28 June 2015

Run, climb, bite, swim - the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest Lizard!

It feels like we are in Jurassic Park!  The ‘dragons’ here grow to an impressive size of ten feet and 150 pounds. It can sprint up to 20 mph, climb trees, dive to a depth of 15 feet and devour a deer in short order. Komodo, where the dragons live, is also a region in the Indonesian archipelago that consists of some 30 arid volcanic islands. Most are uninhabited, as a matter of fact only about 4000 people call the Komodo Islands 'home'. Today, most of the islands, associated reefs and bays are part of a large National Park, which is listed at UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Sunset view with the volcano Sangeang steaming in the background
There were 'barking' deer, wild goat,
eagles and much more on the beach
This is a spectacular area; made up of aquamarine tropical waters that are so clear one can see the sea floor seventy feet down,  dry volcanic islands that are mostly inhabited by dragons, deer, wild boar, Eagles, flying foxes, monkeys and, yes, snakes (including the Cobra) and colorful reefs that make this a scuba divers dream. With that, however, comes a continuous traffic of dive boats. Since many of the best anchorage spots are now off limits to dropping an anchor the only remaining option is being lucky enough to pick up one of the very few permanent moorings that the World Wildlife Fund installed. The area desperately needs more moorings to accommodate the visitations to this incredible park.

Our first few days and night in the Park were spent in a bay named Teluk Batu Montjo, which is on the northwest tip of Komodo Island. It was a spectacular spot, clear water, no dive boats and a sunset view.  We had the place to ourselves for three days, a big change from villages full of children and the tourist crowds of Gili Aer and Bali.
Beautiful rocks too!

Looking west towards the setting sun is the island volcano, Sangeang. It is an active volcano continuously venting steam from its top and it sports the textbook volcano shape, a cone rising out of the deep blue tropical ocean. Looking from Teluk Batu Montjo the sun sets just off the steaming volcano's southern slopes, an incredible sight for our ritual sundowner hour. Teluk Batu Montjo bay teams with colorful reef fish and in the early mornings we were rewarded with the sight of a handful of gracefully 'flying' Manta Rays in the clear waters around Katmai.

Gili Lawa Laut and Gili Lawa Darat Islands
looking south towards Komodo Island
Gili Lawa Laut, our next stop, is a small island on the north eastern tip of Komodo Islands. A favorite stop for dive boats, so we counted our luck as we entered the bay and one of the three moorings was just being vacated by a dive boat. We spent four heavenly days there, swimming, reading, hiking up the islands crest-line and yes more sunsets.

Katmai on a mooring off of the island of Gili Lawa Laut
The dive boats and their western passengers of course attracts also local boat merchants selling woodcarvings of dragons, pearl neckless', Dragon teeth, decorated wooden bowls, etc. These local merchants pull alongside visiting boats with their long and narrow beam, locally built boats. These boats are built of solid teak timbers and sport a very small diesel engine that goes put, put, put....and is started with a hand crank, no electric anything on these boats! One of these merchants, Eggj and his brother Iwan, approached Katmai shortly after we picked up the mooring and we bought a few things from them. Our interaction with Eggj and Iwan was, I hope, beneficial for all of us. One morning I asked Eggj if he could get us a nice fresh fish? He asked "how big"? I said "about this long".
Laurie cleans the fish we bought from Egj.
An hour later he came back with a beautiful fresh whole Emperor fish. He must have bought it from one of the local fishermen, who we see in their small dugout canoes fishing the reefs all night long, as there is no village in the area. That was one tasty fish for us that evening and the next.

Egj and Iwan's 'water taxi' taking us from our
 anchored boat to Labuan Bajo city to get supplies
Egj and Iwan now have become our local 'support'. They followed us all the way to the town of Labuan Bajo on the island of Flores. We just got our anchor down near Labuan Bajo when they motored up to Katmai. While still in Gilli Lawa Laut they asked if we might need diesel on our arrival in Labuan Bajo, I confirmed that we did. That is all it took, they were not going to miss that opportunity.  It was a great benefit to us is that they deliver the fuel in jerry cans to our boat at anchor and we don't need to haul the diesel to the boat in our dingy, or even worse tie up to a commercial dock and deal with significant time and paperwork. Sweet! Within a few hours our diesel tanks were full! We then made arrangements with Egj and Iwan for a water taxi ride on their boat for early the next morning. We needed to do a shopping spree to resupply Katmai's food stores. In the morning Iwan guided us through town to a local market, where he helped us communicate with the market staff, insuring we got the right change back and organizing a taxi back to the harbor for us and all our bags of food and a case of beer. In the meantime Egj got our laundry to someone for washing. After the shopping, Laurie and I walked for a couple of hours through town on our own. It is a different world!

