As we entered our first anchorage a 6-knot counter current through the channel meant cranking up the engine to 1500rpm to make way at a measly one knot

That’s when all the maintenance pays off. If we hadn’t kept our Beta engine in full working order we would still be stuck in a deserted bay somewhere in the Java Sea!

Continuing north through the Java Sea towards Malaysia conditions became more treacherous. Waterspouts are scary things best avoided on a sailboat and with one hanging over our intended anchorage we idled in a rain-driven bay wondering what to do next.

But that wasn’t the worst of our worries. Uncharted reefs and rocks scattered the seabed so running aground was a distinct possibility and in a remote part of Indonesia with no-one anywhere near to come to our aid we would have been in a precarious position.