Arriving in Indonesia

With no wind on the horizon and having not fuelled up since the Gold Coast , we were getting close to our reserve tank from all the motor sailing. So instead of playing sitting ducks out off the coastline, or burning through our last tank of fuel (which we needed to motor into the marina) we decided to take a break and anchor off a island called Sumba. One of Indonesia more remote and localised islands. We thought it was a good call to spend a night or two there and wait for the wind to come back… As it was forecast to pick up again over the next couple of days.

As we were motor sailing just off the coast of Sumba, we spotted a point break on one of the outer islands. From a distance we could only see the white water, but we knew it was something to explore further, so we altered course and headed towards the reef. We scored some epic empty waves with our clients, and spent the day diving and snorkelling on the reef.

After a day on the small island we took shelter in a bay on the mainland. A few of the crew went ashore to have a look around and the local tribe popped out of the jungle to say hi and greeted everyone with smiles. They took a few photos with the crew and then carried on with their day. Eve sat in the middle of the bay, peacefully swinging at anchor, whilst local fishing canoes surrounded the boat, all out to catch their food for the day.


That evening, as we sat on the deck of the boat eating dinner, we were approached by the local police from the mainland. They came over, about 8 of them all crammed into a small motor boat, The ‘police officer’ on the vessel was wearing a soccer jersey from the Olympic de marseille, and a gun strapped to his chest. It was dark outside and at first we weren’t sure if they were here to welcome us or tell us to leave. It turns out they wanted us gone. Either way we invited them onboard, offered them a cigarette and after some painful and repetitive conversation, they said with their broken English, that if we weren’t gone by morning, they would take us to the chief and there would be a lot of money to be paid. However they weren’t aggressive and in contrast, the men were quite excited by our presents on the water, taking lots of photos with us and the boat… A pretty interesting end to our day of luxury.

The next morning we woke up early and left without any further arguments. It was a good excuse to leave Sumba as the wind had finally returned, the boat needed to be in Bali in a few days to start the deck refit, and our crew needed to catch their flights home. So we picked up anchor again and set the sails for the last 280 miles of the trip. The sound of the waves slowly faded into the distance behind us, but the view of that bay was permanently etched into our minds . Our ETA for Bali was the 16th of May early afternoon local time.

Meg Niblett, May 2022