During their stay on the island of Lombok, members of crew from World ARC 2022-23 have had the opportunity to experience the unique culture and ways of the islanders providing a flavour of life in Indonesia. As they look forward to their journey to Christmas Island some participants managed to squeeze in a few last-minute private tours down to the south of the island.
To assist with their provisioning for the next leg of the rally, transport was organised by the World ARC team to take participants to the main town of Mataram. Although not all western produce can be located on the island most managed to restock their fridges with plenty of fresh meats and locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Tours and transport were supported by Lumbung Holidays and their team of very professional drivers and English-speaking tour guides. Our thanks to Didi and his guides for sharing their passion for the island and vast knowledge of Indonesia and local areas. The dedication from Didi and his team towards the fleet meant that everyone learned a great deal about this country and made them feel extremely welcome.
Participants gathered on Friday evening at a crew dinner kindly hosted by Medana Bay Marina. Their opensided hall within the Marina complex was transformed into a dining area where a superb buffet was served. World ARC manager, Andrew Pickersgill, said a few words of thanks to all the staff for their tentative support during the fleet’s stay. As in most stopovers, a World ARC flag was presented to the Marina which was well received by owners, Ace Cranfield and her husband Peter.
Soon it was time for the skippers briefing which signals it’s nearly time to depart for the next leg of the circumnavigation. The route through to Mauritius was fully explained, detailing the sailing instructions, what they can expect to find in each location and what support they may be able to rely on. Viewing some idyllic photos of Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling in the presentation, the fleet certainly have an exciting few stopovers ahead of them.
The sound of the start horn could be heard in Medana Bay at precisely 0900 hours on Sunday 18 September 2022. Unfortunately, the winds didn’t arrive in time, so it was a motored start but still the fleet begun their journey with a fun sense of competition as Celtic Start pushed on the throttle and steamed across the start first. They were closely followed by Ko Tangaroa, Amazing Grace and Sky. Behind them was Jubilate Mare, Chanto and then Nakula. Island Wanderer had a little catching up to do having discovered a rip in their mainsail, but a quick swap to the spare meant they were on their way in good time to catch up with the fleet.
With Mount Agung on the neighbouring island of Bali in the background, the fleet headed out of Medana Bay in a south westerly direction through the Gili islands and onwards to their next destination whereupon a new island awaits their arrival.
The fleet will cover approximately 650NM to Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island where they will be met by another World ARC yellow shirt. With reasonable winds forecast, the fleet is expected to return into Australian territory by Wednesday 21 September.
Lovely words of thanks to Lombok were transmitted over the VHF from several of the boats as they headed off into the blue horizon.