For us personally the rally was a wonderful way for us to sail overseas in company, especially as it was our first time off shore. It gave us security, companionship, confidence and we have made friendships that will last a life time.
Would we sail Indonesia again, thats absolutely a huge yes. Its easy to sail (which is actually motor), as there is island after island after island to explore. Loads to do. People are lovely. Food is awesome, but would we do it in a rally again, perhaps, most likely yes.
Tips we wished we had of thought of or been advised of (some we where advised of):
- Research your destinations and all those in between so you know what to go and see prior to leaving. There are loads of places here and it gets a bit overwhelming once you arrive. There are 17,000 plus island's to explore here in Indonesia.
- If you are into temples ('Pura' in Indonesian), research this. You are about to find yourself yourself in the land of temples in Bali especially as they have over 20,000 on the island. Each temple has a wonderful history and individual meanings.
- Researching the statues and sculptures would also be wise as they are most impressive and all have meanings.
- Unlock all your data devices
- Spend some time and download all the google maps and device charts (eg. Navionics, Ovitalmap, iSailor etc) you can. Go somewhere the wifi is free, eg. McDonalds, your local library - saves your private data as these maps are extensive. Download everything you can, even for those areas you think you will not go to as they are invaluable resources. Navionics & C-Maps are great but they are out a lot of the time, or inaccurate eg. only showing part of existing reefs so its great to compare one against the other.
- Take a very comprehensive stock of spare parts with you. There are somethings that you simply can not buy here. eg. fuel and oil filters in particular are difficult to source
- Don't over buy your ships stores, there are loads available here. Re food and non perishable items.
- Shout yourself a very good sturdy pair of walking shoes/sandals
- Don't believe everything you read about what you can and can't get here. People eat here and they eat well. They are educated, they have doctors and hospitals, people wash and there is loads of diesel (solar).
- Know how to replace a split fuel line and know how to bleed air from the system
- Know how to check and maintain your batteries
- When it rains here it is torrential. Work out a good, quick, efficient way to capture the rain for your water tanks.
- Its going to get hot - your entering a prolific volcanic area especially around Bali
- Understand how the visa extension process works and passage plan around it
- Advise your bank you are travelling overseas (re credit cards etc)
- Take a good back pack
- If you can buy a good underwater camera. You are about to dive/snorkel in pristine waters and some underwater photos are great memories.
- Buy or download to your phone a translator - its well worth it
- Take the time to learn a few basic Basha words and phrases, it will make your life a lot easier and its fun
- Be very mindful of the dingy docks that will be constructed for your arrival. Not all are safe.
- Expect the unexpected to become normal
- Come here with an open mind, loads of patience and compassion.