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Website of sailing yacht Tokomaru2's circumnavigation of the world

Crew: Nick Thomas and Liz Vernon

Indonesia cruising notes


Compiled by Nick Thomas on “Tokomaru 2” a Westerly Conway LOA 11m, draft 1.8m.    September to November 2004.


To visit Indonesia in a boat it is necessary to have a cruising permit and a Visa. The cruising permit or “CAIT” should be obtained first. We got ours from Bali Marina by paying $225 Aus into their account in Australia, sent them our details by email and the paying in stub by fax. They emailed back with the CAIT in about a month. We then took this to the Indonesian consulate in Darwin who processed the visa application in about 3 days. The visa allows a 2 month stay in Indonesia. This is just about enough time to sail through to Singapore making about half a dozen stops on the way. The visa can, I think, be extended by a month whilst in Indonesia. On arrival at our first port of call, Kupang, we used an agent (see below) who sorted out Customs (who did visit the boat and have a look round) and immigration. From the first port of call onwards no more officials need to be seen until checking out at the last port of call.

West Timor


Anchorage position 10°09.5S, 123°34.4E 

A rather run down town but friendly 

There are 2 yachty bars 

1, Teddy’s on the front by the anchorage. There is a sign on the sea wall indicating its position. You can leave the dinghy on the beach here. Someone will probably offer their services as minder for US $1.


2, L’Avalon at the end of Jalan Garuda on the corner with Jalan G Mutis about 1000 meters left along the front street. Edwin Merrick is very helpful to yachts. His friend Napa Rahman will organise the clearance procedures for approximately US $40.


There are several banks with ATMs along Jalan Silwangi/ Jalan Garuda (the front street. There are 2 supermarkets but they only sell dry goods and at prices no different from smaller shops round the town. There is a bakery and Grocery near Teddy’s. Eating out is very inexpensive but there is not a great variety on the menu. We found no shop selling meat. We found the internet at the Yantel Telephone exchange on Jalan Yani. There are many stalls selling fruit near here.


We bought drinking water (Aqua – filtered and ozonised tap water) in 20 litre containers at $1 a go plus deposit on the container. We bought our jerry cans ashore and the dinghy minder fetched the water for us, so we didn’t need to pay the deposit. We used this type of water to fill our tanks throughout Indonesia.


We also bought diesel in jerry cans a friend of the dinghy minder took the cans to a service station on his moped. We were charged $0.25 per litre a mark up of about 25% on pump prices. Napa can also arrange diesel. We found it works better if you provide the jerry cans as you at least know that the cans are clean to start with. We were told that there is a scam whereby the diesel is diluted with paraffin/kerosene which presumably costs a lot less. I don’t know how you can tell if this is done. In our case we had no problem with the diesel we bought.


Edwin at L’Avalon can help to arrange a guide and transport to visit surrounding countryside and see rural life, traditional crafts etc.



Komodo National Park


The reason tourists come here is to see the Komodo “dragons” 2 to 3 metre long lizards.


We visited the Island of Rinca as this seemed to have the easiest anchorages and we were told the best chance of seeing a “dragon”.


The anchorage at the south end of Rinca protected by Nusa Kode in position 08°41.58S; 119°43.41E was very spectacular. The entrance is easiest from the east staying in the centre of the channel keeps clear of dangers. The anchorage off the beach is quite deep at 16 meters and is exposed both to SE and SW winds which can whistle up both the east and west entrances. This makes the beach a disconcerting lee shore. The local fishermen sensibly anchor on the south side of the channel under the lee of Nusa Kode Island. However this is not so good for wild life spotting. You are likely to see: Monkeys, Lizards, deer, and pigs from 7 to 9 am and 4 to 6 pm.


To get the full on dragon experience you need to go to one of the park bases. On Komodo Island the anchorage is difficult the park busy with tourists and dragon sightings less likely or so we were told. We went to the park base on the north side of Rinca at Loh Buaja in Buaja bay. This involves going through Selat Linta between Komodo and Rinca. This is straight forward at neaps and taking the current with you which in the narrowest part runs at 5 knots. The instructions for timing can be found in Admiralty sailing directions for Indonesia volume 2 or South East Asia cruising guide vol 2. We found these to be reasonably accurate.  The entrance to this bay is not easy to see we found the best entrance position to be between an islet and Rinca itself then follow the Rinca shore until you reach the head of the bay at position 08°39.2S, 119°42.7E Here you will find a small dock for tripper boats. The anchorage is also quite deep at 16 metres. Local boats anchor close to the shore and take a stern line to the mangroves. They use fisherman type anchors. In October, in the dry season, we did not find this anchorage to be “buggy” to our pleasant surprise.


