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Indonesia, Sumatra: Clearing in on a Sunday at Sabang

By Keith Sterling — last modified Sep 01, 2017 09:08 AM
The best and friendliest group of officials I have met in Indonesia. 

Published: 2017-07-22 23:00:00
Countries: Indonesia

Report from Keith Stirling,  Australian Captain and owner of a 40' aluminium Feltz Skorpion IIA.  Btritsh flag.

I am on my seventh surfing cruise of Western Sumatra. Focussing on the Banyaks Islands and Nias.

I have just sailed from Phuket in Thailand to the entry port of Sabang on Pulau Weh at the NW tip of Sumatra. The passage took 49 hours and it was very rough for the first 16 hours and the last 8 hours. We lost the port front section of rub rail in very heavy seas.

I am very pleased to report another very easy check in with the people at Sabang on a Sunday afternoon at 1400 hrs. Without prior warning, they willingly and politely opened up their quarantine, Harbour Master, Immigration and Customs offices late on Sunday afternoon.  I did not expect this. Being prepared to wait until Monday morning. They insisted on helping and apologized for being out of uniform.  No charges and no Customs or quarantine visits. This is the second time I have visited them at Sabang. Last year was a Saturday afternoon and we were treated with the red carpet.

I must state publicly that they are the best and friendliest group of officials I have met in Indonesia.  I used the Indonesian online yacht registry for the Customs service which worked flawlessly. Our 60 day social visa with the wonderful Raymond T Lesmurda as our sponsor was readily accepted and endorsed. I had left my crew list aboard, no problem, they typed up a new one on their computer.

We are now waiting at Banda Aceh for the winds howling around the top of Sumatra to abate so that we can sail the next 50 hour passage to Palau Bankgaru or Treasure island, for the famed right hand barrelling waves.

Fair winds from Keith aboard sailing vessel "Surfmachine"

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Sabang (Pulau We)
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Aki
Aki says:
Aug 31, 2017 12:58 AM

Hello Keith,

I am another sailor/surfer on the same route. I am pleased there is others like me that are opting to sail their yacht in this part of the world.
I am a 32 year old, living in Australia. I am very close to buy a yacht in Langkawi and planning to sail it to the Banyaks and Telos next March/April.
I'd like to thank you for the info you shared with the sailing web community and I look forward to seeing 'Surfmachine' anchored in some beautiful bay near a nice break.
Hope you having the best time on the islands and hopefully we ll share stories in the future.

Best Regards and Fair winds
Achille

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