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West Coast of Sumatra

By Sue Richards last modified Jan 12, 2009 03:28 PM

Published: 2009-01-12 15:28:01
Topics: Malay Archipelago
Countries: Indonesia

Dear noonsite,

I am contemplating a sailing trip starting Feb. 08 from Langkawi heading for Pulau Weh and consequently cruising the W.Coast of Sumatra passing Sundra Strait, some time beginning of May for the changeover to SW monsoon.

From Sundra Strait I plan to sail to Kalimantan and I am thinking of taking a river route from Selat Maja to Pontianak.

My questions are:
1.What do you make of the timing? Is the beginning of May a good time to head from Sundra St. to Kalimantan?
2. In the story from Randal on Westwind I read that it is possible to get a Cait in Pula Weh on arrival. Can you confirm that option? It would be great if that is the case as I am still in the process of selecting crew and the standard procedure of 20 workdays would not be very convenient....
3. Do you have a source of information for the river trip?

As there are is very little cruising information available for a trip like this your comments or suggestions where to find more info etc. would be greatly appreciated.

With kind regards,

Hans van Rijn
SY ALK (Port Klang)


One important question: if Kalimantan is your desired destination why do you intend to sail the long way, around Sumatra?

As to the CAIT, all I know is that you must make arrangements in advance. You may be able to stop in Pulau Weh for 1-2 days without a CAIT but you will need it later. The Bali YC is the best source to get one.


Hi Jimmy,

Well the original plan was to only sail the W. coast islands of Sumatra and sail back to Malaysia in the same season. Until I discovered that it may be a good sail from May onwards to Kalimantan. Anyway I was born a century too late as I like to explore new territory and consequently I have sailed some less usual routes in my sailing career :) :)



I know the feeling and I have done the same...

I was going to suggest that if you wanted to get to Kalimantan the easiest way, you should sail via Singapore, stop at Nongsa Point marina, described on noonsite as:

"Nongsa Point Marina is a new development located a few miles from Singapore on Batam Island. A 12 month, multiple-entry cruising permit can be obtained from the Indonesian embassy in Singapore to cruise the Riau islands only. Entry must first be made at Nongsa Point."

Then continue from there to Kalimantan, possibly stopping in Western Kalimantan, etc. You should be able to get the CAIT at the Indonesian embassy in Singapore, or at Nongsa marina.

Otherwise the route around the west of Sumatra has been described as very interesting, with a few good places to stop. You can then turn east and either go through the Sunda Strait, or continue to Bali, and cut across that way to Kalimantan.

Good luck... and do let us know how it all went.

Jimmy Cornell