been alternator brushes and bearings. It is very easy to bring this gear along as part of the ships standard spare parts list, but often difficult to source in Indonesia.
There have been some recent near-misses with positions being taken from the paper charts for the Sorong area. Paper charts and GPS can vary up to 500m. Please take care when using paper charts fro primary navigation.
Security in the Sorong area  is still a concern if the boat is to be left unattended at anchor.
Security grills on hatches are helpful and assist with ventilation. It is best to leave at least one crew member on board and make sure that outboard motors and fuel jerry cans  are carefully and securely stowed. Keep the decks well lit at night.

 

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