With 500 miles to go, we started planning our arrival in Flores – seems ridiculous compared to our trip to Bermuda – where with 500 miles to go we’d barely left the US! The good news for us was that we were able to sail the rhumb line to Flores – moreover it looked like we’d have good wind – albeit from directly behind us which is not the most comfortable point of sail. We motored a little when the winds dropped below about 5 or 6 knots apparent, suffering the noisy slatting of the main, but otherwise sailed wing on wing and took the consequential rolling motion – which made sleep difficult to come by.
It looked at one point as if we’d be able to make it in on Friday evening – but to do so we had to maintain a 7.4kt average. The winds did not cooperate however, so on the Thursday we quickly decided to plan for an early Saturday arrival and take it nice and easy. Good decision indeed – removed all the stress to get there and we were fortunate to have a really beautiful Friday and spent most of it in the cockpit. I took advantage of the nice weather to obtain a really good sunburn too!
Land Ho! just after midnight on Saturday with the sighting of the leading light of Flores. The wind was up and we had to slow the boat down to below 5kts so as to not arrive too early. When we finally turned towards the harbor, the wind was blowing 30kts – and we had an interesting time anchoring in 50ft of water, anchor down at 3:45EST – 7:45am local. Made it! We sat on the anchor for a couple of hours, getting various things arranged so that we could proceed into the tiny marina to find a slip and then motored on in to find a very tight marina behind a breakwater and squeezed ourselves into a spot adjacent a 33ft ketch that had been single handed from Connecticut by a twenty something young lady! We quickly met up with various other cruisers – Brits and Aussies – and planned drinks for the evening!
Since arriving we’ve basically been sleeping, drinking and doing laundry.The only thing we know about Flores so far is that it’s steep, lush, has cold beer available, no Laundromat, a good general store (but not open on Sunday). I’ll update with some photos when we’ve had a chance to really look around.
(click on photos to enlarge)