Port city of Labuan Bajo, Flores Island

Labuan Bajo, is the biggest town in western Flores and the main hub, is a jumping off point for tourists visiting the Komodo National Park, its Dragons and its spectacular reefs. Bajo, as the locals call it, is a small town, with a few streets, no stop lights, a tourist Main Street of dive shops and a few restaurants. It is a town with apparent poverty, despite being the center for the Komodo tourist industry. Based on things now in ruin, the town has seen days of greater affluence in its past. The people on the other hand are lovely! Big smiles are common and so are friendly greetings.
We bought a papaya from a few women sitting on the ground selling veggies and fruit displayed out on some cloth. They did not speak English and we do not understand much Bahasa Indonesian, so the ensuing communication regarding the price of the papaya ended in much hearty laughter and many smiles. We understood 50,000Rp (5$), which is way too much, but they were really only asking 15,000Rp (1.5$), which more than fair for this large and beautiful papaya. Isn't it always so? It is the people who make the place.
The harbor of Labuan Bajo makes you feel like it you have been transported back to the late 1800s.  Based on the multitude of very large wooden sailing ships it surely does not feel like it could be the 21st century. The harbor is full of wooden ships of all shapes and sizes, most come with some sort of sailing rig, many are schooners, some are... well I am not sure what, but they are all unusual and interesting. Many are small and some are very big and look like could ply the world’s oceans with the best of Walt Disney's pirates. But then, the 21st century is never that far away as this evening a modern super yacht arrived and anchored in the midst of the 'pirate' ships.

27 June 2015

"Hey Mister, Hello Mister!"

"terima kasih, mister" Thank you, mister!
School boys wave goodbye
and thank us for the notebooks and pencils.
One of the most pleasurable things about our voyage through eastern Indonesia has been meeting the people.  The children  are especially delightful, and invariably run for their dugout canoes and paddle out to us as soon as they see us setting the anchor....as they approach, they smile, and wave and yell "Hey Mister, Hello Mister".  It is tradition for traveling sailors to bring small gifts for the local children, and we brought along a lot of school supplies, note books, pencils, pens.  Generally it is just the local boys that show up, but sometimes girls as well. 

Often, a local boy will paddle out with some fruit or drinking coconuts to trade for some perceived treasure on board Katmai.  We have traded everything from fishing lures, fishing hooks, clothing and cash (if they prefer) for what they bring, if we can use it and generally we can.

The children that visit us at anchor are often very young.
Thanks to the generosity of the Fremantle Sailing Club and their donors, we also had several duffle bags of hats, shirts, and shorts sized for children.  In addition, the large bag of used soccer balls (footballs) have been a big hit.  Generally when we gave away a football,  the children played for hours on the beach.

"Oh Boy"  Yelling to friends on shore as they
 paddle back to the village. 
This of course means more children are on the way!
Paddling out for a visit using sticks
as oars for the outrigger dugout canoe
Peeking over the side of Katmai,
standing in their canoe

18 June 2015

Gili Aer to Komodo National Park - 300 miles east

It finally feels like we are cruising.  We are relaxing in sunbaked anchorages, surrounded by spectacular mountainous volcanic islands, and turquois blue, clear water that is teeming with coral and very colorful fish.  We are now in Komodo National Park and our plan is to stay in the park and its numerous islands until we head back to Australia mid to late July. 
We departed on our local 300 mile or so journey to Komodo National Park from Gili Aer, Lombok on June 11.  We anchored in five overnight anchorages, sailing during the day.  We stopped at Gili Lawang, Moyo Island, Kananga, Kilo and Wera Bay before making the hop across to Komodo Island on June 18.

Gili Lawang

A calm evening at anchor over the black sands of Gili Lawang
The anchorage at Gili Lawang is a sheltered area between the main island of Lombok and the smaller island of Gili Lawang.  Set offshore of a small village, it must be a squid fishing paradise judging by the large numbers of very big squid boats that fished around us all night with their very bright spot lights shining on the water to attract their prey. 
It was our first ‘black sand’ anchorage.  The dark nature of the volcanic sands make it very difficult to judge water depth visually, which is nerve wracking when coming in to shore from the sea. 


