Island Hopping in East Indonesia
“I want to create my own market and focus on their needs rather than try and please everybody.” Amanda from Indonesian Island Sail.
When you open the web page for Indonesian Island Sail you get an immediate lift. It is full of life, vigour, hope and a ‘I can do that’ attitude. The fellow that created this web site should be proud. There are many web sites that promote sailing adventures in Indonesian waters. Some of them are visually enthralling but this one grabs your attention and makes you want to get out on the water and get sailing.
The web page is the brainchild of expat Aussie Amanda who is the owner of Indonesian Island Sail. She has been living in Bali for a long time and has had the joy of sailing to other parts of Indonesia. Now she has bought and fitted out a big phinisi sailboat and set up her sailing adventure company, Indonesian Island Sail. Amanda is serious about wanting to share her adventures and to show her guests some of the beautiful destinations she has discovered. Her main clientele are retired travellers and families with young kids. She says, “My boat is not a dive boat or a party boat. I want to create my own market and focus on their needs rather than try and please everybody.”
She took a big risk buying a sailboat called sv Al likai. The sv Al likai is 37meter phinisi styled boat with an astounding 9 m beam. That’s plenty of room out on the deck and plenty of room down below. The boat is so big that you can find your private space if you want or join in talking and socializing with other passengers. Some of these good times are remembered for a lifetime as everybody can’t help be in a good frame of mind and so the conversations are rich and warm.
Amanda is proud to say, “I have done an extensive re-fit to carry just 16 people. There are five king size bedrooms, all air-conditioned with en-suite bathrooms. The three above deck have amazing sea views. The bathrooms have hot and cold water showers, granite floors and tumbled marble walls. Below deck are two comfortable rooms with queen size beds. Forward is a family cabin with a double bed and three single bunks. Now sv Al Iikai is equipped so passengers can adventure in style. I didn’t want to go for shabby sheik but went for nice and expensive linen and quality German bathroom fixtures.”
There is plenty of water on board thanks to a big desal plant so having a decent shower is no problem. Showers are a blessing when you are at sea especially at sunset when you get to clean up after having all that fun, like jumping off the boat a million times or snorkeling for hours at some special anchorage you find on the way.
Amanda loves seeing her guests gradually wind down. “What I love is once we are under way and everyone has, settled in, is to see the passengers have what I call, their “aha”, moment. This is when their eyes go glazy, they unwind completely and they see the world in a totally different way.” says Amanda. There is nothing better than sailing out on the water to give you one of those “aha” moments.
Book a Sailing Adventure
The beauty of having such a small group of fellow passengers is that the itinerary can be flexible. Anyway any adventure out on the ocean is at the mercy of the prevailing weather and seas and sometimes you have to for, safety reasons, change course. The choice is not hard , though, either you stick to the plan and punch through a coming squall or hide behind a close by island and anchor in a nice calm bay and watch the weather go by.
Once the bookings started coming in Amanda was surprised and excited to know that her potential passengers were more interested in what life at sea would be like rather than any fixed itinerary. Amanda said, “The individual enquiries I have had, have all been interested in “the adventure” rather than “the itinerary.” This suits me fine! I’m very happy to spend my time at sea discovering new areas in the West Nusa Tengarra area. Once past the Gilis, it’s largely unchartered and uninhabited waters. Creating the perfect setting for an adventure.”
The sailing adventures you can book are the Nusa Tengarra Cruise (6 to 9 days) the Yoga Cruise (6 days) and the Cross Fit Cruise (6 Days) Costs are between US$300 to 400per person per night with children under 12 going for free. Prices include all sea travel, meals, soft drinks and use of all boat facilities. There is a nominal charge for local beer. Hard liquor and wine can be pre ordered and delivered to the boat. The sv Al likai is also available for charter where you can hire the whole boat just for yourself or with a bunch of friends. See the website for all updated information.