After the dry dusty hills and volcanic mountains of Sumbawa, Lombok seemed cool and relaxing.  The island is small, a bout 80km wide with a population of over 3 million and four religions, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and Muslim. On the NW corner lies the Gili's, little coral ringed islands.

We had a fast 9kt sail 43.3nm then cut between Gili Salut and anchored off Gili Lawang #57.  Across the channel was a view of Mt. Rinjani on Lombok

Mt. Rinjani is the 3rd highest volcano in Indonesia that last erupted  in October of 2004.

By the time we heard there was an 8.4 earthquake off Sumatra several islands away to the west it would have been too late had there been a tsunami. 

But we did get another warning in time over VHF about local 'official's' collecting 'donations' for the conservation area where we were anchored.

There were fishermen around dragging nets across the reefs on either side of us and the beach badly littered so we were leery when a boat approached that it was all a ruse.

     We did not 'donate' not wanting to set a precedence for cruisers following when they in fact were just locals begging for a hand out.


Often fishermen would approach and offer us a cigarette or show a fish for us to buy.  

We kept in mind that fishermen sometime approach and come along side to let the evil spirits, that might be lurking on their boats, jump over onto ours.                    

s/v Ariel
and s/v Pegasus keeping a bow watch for nets, small fishing boats and evil spirits!

  A text message on our cell phone from s/v Billabong informed us of a really nice anchorage up ahead on the north shore of Lombok just before the Gili Islands.  Within minutes another call over VHF from s/v Blue Sky informed us in great detail of this amazing resort.   By the time we arrived an entire fleet of cruisers listening in were detouring for the bay. 




                                                       s/v Billabong, s/v Ariel, s/v Mico Verde
The English owner of Medana was very accommodating to the cruisers for the few days we invaded his small, quiet, private resort.  We swam, relaxed, and ate in the open air pavilion restaurant, romantic at night and unsurpassed views in the day. with excellent Indonesian and Western Cuisine.
      s/v Fruen Fra Havet   s/v Mahili   s/vAmoenitas   s/v China Grove   s/v Kirsten Jayne

s/v Billabong   s/v Island Sonota  s/v Briana  s/v Strider   s/v Arnak  s/v Jusroamin  s/v Koru

Anchorage: Medana Resort is located near Tanjung and Pamenang at 08.21S & 116.07E
This turned out to be the best anchorage on the coast and only a few boats stayed off Sengiggi which proved to be very rolly although that was the designated anchorage for the rally events.

For just a few days it seemed at least half the rally was taking advantage of this quiet, little resort hidden in the jungle above the bay.

Following our gas cans to be filled                                                       Anchorage Medana Resort


The very posh Oberoi Hotel shared the same bay and also allowed use of their facilities for the price of a beer.  But the beer was 45,000rp where a beer at the local price was 10 to 15,000rp.      




There were many resorts on Lombok, many chain hotels, which were developed by outside investors and speculators in the 1980's.  It was nice to drop in for lunch or to connect to the internet but lacked that special quality we found in the smaller, friendly, relaxed Medana Resort



A very luxurious Gala Dinner was planned for the Sail Indonesia rally participants at the Satosa Hotel in Sengiggi including a fun evening of entertainment by local dancers.  Since Lombok was once dominated by the neighboring island of  Bali, many of the dances were in Balinese style

     s/v Pantoja                      s/v Mignon        s/v Chez Nous                    s/v ENZwell

Julian on s/v Cat'chus learns the art of 'Peresehan' using heroic trials of strength to show prowess in a Sasak traditional one on one fight between two men using long rattan staves and small rectangular shields made of cowhide.

After the show, cruisers join in once again and a fun night is enjoyed by even the smallest cruiser



   Betty s/v Sundance                     MJ s/v Island Sonata                                      Kathy s/v Briana

The rally was fortunate to have a couple singers who were always willing to get up and entertain as well as Kathy who became somewhat of a spokesperson for the rally in thanking our hosts.



We liked the freedom of our own tours where we could slow down and take in the colorful life on the streets

To see the island  we hired our own private Mitsubishi mini bus from L Muhammad, (Ph:081339624565) who spoke good English and was also our guide and driver for the day, recommended by cruisers from past rallies.  He was very informative and set us out on a tour that lasted all day making 6 stops and took in many cultural sites including a lunch at the beach. 




Almost 90% of Lombok people are the indigenous Sasaks and most of those are Muslim.  They have a culture and language unique to Lombok.   The more rounded thatch roof house is a storage house for rice and is a symbol of Lombok.  

The village thrives on selling these long grasses  called Alang Alang. 

Two bundles sell for 30,000rp and the thatch is replaced on the roofs every 5 to 7 years.

The walls are made of woven mats and the houses often built on a stucco like foundation..  We made a stop at the village of Sukarara where the women were making the mats for the walls of the huts. 

125 people live in the village and most houses have at least 10 people living under one roof.  

A 'baruga' or thatch roof platform is one place where young girls and boys meet during courting. 

The village also sells kapok for mattresses and pillows as well as dies for ikat weaving and they pick tamarind used for medicinal purposes.


Near the Pusuh we stopped along the roadside to feed peanuts to the monkeys.

Then fed ourselves a nice Mei Gorang lunch down at Kerta a surfing area in southern Lombok



Near Mataram, is the pottery village of Banyumulek, where they specialize in decorated pots and traditional urns and water flasks.  A process includes using crushed egg shells for the inlay

Making furniture inlaid with mother of pearl is also a specialty and tedious process but we will wait till Bali to see about buying furniture.

After a relaxing and spectacular anchorage off Lombok with Mt Rinjani looming beyond there was a mass exodus 25nm for an anchorage on the NE corner of Bali to break up a 70nm trip.  We decided to head for Gili Air across the channel 2.9nm and try to make Bali in one day.


More easy going than the other two Gilis, Gili Air is the closest coral ringed island off Lombok.   It's laid back atmosphere with white sand beaches and turquoise water are it's main draw. 


There were no vehicles on the island, only a few horse drawn carts on sandy white trails and the little bungalows for rent which were charming and reasonable.  If s/v Ariel had not been waiting at anchor we might have considered staying here a while.

Elevated hatched roof 'baruga's' or seating areas were lined up on the beach and small cafes served drinks and food in the shade with the sea breeze blowing over to cool down a hot day. 


Gili Air was a great repose for the Capt. and 1st mate on s/v Ariel alone before joining up with the rally and all the events planned in Bali and Beyond.

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