Michael Hughes and Ger White
Tue 22 Apr 2014 11:30
We spent a couple of days anchored off Pulau Asu--a big surfing island--on 20th/21st. A deep anchorage, over 20 metres, but a lovely bay, fine sand beach, some nice coral for snorkelling, with plenty of fish life. And to cap it off, Mama Silvi's "restaurant" , a shack on the beach with a few tables, a few cabins for surfers, and Mama Silvi herself, speaks good English, an excellent cook, serves very cold beer, lovely barbecued fish, even makes chips! We had dinner there on the 20th, and lunch after the church service on Easter Monday.
Well may you ask about a church service on a remote island off the coast of Nias, which is off the coast of Sumatra. Yes, Indonesia in a Muslim country, but this part of Indonesia-- the Island chain off Sumatra--is, once you get south of Simeulue, predominantly Christian. Over 80%. So on Nias, and now in the outer islands, we see churches, not mosques.
The church on Asu, a basic building, but the best on the island, is Protestant. We went to the Easter service, congregation of maybe 30, and 2 preachers, but despite the small numbers, when they sang--which was most of the time as they only want short sermons--the sound was terrific.
Today we sailed off to Lagudri, on the south coast of Nias. Nice sail for a change as wind is usually hard to come by. This place is a surfers Mecca. Even though the season is still a month away, there is a big break at the entrance to the bay with a couple of dozen surfers on it. But our anchorage is reasonably protected from the Indian Ocean swell. We'll go ashore tomorrow and see what there is to be seen.

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