Islands of volcanoes and earthquakes

We left Labuan Bajo with some misgivings about our patched up gearbox. The engine sounded noisier and there were more vibrations and rattles. So we motored off with less revs than normal and puttered along slowly. We passed Gili Lawa Laut on the north side of Komodo Island, a spot famed for some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. We were now in a tourist zone and the area had many dive charter boats dotted about from the swish to shabby depending on the tourist's budget.

We were 5 days behind schedule owing to gearbox repairs so reluctantly we gave stopping at Gili Lawa Laut a miss. We can go back there next year. We saw a rally boat Allure on the AIS and we chatted briefly on the radio - Patrick had offered to help if our gearbox didn't hold out and it was comforting to know that we had someone to call if only for the morning. Shortly thereafter the wind picked up and we touched 8 knots speed. Allure was doing a longer distance requiring an all night sail and we…