Gili Trawangan Departure

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Sun 1 May 2011 23:45
08°21.47S  116°02.61E
Two months now at Gili T, Indonesia, so time for a visa run for me and the boat. Where to? Singapore - 1000nm. Kuching, Malaysia (Borneo) - 1000nm, Darwin - 1000nm. Darwin seems to be the front runner then, a touch of home and some time in the 1st World sounds appealing. Timor's a bit closer but not doing it for me with my level of ignorance about the place. Researching Darwin though, unfortunately made it less and less attractive for a quick visa run. Customs $330, Fisheries could be a fortune depending on what they find after diving on the hull, Marina about $250 /wk, and a one-off lock fee of $450 to get INTO the marina, and these are the just the costs I could find by webbing. Price seems a bit over the top for a short stop.
So probably Raffles, Singapore (co-incidently my favourite marina in SE Asia). Hold on, what's that little speck off Java? Oh, THAT's where Christmas Island is? And only 630nm away, a few days sail and should mostly be SW trade winds.
So Christmas Island it is ....
After a effortless Clearance at Medana Bay Marina in NW Lombok, (which is quite contrary to every other official interaction I've "enjoyed" with the Indonesian system) we departed Gili Trawangan on time for a short 50nm trip to Belongas Bay in south Lombok.
On board was the crew for our passage to Christmas Island - Steve (UK), Alfredo (Spain) and my new permanent crew Suherman (Indo), plus we took along some strays - Norma (my Mum) and Pat and Camilla who were checking (with Steve) out some land for sale on the beach outside Belongas Bay.
No sailing unfortunately, good winds, but on the nose the whole way, much to Norma's regret as she'd just joined us hoping for her first sail in El Oro!
Arrived Belongas Bay and dropped anchor, perfectly timed for sunset G&T's.