Moyo Island, Sumbawa and onto Kekalok, Lombok

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Sat 1 Nov 2008 19:25

Having departed Komodo at 0630 in the morning in company with Heidenskip, we motored for the first two hours. Then, much to our delight we got some wind…….lots of it. So it was up with the sails and we had a cracking reach in winds of up to 18knots apparent.  As we powered along, two things happened.


We were charging along at around 8 knots when Heidenskip just roared past us like we were standing still.  She is a 65 foot flying machine and made a magnificent sight in the mid morning light with the sails perfectly trimmed.


  Heidenskip powers away under perfectly trimmed sails.


The next thing to happen was to be an end to the fishing draught I had been enduring since leaving Darwin. Sods law this had to happen when we had the full sailing rig up and we consequently needed to reef away the fore sails to slow the boat down enough to enable me to land the fish. After 20 minutes of struggle (because with the main up we were still travelling at 5 knots BTW) we landed a beauty!


  Fresh fish anyone?


Crew had ordered Spanish Mackerel, but Mahi Mahi was the “catch of the day”. Enough food for 8 meals.


Along the way we passed one of the largest Volcanic Islands in Indonesia.



Pulau Sangeang, with the towering 2,000 metre Gunung Api volcano. The last time this volcano erupted the local government had to close down one of the villages and move the people. We could see the new village on the southern foreshore,  through binoculars. It looked incredibly basic…………………..


It was 140 nm to Moyo Island and the anchorage off the VERY luxurious Amankora Resort hotel. Rooms here are about £500 a night…..starting price. It is very exclusive, with Lady Diana being one of the previous guests. It is totally service oriented and the minute you land, there are staff on hand to spoil you. And spoil us they did. We had a truly fabulous lunch and indeed it was so good we booked to have dinner in the evening with the crew of Heidenskip.


The staff laid up a table for four, next to the beach on this star lit night. A magical setting and we were determined to make the most of it. Being so close to nature has its down side too……………Wendy got bitten by a soldier ant. We then discovered that her chair was firmly “parked” in the middle of Ant ally, and her hand bag and shoes were covered in them. So we asked the staff to move us and we were very efficiently moved to an ant free section inside the restaurant area, whilst Wendy repaired to the bathroom with Jennie to do some ant cleaning……….



It was a lovely evening and it was great to see the girls all dressed up.  The food this time was a little disappointing given the high standard of the lunch. The prices were French Polynesian levels…..which explains the fact that the same hotel group own the Bora Bora hotel. Still it was an enjoyable “one off” experience.


The next morning we headed off for the anchorage off the village of Kekalok, on Lombok. Once again the recommended waypoint in the SE Asia pilot book was wrong.  So we stooged about until we found a suitable spot, right off the black sandy beach adjacent to the village of Kekalok itself. As we prepared to drop the anchor, just short of what I thought were more pearl farm buoys or floating nets, one of them moved!! There were a dozen or more men in the water. Dressed in black, with black conical shaped hats, standing up to their arm pits in the water. They had a simple fishing rod with a fixed line and were just casting this up stream and then repeating the process as the line became fully extended down stream from them.


As soon as we were anchored, children started gathering on the beach to look at us.  Position 08:20:21S 116:42:28E, which according to C-Map put us firmly on the beach!


  Posh home with Satellite dish to the right


This was a Muslim fishing village, with a lot of very basic homes and one “posh one” which had a tiled roof and a huge satellite disk to one side.  We assumed that this was the head mans home and was where everyone gathered in the evening to watch “telly”, once the village generator had been started. In front of this structure on the beach, with their own shelter were lots of brightly pained “dugout” style vessels fitted with twin out riggers.  They have a simple single sail, which seems to give these light weight craft of varying sizes a remarkably good performance both up wind and down wind. They also use it to hold the boat stationary in the water, whilst fishing, which I assume requires a fair degree of skill.



Just before sunset, a small dugout canoe approached Zipadedoda with three young boys in it, aged about 8, 6 and 3. They were all smiles and happy faces and shouting “Hellooo Misteeer”. This was a very crude craft. With the dugout being  less than 3 feet wide and 8 feet long, with “paddle power”. The out riggers were made from 4 inch grey PVC pipe, with wooden, painted stoppers in each end. As the boat came along side, the eldest boy skilfully backed it up to our side carefully avoiding the outriggers coming into contact with our topsides. There followed a short exchange in broken English. At the end of this Jennie gave them three writing pads and three biros. The elder boy passed these to the youngest, who was not paddling. The look of joy on their faces at receiving this simple gift, filled our hearts. They just kept saying “thank you mister, thank you mister”, as they paddled furiously back to the beach with their new found treasure. Loads of other boys & girls raced down the beach to meet them as they landed on the beach once again. They then proudly showed off their new possessions to them and some adults who came to look too. There was then much waving from the gathered crowd.  At this point we expected to be invaded, but not so. The reason followed about five minutes later. A female (yes, female) Imam, started the call to prayer from the mosque within the village over the loud speakers. In 30+ years of travelling to Muslim countries, this was the first time I have ever heard a lady Imam giving the call to prayer.


{note: we choose not to photograph the kids in the dug out because it was such a special moment for us (and we think them too) that we did not wish to break the spell by producing a camera}


Lombok and this narrow strait behind  (more) mangrove swamp islands, provided us with a moody evening setting.



With its large Volcano’s for a back drop, and the ever present  large number of fires burning. (We assume where there is land clearance). Together with lush green hillsides, off set by its black volcanic sandy beaches. Lombok it is a huge contrast to the other Indonesian Islands we have visited so far.


We snuggled down for the night and an enjoyable Mahi Mahi supper.  As we were relaxing in the cockpit, enjoying the evenings cooling breeze, a lightening show started some way off. Two ours later all hell broke loose as we had torrential, driving rain and winds gusting 40 knots. I had left the Gennaker erected, and furled away. At this point it attempted to unfurl itself. Mercifully I managed to stop it doing so. But not without a lot of noise and manful heaving on the furling lines to tie it off securely. It is a huge sail and if it had come undone it would have been a very unpleasant experience…for a brief period before the sail was wrecked in these winds. One hour later we had a very clean boat and it was time for bed!!


The following morning (20th October) we raise the anchor at day break and headed off to our next destination. The Gili Islands, off the NW corner of Lombok, where most of the BWR “Nusa Tenggara” fleet were moored.  A short, uneventful hop of 52nm, so we were on a mooring buoy in the anchorage by lunch time.


The Gili Isles and more specifically Gili Aer, is “Pack Packer Heaven”. More of which anon.