Timor-Leste is a Must

Vic Martin from SV Nova Vida reports on his experience in Timor-Leste.

Published 14 years ago, updated 5 years ago

We arrived in Dili Harbour direct from Darwin just after dawn. The large scale c-map NT max chart of the harbor was accurate.

The fishing boats, wrecks and other boats, as well as the rapid drop off in depth, seemed to make anchoring difficult. However, we were greeted by a local man in a dinghy who advised us where to anchor. The holding was in clay in about 16m and was not a problem

The local guide was one of several who looks after visiting boats and we found them to be very reliable. We also met an expat “Jim” who operates a charter business and he gave us further reassurance. He advised us that the men, most of whom come from neighboring Atuaro Island, do not have homes and sleep in the dinghy’s or if permitted aboard the yacht. We gave permission for one man to sleep on board while we were away in the interior. Should a yacht drag these men will retrieve it. We showed the guide how to start our boat and raise the anchor. The guide accepted $US2.00 a day to look after the boats. We paid them a substantial bonus on departure. We left our boat in their hands for several days while we visited the interior.

While we were anchored in Dili there were five other yachts also anchored. These included a $30 million dollar super yacht, ketch, about 100 feet in length and a smaller version by half, just as opulent.

Checking in and out of Dili was a painless two stop operation. At the immigration and harbor masters office. Visa on arrivals is $US30.00.

For those wishing to experience our newest nation as it struggles to pick itself up after years of horrendous conflict, Timor Lest is a must. At no time did we feel unsafe or detect any sign of conflict.

Vic Martin

SV Nova Vida

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