The sunset at Gili Lawang was like a watercolor painting
We found a nice spot, and were the only sailboat anchored off the village that night.  In fact we saw no other sailboats all day, something that we would get used to, but for now seemed strange.  The scenery from the anchorage in the evening as the sun set was just stunning, beautiful lush green complex hillsides that sloped upwards in to the clouds that shrouded the volcanic peaks. 

A beautiful fishing canoe, Gili Lawang

There was the most incredible local fishing boat, an outrigger canoe, that came near in the evening light.  The yellow, white, blue and black canoe was different than any we saw to date, with an outrigger on only one side.  It clearly is well loved, judging by how it gleamed in the evening light.

Moyo Island

Coconut Palms in the evening light on Moyo Island
We arrived at Moyo Island the next day and liked it so much, that we stayed for 3 nights.

The southern have of Moyo island is a national park area, without a real village, just a few local fishing huts.

The northern half of the island has a very exclusive resort, the Amanwana.  It consists of 20 amazing tents and a very large public area for the restaurant.  We took our zodiac over, anticipating a nice lunch ashore, but the asking price of 100 USD each,( for lunch!) made us change our minds.  The staff gave us a tour and explained most of their guests came for the diving, and bragged that British Royalty were fond of the spot.  I looked up their website later to see that a 3 day visit is in excess of 4000 USD.  Seems hard to believe a place like that could exist in such a remote location.  It was lovely though!

Local fisherman, hand-lining from a dug out canoe
Our boat was anchored about one mile away around the corner from the resort, offshore of a nice grove of coconut trees.  Before long children of the local fishermen came out to barter drinking coconuts for whatever they could negotiate for in trade.  We were also happy to trade for some local Bonito (small tuna like fish) that were jumping everywhere in the bay.  Yummy.  Our offshore trolling for fish was not going well, and these were the first fresh fish for us this trip.

Bonito for dinner.. from the local fisherman!
In the evening, the water here glowed with thousands of star like bluish spots of fluorescence.  I have never seen anything like it before. Looking down in to the water next to the boat, there were an amazing variety of flashes of light.  Long bold deep streaks of some larger animals and smaller near surface ‘blebs’ of light.  Very surreal indeed on this moonless night it was almost impossible to tell the stars in the sky from the animals in the sea.

Moyo Island is a magical place, we loved it there.  It was also nice to be in a park, away from a village area.   We enjoyed the privacy and spent 3 days reading and snorkeling and enjoying the incredible natural surroundings.  The island is known for its monkeys and ‘barking’ deer.  While we did not see either, we surely heard plenty of jungle noises every night…together with the fluorescence ocean life everywhere in the sea, it all added up to a very strange and exotic place, especially after dark.

Kananga Village

Nice sailing! 
 View of Tambora volvano on Sumbawa.
Tambora erupted in 1815 and brought a
global 'year without summer' due to
the large volume of ash released.
Katmai underway in 10 knots of breeze...Nice!

We anchored off of the small village of Kanangas for one night.  It is known as a stopping off place to go to visit the nearby island (2 miles) of Satonde, which is a volcanic crater that hosts a green saltwater lake.  Unfortunately, the day we came through, the wind was blowing at 20 plus knots too windy for a dingy ride across the open channel and too rough to try and anchor Katmai next to the crater island. 
The wind made for a great sail though, and we saw numerous pods of pilot whales and dolphins.
So we gave the lake a pass.  We traded with some locals for bananas and papaya and gave away more hats, shorts and shirts to young boys who paddled up in their dug out canoes full of smiles and laughter.  We only stayed the night and left about 6 am, when the sun was just above the horizon. The sail to Kilo was going to be a long day, so we needed to start early.

That evening at sunset, we were surprised by 100s of ‘flying foxes’, fruit bats, that flew over us, from mangroves on Satonde and over to the main island of Sumbawa.  They are huge, and at first glance look like large slow moving owls in flight, but sure enough they are bats and with a wing span of up to nearly 4 feet, I was glad to sleep below deck that night!  Spooky!

The village of Kilo sits in a very small bay within a larger bay on the north side of Sumbawa Island. On the way there we passed yet more large volcanos that clearly formed the island, not that long ago. 

