After a night at anchor under the cliff face of Krakatoa, we moved our sailboat closer to the smouldering remains of Anak Krakatoa. With SY Esper safely anchored by Rakata Kecil, Jamie took the dinghy ashore to walk across the black sand of the recently decimated ‘Child of Krakatoa’.
In December 2018 Anak Krakatau, after erupting for months, boomed out one last explosion before half-crashing beneath the waves. The resulting tsunami destroyed much of the coast of Java, killing over 1000 people. When we arrived a few months later, the caldera (now at sea-level) was still bubbling and smoking, spewing out pumice, lava and chemicals into the sea.
Liz remained on board SY Esper, while Jamie took the dinghy across to the desolate remains of the active volcano directly in front of us. She used the excuse that she might be needed to come and rescue him, or pull up the anchor sharpish. But both of us knew that Liz was just too scared! Jamie took the handheld VHF radio so Liz could stay in contact with him.
Jamie wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to step on shore at the place he’d been dreaming about since he was a boy.
Even with the active volcano reduced to a ridged lunar landscape of devastation, Jamie felt small in the face of the obvious power of nature over mankind. The shore and slopes of ‘Child of Krakatoa’ were still alive and intimidating.
A few facts about Krakatoa, aka “Krakatau”
- Krakatoa erupted in 1883 with the explosive force of 200 megatons of TNT. (nearly ten thousand times bigger than the bomb which devastated Hiroshima).
- Shockwaves went round the planet 7 times, and it was heard as far away as Perth, Australia.
- A cloud of gas and debris shot 15 miles into the air, blanking out the sun for three days.
- A devastating tsunami, 120 feet high, destroyed neighbouring islands and coasts.
- In 1927 Krakatoa woke up. A new cone appeared above sea level, grew into a small island, and was named Anak Krakatoa, or “Child of Krakatoa”.
It’s not over yet.
What’s the scariest place you’ve ever anchored or visited? Let us know in the comments below.
Peace and fair winds!
Liz, Jamie and Millie xxx
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