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Bali, Serangan Island: A place that feels like home

By SY Yindee Plus — last modified Nov 10, 2014 02:40 PM

Published: 2014-11-10 00:00:00
Countries: Indonesia

A recent visit to: Serangan Island moorings, Bali, Indonesia

This anchorage / mooring field is No 65 in the “101 Anchorages Within the Indonesian Archipelago” book.

Contact Ruth at Isle Marine (see website for details) and she will arrange a mooring for you. Good, clear instructions for the reef entry on their website too.

When we entered in early October 2014, the green marker was a black buoy with a blue flag on top and the red marker was a red cylinder but lying horizontal in the water. Don't get too close to either of the marks. The white tower on shore, indicated on the plan of the anchorage, is clearly visible from inside the anchorage but difficult to see from the outside! It looks like a small electricity pylon on a concrete plinth. We found that contacting Ruth on her mobile phone number (081 238 47850) was more reliable than VHF once we got here. She isn't always in the office as she works for boats in Benoa too.

There is plenty of room behind the reef to anchor in 7m mud. In fact, with the SE monsoon, there is less of a fetch here than at the moorings, but it's less convenient for getting ashore. Yacht Club moorings cost $10 /day (10% discount if you pay in advance). We did see one mooring being serviced while we were here, so there may be a maintenance schedule of sorts.

We were told by friends who had spent some time here that the security of your yacht and dinghy is not an issue here; the village community of the island is a strong one and they keep an eye on what's going on. In any case, if you tie your dinghy rather than chain it then the locals can move it if it's in their way.

The anchorage is not subject to road noise as the main road is about 4 km away. There are no bars etc. playing loud music either. The only noise pollution at night is from boat generators. After negotiating the busy Bali traffic, coming home to Serangan is a relief. The water is not clear and there is a fair amount of floating rubbish (although not as much as you'd expect in Indonesia, given the number of boats). If the wind's blowing from the west then the smell of the enormous landfill site by the causeway will waft towards your boat. Funnily enough though, while it certainly isn't picturesque, you start to feel very nicely at home here if you stay a while.

There are two docks, in constant use. Locals don't mind you tying your dinghy to the sides of them. A bit of clambering over other boats is sometimes necessary. Ruth is based at the Royal Bali Yacht Club (a small office, seating area in the shade, some storage rooms, one fairly basic shower / toilet, a rubbish bin and an external tap with hose).

Ruth is an amazing woman. She can sort out just about anything. She can arrange laundry, fuel, petrol, water, and propane refills (they can't do European bottles), plus can give advice about immigration and getting spare parts into the country. Her top tip about that was not to use a courier! Evidently if you use the postal service, and they pass the package onto the Indonesian postal service (Express Mail Service: EMS), then you can easily attend a local office and prove with your papers that you are a yacht in transit (thus avoiding paying up to 100% duty) plus you get the parcel more quickly. There is no way of doing this with the couriers. They will pay whatever duty is asked for by customs and will then release your parcel to you once you have paid them. Unfortunately for us the company we ordered from was not able to use any other service but DHL. We tracked the parts to Bali (5 days to be manufactured and sent from the UK: impressive) but it then took DHL 4 days to deliver after it had cleared customs. We could practically see the airport; very frustrating. However, to our pleasant surprise, we were charged no customs duties. A friend took delivery of a parcel with Fedex the next day and was forced to pay 100% duty: ouch ! Better ask the sender to put a low value on the goods in the parcel if possible.

There is a small market on the island, currently next to the school at the causeway end of the village while the market building in the centre of the village is restored (a six month job). I found that walking there at 6am was best for produce and coolness. For other provisioning you'll probably need a supermarket. The nearest is Lotte Mart, just at the junction with the main road, at the end of the causeway. There are two other large ones that we used: Carrefour (which has a fantastic bakery with European style bread, quiches, croissant etc.) and the Hypermarket at the Galeria. Ruth can order taxis or you can phone Blue Bird taxis yourself (03617 01111). They speak English and will ask for your cellphone number before your location and destination. Blue Bird taxis all have meters. When coming back, ask for Serangan Island as not many taxi drivers know where the Yacht Club is.  We paid about 60,000 rp one way to Carrefour, less for Galeria, less again for Lotte Mart. The local community collect a toll from incoming guests to the island (4000 rp per car).

The cafe next to the yacht club does a bar-b-que / potluck on a Friday evening. A good way to meet other cruisers. Or you can hang out at Warung Pojok (turn right at the dinghy dock). Good cheap food, fast wifi (for Indonesia) and a nice shower too. There are plenty of non-yachtie warungs too. Don't miss a wander around the inner village streets. The houses are all walled and there are wonderful glimpses of temples and shrines through the doorways.

The Harbour Master's office is next to Ruth's. You need to give him the following photocopies: boat papers, CAIT, passports and last port clearance. He's not always there so you can put it in an envelope and slip it under his door. He will provide clearance papers for the next port.

We were delayed here, making repairs. The kids were getting bored. If you find yourselves in the same situation we can highly recommend the Pro-Surf School in Kuta. The lessons are not cheap (35 - 40 Euros each) but we were very impressed with the quality of tuition and the high safety standards. Plus they provide free transport and you have access to showers, lockers, rash vest and board shorts, and their lovely swimming pool. After you've had a couple of lessons, you can just hire boards from them instead and still use the other facilities. Serangan beach has surf breaks too, but you need to be at intermediate or advanced level for those and the season is from October to April.

Susan Bright
SY Yindee Plus

http://www.yindeeplus.net/Yindee_Plus/Welcome.html

Search under boat name or owner's name for other reports on noonsite posted by Susan.

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