Sunday September 28th 6:45 AM
Departed Bawean Island at 6:00 AM on the 26th and arrived at the anchorage up
the Kumai River at 1:45 PM (local time after rolling back the clock one
hour) on the 27th. Coming into a river with the boat was certainly a new
experience for us. The last time the boat was near a river was when it left
the place it was built in Zhuhai, China.
This was somewhat of a harrowing experience for me. We arrived at the bay at
daylight and didn’t reach the anchorage for nearly nine hours. From the mouth
of the river to the anchorage is only 12 miles but the bay was 35 miles. As we
were entering the river there was a large tug and barge approaching aft of us
so I decided to pull over, wait, and then follow the tug into the river as I
knew there to be shallow spots.
I had laid out a course up to the town as I had been given positions to set as
waypoints. I decided to follow the tug instead and nearly run aground. As we
were about halfway the tug took a shortcut away from the channel showing on
the charts and we followed. A few minutes later I saw the bottom depth come up
to 7.3 feet, one foot and four inches below our keel. I immediately slowed and
took a hard right to get to what my chart plotter was showing as the channel
and reached a depth of 12 feet. I still can’t figure out how that tug made it
through, it must have an extremely shallow draft for a tug of that size.
I felt really foolish when we met a ferry coming out of the river that had to
be 400 feet long and five stories high. There is nothing that beats local
We are safely anchored 400 feet from the river bank and the boat changes
direction with each tide change. The town is on the other bank and there are
large cargo ships moored along the docks with cranes loading and unloading
goods. I can’t for the life of me figure out how these ships get in and out.
There is a bar at the river mouth that our charts show as only 7 feet at low
tide. We came in at low tide following the tug but in the channel too, the
depth was 12.5 feet. Add to that 4.7 feet at high tide and the depth would be
17 feet, 2 1/2 inches. Apparently that is enough but they would have to time
their passage to cross the bar at 5:46 AM.
After running the gen-set, launching the dinghy, and getting cleaned up we
will visit the town. There are some tour companies there that will take people
up the river into the jungle to see the orangutans and experience the jungle
life for three days. We’ll check on that today and let you know what we find