We gave out dozens of paper school pads and pencils to the seemingly endless stream of dug out canoes with children.  They were very happy with the little gifts, shouting and yelling to their friends onshore, waving their little treasures, even doing happy dances on the way back to shore.  Again, we stayed only for the night, having arrived in late afternoon after a nice sail to the anchorage.  We were pleased to find the local winds in the bay from the north, which allowed us to head directly to the anchorage and not have to tack up wind in the normally predominately east to southeast trade wind.  We expect some sort of local sea breeze was blowing, influenced by the huge topographic relief on the volcanos.

A Fish Attracting Device (FAD).  Very common features
 (to avoid) in the local waters.

On the way in to the anchorage, the area was full of FADs, Fish Attracting Devices.  These are unlit, floating collections of drums, bamboo and other miscellaneous bits.  The locals use them to attract fish, and often fish near by.  They are, difficult to see, and impossible to see at night. No night time sailing in our future. They must be effective, because we have seen literally hundreds of these, often miles from shore.

Wera Bay

Village of Wera, located on the northeastern shore of the
Island of Sumbawa.

The last anchorage on our journey east across the island of Sumbawa, Wera Bay is known for its boat building.  Apparently the specialty of the village is the manufacture of rather large wooden ships and several thatched sheds on shore loosely concealed the hulls of at least six huge boats, and many smaller vessels.  The boats are built in the traditional way, with only wooden pegs for fastening, no metal.  

We witnessed the maiden voyage of this large 'Phinisi',
clearly still under construction.  Note the people on deck for scale. 
She is a HUGE boat.
We were fortunate to see a partially completed boat that clearly was on its maiden voyage come back to the village just before sunset to anchor near us.  Many boat loads of locals and apparent officials were offloaded by skiff and whisked back to shore at dusk.  The boats build here are reportedly up to 30 meters in length.

The active volcano Sangeang forms an island
off the village of Wera.  She has been venting since the last
eruption, which was in May 2014 (those are NOT clouds!)
We considered staying around and visiting the shore to view the boat building the next day, but reports from other cruisers about theft from their decks in this anchorage and the very ‘cheeky’ nature of the village children that rowed out to ask for gifts left us feeling the best thing to do was to keep moving and so the next morning very early we set sail away from Sumbawa for Komodo, which really was our destination after all.


11 June 2015

Lembongan to Gili Aer

Angela trimming the #2 Genoa
on the way to Gili Aer
We were delighted to have our friends from Perth, David and Angela, along with us from Bali to Gili Aer.  It was wonderful to see them and have their company after the long sailing from Australia to Bali.  It was great as well to have some additional hands for sailing and all the other chores of living aboard. 

It was good to cast the lines once again, and leave behind the hustle and bustle of Bali and its extreme tourism. Following a short three hour trip we arrived at the small island of Lembongan just east of Benoa, Bali. Lembongan is also all tourism during the day time. High speed motor cats bring loads of tourists from Bali to Lembongan for a day of snorkeling, partying and yes even riding a fake submarine, that never makes it below the water’s surface – yes, tourism at its best!

Traditional fishing boat, Gili Gere...a 'spider boat' !
The next day, we set course for Gilli Gede at the south western tip of Lombok Island. Finally away from tourists! Gilli Gede is a sleepy small island with a couple of fishing villages. Very quiet and picturesque and a major cultural change. Lombok is primarily Muslim and with that you hear the call to prayer from the local mosques.

We spent four nights at various places near Gilli Gede. Had some good relaxing times with Dave and Angie, plenty of swimming, reading and sharing great meals and good wines. A lovely relaxing time.

The 'marina' at the southern tip of Gili Gere
From Gilli Gede we set course for the north western corner of Lombok and the island of Gilli Aer. This is another favorite island for young western tourists, mostly young backpackers. The island has some great diving and surfing to offer along with reasonable priced hostels and bungalow type hotels. The small town had a grocery store for some needed food supplies and lots of waterfront restaurants, which we enjoyed to the utmost.

David and Angela at the coffee shop on Gili Aer
Following our second night at Gilli Aer, Dave and Angie departed Katmai for Bali by local ferry transport and then back home to Australia. Our time with them was a wonderful treat.
For us it is time to sail east over the top of Lombok, then Sumbawa and finally the Komodo islands.

