Our decision to sail from Rinca to Flores was made on the spur of the moment. We had faced the lizards, and we needed to buy some food. So we spent just over two hours motoring 13 miles through some very beautiful islands.
Flores is a large island with many diverse villages, but we were visiting only the far western end – Lubuan Bajo. This is the largest village on the island, so we thought it would be our best place to reprovision.
Rather than anchoring in town, we anchored about two miles south in front of the Komodo EcoLodge (everyone around this area capitalizes on the komodos). There were two boats there, and it appeared a peaceful place to call home for a few days. We had a local fishing boat come along side before we even finished getting the boat secured, and another came along the other side within a few minutes. We arranged for one of the boats to deliver fuel to us the following day.
We made our way to town, and we were pleasantly surprised to find an ATM at a local bank (we were also running low on cash). We got plenty of cash, but we found little to spend it on. Provisioning was quite limited. But we did find a few basics, and we are accustomed to making do with what we can find.
We treated ourselves to dinner at the lodge that night, and it was excellent. We were very impressed that a small staff could do so much with so little. We looked forward to returning for another meal before leaving Labuhan Bajo.
The next day was our day for diving. We spent 2 ½ hours traveling northwest on a traditional boat to dive off Pulau Gili Lawa Laut. The diving was beautiful, but it was a bit more rugged than we were hoping it would be. The tidal streams were moderately strong (3-4 knots), and to get out of the current one had to go deeper than we like. We did two memorable dives, and it was very beautiful even though it wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for.
We had boat chores to do the following day before traveling on to a new place. We watched familiar boats arrive throughout the day as we went about our chores. It was great to see friends that we had not seen since leaving Kupang a month ago, and we arranged to have dinner together at the lodge that night. Unfortunately, our meal at the lodge that night was quite poor, but dinner with friends is always great even if the food is not.
But we wanted to move on. Labuhan Bajo had been a necessary stop for provisioning, and meeting a few friends there was a bonus, but it was time to go. We left the following morning.