Monday, 22 October 2012

Zen Again's Sail Indonesia 2012 General Comments

Hi everyone,
Now for some general comments on our Sail Indonesia experience.  Needless to say, these are our personal opinions.

The one-liner for our experience was this:
  • "Looking ahead, much confusion; looking back, all great fun".
What We Hoped For:
  • Good sailing in company with yachts from around the world
  • Simplified provision of CAIT (Cruising Authorisation Indonesian Territory) and other paperwork
  • Organised events at regional towns along the way
  • Time to explore key places such as Lombok, Bali and Kumai
  • Readily available diesel, drinking water, laundry services and rubbish disposal
  • We had hoped to do the eastern route, but engine problems in Dili forced us to change to the western route
Main Towns We Visited:
  • Kupang (Timor) - cleared in here
  • Kalabahi (Alor) - great welcome and tours
  • Lewoleba (Lembata) - ditto
  • Maumere (Flores) - anchored off nice Sea World resort
  • Labuan Bajo (Flores) - did tour of Rinca Island to see the dragons
  • Medana Bay (Lombok) - good welcome and tours
  • Lavina Beach (Bali) - spent several days exploring central/northern Bali
  • Kumai (Kalimantan) - great tour to see the Orangutangs
  • Manggar (Belitung) - friendliest place of all, with free fuel and water
  • Nongsa Point (Batam) - nice marina and resort; we cleared out here
Other Favourite Places:
  • Kroko Island, at N end of Selat Boling - lovely beach and marvellous snorkelling
  • Tangil Island, N of Riung on Flores Island - ditto
  • Bay in NE corner of Komodo Island - quiet spot with marvellous snorkelling
  • Batumonco Bay in NW corner of Komodo Island - ditto
  • Banta Island, NW of Komodo - spectacular spot with marvellous snorkelling

What Was Good:
  • Meeting so many yachties from so many places with such diverse cruising experience
  • Meeting so many friendly Indonesian people
  • Seeing so many interesting "off the beaten track" places
  • We enjoyed great tours in Alor, Lembata, Rinca, Lombok, Bali and Kumai
  • Most towns were reasonably well organised with regard to diesel, water etc
  • Cheap, clean diesel at all the major towns
  • Good drinking water supplied in blue 19litre "galon" bottles
  • Completed our first overseas cruise
What Wasn't So Good:
  • Very little wind, especially N of the islands - we motored for 2/3 of the rally
  • The 2012 rally does not appear to have been as well organised as in previous years
  • The schedule of events became increasing confused as the rally progressed
  • The (government supplied) CAITs expired before the rally ended
  • Negotiating our tour in Kumai ultimately worked out well, but some of the people are very dodgy (ie not negotiating honestly or in good faith IMHO).  This was the only place we encountered this during the rally.
What Was Simply Indonesia:
  • Learning to deal with the locals surrounding your yacht and asking (or  trading) for clothing, hats, sun glasses, fishing gear, swimming goggles, reading glasses, sweets etc, or simply wanting to try out their English - if you don't want to meet the locals don't do Sail Indonesia!
  • Learning to be patient when waiting for delivery of diesel, water, laundry etc.

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