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New Cruising Guide - Tanimbar Islands Indonesia

By doina — last modified Feb 09, 2007 11:01 AM

Published: 2007-02-09 11:01:13
Countries: Australia , Indonesia

“Cruising the Tanimbar Islands of Eastern Indonesia” by Jan Carter

The closest group of Indonesian islands to Darwin are called the Tanimbars. As there are no direct flights to these islands, they are not on the tourist map and are relatively unheard off outside Indonesia. Yet Saumlaki, the capital of the Tanimbar Islands is only 290 nautical miles north of Darwin.

An annual sailing boat rally from Darwin to Soumlaki is now in its fourth year. In July 2004, Chris Walton and I, sailing “Double Dip, a Seawind 850 catamaran, took part in the rally and then cruised the Tanimbar Islands for seven weeks.

The Tanimbars consist of over 60 islands which form an archipelago approximately 220km long and 110km wide. Ten of the islands are inhabited by a total population of some 160,000 people. The Tanimbars are an excellent area for sailing during the trade winds. The waterway is protected and there are many interesting anchorages within a day’s sail from each other, very like Queensland’s Whitsunday Islands. The winds are light and variable, perfect for boats that perform in light weather, though motoring distances from anchorage to anchorage are not great.

We also discovered a culture of people who depend on boats not only as their main means of transportation but also for their great ritual and metaphoric significance.

This 81-page book has been written for people who intend to cruise in this area as well as those interested in learning about the culture of the Tanimbarese.

The book contains information about 16 anchorages as well as practical advice about food, health, trading, prices, availability of water and visa information. It also contains researched and fully referenced information about Tanimbarese culture, craft, logging, birdlife and the history of the area. The book includes a six-page English/Indonesian ‘sailing terms’ dictionary, 87 photos and six maps.

To obtain a copy of "Cruising the Tanimbar Islands of Eastern Indonesia" contact Jan Carter Phone: 0413 383736 or Email: [email protected]

This cruising guide has been updated and is now 88 pages. Further information and an extract from the book can be seen at

The cost is AUS$35.00 plus postage.