04 June 2015

Bali, 30 May to 3 June

The evening of our arrival day, the Fremantle to Bali Rally together with the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism, organized an incredible evening of traditional dance, music, food and speeches, for all the rally participants. The event was held at one of Bali's grand hotels on the beach. As tired as Laurie and I were, we had a fabulous evening along with the two-hundred and some other rally participants, including family and friends who flew from Australia to Bali for this reception. All yacht owners and crew were called up to the stage for a special recognition. Laurie and I made that trip to the stage twice, the second time in recognition of being the only short-handed rally yacht, meaning only two of us on board.  It was very nice of our Australia friends to do that. 

Approach to Benoa Harbor, Bali. 
Navigation here is challenging

Indonesia is a cruising paradise, but the paperwork remains politely said 'difficult'.   There were problems with our cruising permit that required time to sort out before we could depart Benoa Harbor in Bali. We finally did get our entry papers after three days of non-stop pressing our 'agent' .  In the end he came through. Yes, 'agent' - most yachts hire an agent to deal with the Indonesian clearing in and clearing out procedures.
The next day our Perth friends Dave and Ange arrived in Bali by plane. We planned to spend the next ten days sailing east to Sumbawa in their company. The best laid plans sometimes need a big dose of flexibility. Since our clearance papers were not ready, we instead hired a driver to show us the country side of Bali and we spent three lovely nights in a hotel, with 'endless showers' and cool rooms. Ahhh, how you learn to appreciate a long cool shower in the tropical heat when you live on a boat where fresh water is a very precious resource.
This is my first time in Bali and Laurie's second time. Bali seems very crowded. Even in the countryside you feel crowded, though it is beautiful, volcanoes, terraced rice paddies on steep slopes and interesting villages and Hindu temples. It is also, it appears, where to world merchants come to buy all the Indonesian crafts we see in stores like 'Pier One', etc. Each village, and there is no noticeable demarcation between them, has a specialty craft. It maybe wood carvings, or yard statues carved from stone, or baskets, or gold and silver items, or batik...etc. In a yard statue village for instance, you will find small shop after small shop, an endless number of them, selling nothing but stone statues for yards. Apparently all these Balinese villages attract artisans from all over Indonesia to make and sell their craft items to world merchants and some tourists.

Terraced rice fields in northern Bali

 The terraced rice fields of Tegalalang are world famous.  Lovely views were enjoyed from a cafĂ© on the rim of the valley.
Near the village of Ubud, Bali there is a monkey forest that has many cheeky little long-tailed macaques.  Our driver wisely advised us not to feed the monkeys as they can get aggressive.  We saw several tourists dealing with the aggressive ones as they tried to grab bags and even sunglasses.  Of course, there are stands that sell bananas as well as a first aid station.  Go figure.  It was beautiful, green and lush in the forest.

Cheeky long-tailed macaques of the Ubud Monkey forest
Well on our third day in Bali we finally received our Indonesian clearance papers. They even included Laurie as crew on Katmai! Oh yes, all the other people originally erroneously listed on our permit as crew are still there. In the meantime we figured out that these additional people on our permit are the crew of the sailboat a different yacht in the rally. Apparently a cut and paste error by the agent when he submitted our cruising permit request to the Indonesian government last April.
Now with full tanks of diesel, water, and our food stocks resupplied, Dave and Angie on board we set off to the east for the nearby island of Lembongan on 3 June.

More to follow, Laurie and Eric



01 June 2015

13 Days at Sea - Femantle to Bali - 1450 miles

The down blasts of wind were pulverizing the ocean water, flying spray made the ocean look white and very wild.  The gusts were hitting 60 knots.  It was all very cool looking from the Fremantle Sailing Clubs second floor bar. The rally start was postponed for two days to let a very impressive storm pass.

It's been a whirlwind since we departed our slip in the Fremantle Sailing Club yacht basin on May 19th. Even as we started two days later than planned due to the storm, the seas remained washing machine like from after effects of the storm. Once we started sailing, Eric was more than a bit green due to the nasty motion. The first three days of the sail north along Western Australia's coast were very tiring and taxing on us both. Sleep was disturbed due to the seemingly random motion of the large left over swells from the storm, plus Eric was seasick and so not much help below decks. Fortunately Laurie managed the motion better than Eric did, it also meant that she spent more than her share navigating, cooking and keeping Katmai ship-shape.  It was feast and famine, after initially having too much wind, the next week we were plagued by too little wind.

