Bali and the Gili’s

From Komodo to Java.

Our last report was from the Medana Bay marina on Lombok. We called in at Gili Air on the way to Lovina Bay in the north of Bali. Michelle our daughter, has spent some time surfing in the Gili’s and highly recommended a visit to these islands. Ironically, she and Karen her sister, was in the heat and dust of the Burning Man festival in the USA, during our visit to these islands.

Gili Air – no motorised transport!

Gili Air anchorage.

Esprit enroute to Bali.

We arrived in Lovina Bay to renew our 3 month visas for Indonesia. Our Sydney friends, Ron and Michelle Watson, arrived the next day to join us for some sailing and R&R. The visas took five days to process, but the welcoming parties for the Lovina Bay Festival kept us fully occupied.

Annie and Michelle.

Ron, our new six pack barman.

Mr & Miss Lovina Bay Festival 2017.

Ladies, all dressed up.

Gents, also in their best.

Yachties, in their best.

Eric from Seattle, looking like a local.

Lovina Bay locals welcoming us with a dance on the beach.

Beautiful ladies on parade.

Very good kids band.

These girls were excellent twirling their flags.

Traffic jam.

Mick, Annie & Dirk at the selfie seat.

Fashionable teenagers strutting their stuff.

While these kids are making mud cakes.

Creating awareness for recycling!

Lovina Beach wall sculpture.

Buddhist/Hindu prayer posts everywhere.

After receiving our visas, we backtracked to Lombok island to show them the southern Gilis  (Gede and Asahan) and northern Gili islands and visit Medana Bay.

Gili Gede.

First customers at a pub on Gili Gede.

View from the pub.

Hoola Hoop resort on Gili Asahan.

Drinks at Gili Air.

The young lovers in front of us.

To remind us of our age – the Stones mural at a music venue.

Aji the driver took us to some spectacular waterfalls near Medana Bay and also to an Elephant and wildlife park. After this we visited Gili Air where we enjoyed some good food and music. Unfortunately, the Watson’s had to catch a ferry back to Bali after 10 days on board, but hopefully they will join us again in Thailand.

On our way to the waterfalls.

Adam and Eve.

Ron and Annie had to swim.

Walking back through the Dutch built irrigation tunnel.

Park entrance.

Annie and some birds.

Ron, the snake handler.

Less dangerous feeding an elephant.

Agile monkeys.

You call that a day bed? Annie calls this a day bed.

We are now working our way across Java up to Karimunjawa to re-join the rally. There will be a number of overnight sail legs and we will report on these in our next post.

Komodo National Park

Our route to Komodo.

After day hopping along the north coast of Flores island, we arrived at Labuan Bajo on the western end of the island. This is a popular destination for those visiting the Komodo and Rinca National Parks. After re-stocking with beer, fruit and vegetables we did the short hop to Rinca island where we anchored late afternoon. At 7am the next morning, we started the long trek with a guide through the hills and valleys of the park. We saw quite a large number of male dragons of up to 3 metres in length. There are also numerous monkeys, buffalo and deer in the park. After hiking for 3 hours, we got back to Esprit and lifted the anchor.

A 30 year old male dragon.


A wary Annie with a 15 year old young lad.




Deer – one heavily disguised with vegetation!


Walking with our guide.


Female dragon digging a hole for laying her eggs.

It was a short sail to Komodo island, where we sailed past the popular pink beach, before anchoring off the eastern reefs to snorkel the next day. The ladies were lucky to be entertained by the huge Manta Rays doing their graceful ballet in about 4 metres of water. The reefs had good coral with numerous tropical fish.

Manta Rays, 3-way dance.


Red soft coral.


Reef finger coral.

It was a short hop to the top end of Komodo where we anchored in a sheltered bay called Loh Gebah. This gave us the opportunity to do a 3-hour climb and walk up a hill affording us beautiful views across the surrounding islands. We spent three days at this anchorage, snorkelling, paddle boarding and doing general maintenance on the boat.

Looking down to Loh Gebah.


View looking north.

Sailing from Komodo island to Wera on the eastern side of Lombok island, we passed an active volcano.

Smoking gun near Wera.

On the way to Wera, Annie caught a juvenile barracuda of about 800mm long. The following day, sailing to Kawienda, she caught a 1 metre long Spanish Mackerel, which will provide fish portions for about 10 meals.

Spanish Mackerel.

After Kawienda, we anchored off Pulau Satonda to visit an extinct volcano, the caldera now filled with water, more saline than the sea.

Caldera of Pulau Satonda.


School girls at the volcano asking for a photo with pale people.


Cool dudes asking for the same.

From we did three day sails to Medana marina on the western tip of Lombok island. This marina was a lovely stop with excellent meals and cold beers, efficiently run by Peter from Australia.

View from Medana Bay marina restaurant.

Our next post will be from Bali where our Sydney friends Ron & Michelle Watson will join us for a sail. Cheers until then.