From the jetty there is a path to the park ranger station. We were charged:

$1 dock fee

$2 Park fee each

$3 for a 2 hour, 5 km guided tour

$2.5 for each camera

$10 for each video camera

(Payable in Indonesian Rupiah; It helps to have the correct change).

We were given a receipt or ticket for each of these.

In addition to the ranger station the park base contains a guesthouse and a kiosk selling basic souvenirs and cold drinks


We saw 6 dragons in just the vicinity of the park base plus several more on the walk plus monkeys, deer, buffalo etc.




Gili Islands

Gili Air

There is a pleasant anchorage off the Pier in about 18 metres of water. The anchorage is a bit exposed to winds from a southerly quarter but at night these seem to drop. This anchorage is protected from swell by 2 reefs off the south east and south west corners of the island. These are easily visible in good light. Some boats anchored on the eastern side of the island which is more sheltered if the wind is from SW  - quite often we were told. This is also the beach and snorkelling side with many hotels and guest houses etc.

There are many bars and restaurants and a few small shops. 

We were told there was an anchorage on the mainland of Lombok opposite the Gilis. It is quite deep but well sheltered. A mooring is available.





Bali International marina

This is a very pleasant and inexpensive marina (US 14.50 per day for 36 to 40 feet) run by very charming and helpful staff. It is not very large and can be crowded in August and September and when the blue water rally comes to town (end of October even years).

The pontoons have washing water and electricity. Most people buy drinking water in 20 litre containers from either the marina or Makro. The marina shop has a small stock of Indonesian charts.

Makro a big cash and carry type supermarket a £1 taxi ride on the way to Denpasar has most things (in large quantities) including meat veggies and bread. There is an ATM within the store.

There is a bank with ATM near the marina on the main road turn left towards Benoa there are also some shops further along this road with basic items such as bread and cold drinks.

Borneo (Kalimantan) 

Kumai   (Approach posn 03°07s, 111°38e)

The reason for coming to this spot is to visit the Tanjung Putting National Park to see the Urang Utans at camp Leakey.

For a description of the entrance the best one is to be found in the corrections to the South East Asia Cruising Guide vol 2 obtainable from the Imray website (

Someone will probably come out to direct you to an anchoring spot on the opposite side of the river from the town beyond the ferry quay. (Quite large Pelni Ferries come up this river). Ashore near this point is Harry’s yacht service just a hut and a pleasant restaurant stretching over the water. Harry or one of the other boat owners will come to sell you a visit to the park. This entails travelling on a boat called a klotok. The price is very negotiable depending on the number of people. The organiser will arrange all the food and the park permits. It is possible to either sleep on the klotok overnight or stay in a hotl/lodge in/near the park. There is no bank or ATM in Kumai the nearest is Pangkalanbun about 25 kms away.

We found this to be a very worthwhile visit and one of the high lights of our trip so far.


Riau islands


Most people next head for Nongsa Point marina on Batam island just south of Singapore. We had very little wind on this trip only when we had thunder squalls. So having enough diesel was a problem. We stopped off at:

Tanjung Pinang on Bintan island

This was quite busy and finding an anchoring spot was tricky anchored well off the town at 00°54.1N, 104°25.1E for the night. Then went into the river to look for fuel. The most obvious fuel barge would not sell to yachts but a friendly water taxi driver took us to private enterprise water side fuel depot. If there was a Dickensian way to sell diesel this would be it – measured out by the bucket.

Nongsa point marina

This is a very pleasant place to end a cruise though Indonesia and a good introduction to “Resort” marinas which include fine dining and swimming pools as part of their repertoire. Good water is available on the pontoons. They have a diesel pump but it had no diesel when we were there. The staff are very friendly and helpful. They will arrange port clearance and having your passport stamped by immigration.

Website © Nick Thomas and Liz Vernon 2008