The best part of the midnight to 6 am watch
 shift is the sunrise !
We had one full 24 hour period of zero to one knot of wind and most other days the wind was less than 5 knots. We did a lot of motoring and drifting! The calms were interrupted by squalls at times, one of which hit us at night, no moon, pitch black and massive amounts of rain. We tried our best to find the shortest way out of the squall, but as hard as we tried in just about all directions of the compass the squall seemed determined to stay on top of us. It was a bit on the scary side things. Once the squall finally moved on it presented the most spectacular lighting show I have ever seen. Well, after that bit of excitement the wind dropped again to near nothing.

Finally, the trade winds returned to normal
and we made great time the last 3 days. A nice 8-15 knot easterly!
We coaxed Katmai north it seemed inch by inch. We only started to get the first sign of real wind north of 14 degrees south latitude, mind you we started at 28 degrees south latitude, when the trade winds slowly filled the void. Our last two days at sea were great sailing, reaching in 15 to 25 knot trade winds. Bali here we come! The only problem was that the approach to Bali and the Lombok Strait is a major international shipping route. A seemingly endless parade of tankers and other large merchant ships kept us awake as we had to judge each one to insure we did not get too close to these fast moving monsters.

Approaching the finish line with "Plus 16".
13 days and 1450 miles and we arrived at the same time.!
Arriving in Bali was great, after nearly 14 days at sea we converged with another rally boat, called 'Plus 16', just a few miles from the finish line. What are the odds of finishing neck to neck with another rally boat after nearly 1500 miles at sea? On reaching the Benoa Harbor Marina we were greeted by a fantastic reception. There must have been 50 some rally members on the dock waiting for us with cold beers and cheers. It was really touching after so long at sea to be greeted so warmly by our friends from Australia. We arrived exhausted, but healthy.

There were a couple of highlights from the 13 day trip from Fremantle to Bali:

Frustrations during the calms.

During our calm days near the northwest coast of Australia, off of Carnarvon, we were able to raise a small sail that Eric had in his bag of tricks called a dazy staysail.  Having the main sail up in nearly no wind was really difficult as it slatted and banged around, not good for the sail or our nerves.   The Dazy Staysail flies free like an asymmetrical spinnaker, but it is much, much smaller.  We flew it on the foredeck (without any other sails), and were able to make 10 miles in 5 hours, in nearly no wind....but eventually, even the tiny little zephyr winds died and died dead, so it was back to motoring slowly north.  We even started to chase after thunderheads and clouds:  We had been watching several thunderhead heads form along a line about 14 miles away, heading toward us, sort of.  We decided to see if they had wind, and motored next to them and set a double reefed main and our staysail…ready for a gale.  Boy, did they have wind....15 Knots max. (Sarcasm intended).  A bit of rain felt good, it was darn hot.  After the clouds passed behind us, we broke out in to a new weather domain, and we got all excited.  There was a stable, but low ESE wind, at 2-4 knots.  Party time!  We hardened up and sailed close hulled, and the apparent wind allowed us to ghost along with actual sails up.  We sailed alike that for a few miles but by at 4 pm that day, even that wind died, really dead, and the sea, hundreds of miles from no where was like glass and almost oily looking.

Visitors in the Night:

On May 27th, we ghosted along under sail in total darkness in 2-4 knots of breeze in order to conserve our last tank of diesel.  We were in the middle of the Timor Sea, waiting for the trade winds to blow from the east as predicted on our weather forecasts.  Literally from about 10 pm until daybreak a pod of about 15-20 smallish dolphins played in our (tiny) wake.  They jumped around and got really animated when we hit any boat speed above 3 knots.  It was like they were encouraging us to go faster!...We only initially knew the dolphins were there in the dark because Eric could hear their breath.  I truly first thought that Eric needed some sleep and was delusional...but he was right, a flashlight confirmed we were in large pod of dolphins.

During the day, we had seen the dolphins chasing schools of flying fish that would leap out of the water and coast 100’s of meters in the air when the dolphins where pursuing them.  Katmai too chases up flying fish, it is very common to see schools or individuals sailing way in the air from our bow at 45 degrees.  We almost every morning find a few on the deck, dead.  They are 8-12 inches long.

It did not occur to me until later that the dolphin were after flying fish that Katmai distracted, but it is possible.

To top that off, after my morning nap, as I was waking, I put my hand on the floor board next to the bed and at the same instant that I felt a damp scaly thing, the fishy smell of last night's flying fish casualty hit my nose. Made me let out a little scream! Oh my, this poor devil actually flew through the open window on to the floor by our bed!