Anchored at Pantai Merah
Anchorage #47 in "101 Anchorages Within The Indonesian Archipelago" by Geoff Wilson
East Nusa Tenggara
We motored this morning past several reefs and islands from Rinca Island to the south end of Komodo Island. This area of Indonesia is a big contrast to the islands where we entered Indonesia. The islands here have high hills that are very dry with little vegetation. It is very much like the landscape in Baja Mexico... very dry and with great beaches. Our guide book "101 anchorages Within The Indonesian Archipelago" gives the anchorage that we are now anchored at a very high review and calls it a magic spot.
This is the first edition of this book, and we got the very first copies upon our arrival in Kupang. Most of the reviews of the anchorages in Indonesia are submitted by previous cruisers. So being a first edition, this means that there are many errors. And anchorages that someone else liked is not always what we like. For instance, where we are anchored now!
This recommended stop is exposed to currents and winds. So we stopped just long enough the realize that it was not magical at all as promised. The wind and swells were coming right at us. So we left to anchor on the other side of the channel. This second anchorage is not ideal either because we have now had to re-anchor twice due to the extreme tidal currents that flow in 2 directions at the same time. This means that the boats that are anchored here are racing around all over the place in different directions.
If I had written the book, I would have given this place a huge thumbs down due to the poor anchorage. But the snorkeling along the beach is good.
Since arriving at this part of Indonesian we have seen our first real tourists on large, live-aboard, charter boats. There is one anchored next to us right now that is really cool. It is a large Indonesian wooden motor boat that has been refitted to take out tourists while they live on board. Some of these boats are very impressive, with all the woodwork and large interiors. If you ever want to take a cool trip somewhere, then this would be the place. To be on one of these live-aboard boats would be a lot of fun because they are anchor in all the places that we go to.
Indonesia is so cheap compared to other countries that we have been to that I would think that a charter in these boats would be very inexpensive and fun!
OK... enough of my rant.
We are anchored next to our friends Uterus and are planning on leaving for a 10 mile motor sail to a protected anchorage on the north side of Komodo Island. We'll see how accurate the book is on this spot. You can check out Team Uterus from Norway at www.uterus.no. The site is in Norwegian. So if you are a good Norwegian reader then you should have no problems reading all their great stuff. If you can't read Norwegian, then there is a link to an English version. However, the English version is a bit dated.
You can get to their photos at their photo gallery link. That word is the same in English and Norwegian.
More when it happens,
Tom and Amy
28 August 2007
Anchored at Pantai Merah