LATITUDE / RICHARD
ith reports this month on Pied-a-Mer III on the East Coast of Australia; from En Pointe on the Sabang Marine Festival in Indonesia; from Iolani on wintering in Hawaii; from Migration on a never-ending refit in Thailand; from Moonshadow on a 16.5-day Puddle Jump; and Cruise Notes.
Pied-a-Mer III — Seawind 1160 Eric and Pam Sellix Enjoying Oz (Clatskanie, Oregon) Even though Eric and I were in our late 60s before doing our first Ha-Ha in 2012, and I had never been offshore, we have been having an absolutely fabulous time cruisi n g . We d i d a second Ha-Ha in 2014, did the Puddle Jump in 2015, and ar e now cruising the east coast of Australia. 'Pied-a-Mer III' as seen Australia is sailing off Mexico. wonder ful! The people, the culture, the sailing, the food — it's all been great. Most of our Puddle Jump friends went to New Zealand, but we encourage them to come to Australia for the next tropicalcyclone season. Apparently Australia got a bit of a bad reputation with cruisers in the past because of problems with immigration, customs and quarantine. Apparently all that has changed, because we had no trouble entering Australia. It may, however, have something to do with the fact that we came to Bundaberg, Australia, from New Caledonia as part of the Down Under Rally. That rally is run by Jack Hembrow, who got the idea for it from doing the 2010 Baja Ha-Ha with his Moody 54 Red Sky. We have been welcomed by so many people since arriving in Oz. Locals have
LATITUDE / ANDY
Having worked very hard running restaurants for years, Pam and Eric weren't about to spend their retirement on their butts on a porch.
shared their homes, families and activities with us. We were also featured in a television newscast and in a multihull sailing magazine. We've been in Australia for six months now, having spent almost all of our time on the hook in good anchorages. Australians don't have to leave Australia to find good cruising, so most of them don't leave. And they find what we've done — sailed here all the way from Oregon — to be amazing. We spent most of the cyclone season in Sydney Harbour, which allowed us to watch the start of the Sydney Hobart Race, see the $7 million fireworks show off the Sydney Bridge, and be part of Australia Day activities. I could go on and on, but I'll just say that we feel so lucky. — pam 05/03/2016 En Pointe — Searunner 31 Tri Tom Van Dyke The Sabang Marine Festival (Santa Cruz) Well done, Indonesia! The crews of about 20 cruising boats at the weeklong Sabang Marine Festival were treated like royalty by the Indonesian government. After all these years. Indonesia, whose 258 million people make it the fourth most populous country in the world, has a long history of alienating cruisers by making it difficult, time-consuming and very expensive to comply with the paperwork requirements. Because it was often necessary to hire an expensive agent, many cruisers — who tend to hate paperwork anyway — simply avoided 'Wonderful Indonesia'. That was a shame, because Indonesia, which stretches 3,000 miles from Weh in the northwest, to Papua New Guinea in the southeast, really is wonderful. It has more than 17,000 islands — although more than 125 million Indonesians live on Java, just one of them. Indonesia also has many natural wonders, a rich culture and friendly people. Recently the Indonesian government decided they were really missing out on yachting tourism, and thus decided to do something about it. One of their first steps is to try to make Pulau Weh the third leg of what they hope will be a cruisers' 'Golden Triangle' in the north-
ernmost reaches of the Malacca Strait, the other two 'legs' being the already extremely popular cruising destinations of Phuket, Thailand, and Langkawi, Malaysia. It's 265 miles between Banda Aceh and Phuket, 316 miles between Banda Aceh and Langkawi, and 150 miles between Langkawi and Phuket. To kick-start the 'third leg', the Indonesian government invested in a new marina at the port of Sabang on the island of Pulau Weh, which is just off the coast of Banda Aceh province. Sabang was once a deep-water port for refueling Dutch colonial trading ships, but thanks to crystal-clear water and abundant sea life, it has now become more popular for diving. Indonesia takes care to prevent overfishing by both nationals and foreigners. We saw two seized factory fishing boats, one Thai and one from Taiwan. As part of the Sabang Marine Festival, we cruisers were given guided tours of the island, three meals a day, and entertained with the terrific music and dancing that Indonesia is noted for. We
The June 2016 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.