With kind acknowledgments to:
Dateline Senggigi – August 2009
A Marina for Lombok – A Dream Coming True
For many years now we have heard about plans for a world class marina on Lombok. In LTDC’s 1990 brochure for Kuta, there were plans for sixteen hotels, three golf courses and of course, a marina. Twenty years later the Novotel Coralia Resort stands alone as a top class hotel in Kuta. Emaar now holds the key to developments down south but, as with all mega projects, major financing is required and it could be many years again before we see yachts sailing into a lagoon behind Putri Nyale beach.
In the meantime a local company has been quietly beavering away to bring a dream to fruition. PT Wisata Alam Samudera has plans well advanced to develop Medana Bay Marina into an international class marina. Within a naturally well sheltered bay, on the safe northern sailing route to Sumbawa and Flores and just an hour’s sail away from the three Gilis, Medana Bay seems an ideal spot for a marina. With the top end Oberoi Resort, and boutique Medana Resort within walking distance of their site, and Kosaido golf course just 3km away, a lot of good infrastructure already exists around this tranquil spot.
“We have been working on this for three years already”, said Ibu Ace Robin, Managing Director of PT WAS. Back in June 2006, Ace and her partners made a survey of marinas in the whole region visiting marinas and observing their quality and facilities in Batam, Singapore, Johore, Langkawi, Phuket and even Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. One of their favourites was Rebak Marina, built within a cove on a small island offshore Langkawi. It had recently been re-fitted with good looking teak decking on the floating fingers after being damaged by the 2004 tsunami. “It is a top class facility with all you need, but not over-the-top like some places in Malaysia”, observed Ace, “and I pray we are not open to tsunami waves on the north coast of Lombok”, she added. It seems unlikely, with the tectonic disturbance zone running along the south between our islands and Australia.
Ace Robin went on to say that she likes to keep a low profile until things are getting really close to fruition. She said the company now has all the approvals required from the Lombok and NTB government departments, with support from the local department of Sea Communications, the Bupati for KLU, and also from the Provincial Governor whose office acted promptly soon after receiving a complete project presentation from Ace Robin and her team. “We are very happy with the way that local government has supported us – but we made sure that we had fully prepared data in the first place”, she said. We completed a detailed bathymetric survey of Medana Bay in mid-2008. This was done by marine consultants associated with ITB (Institute of Technology Bandung), and includes tidal information, wave forecasting and suchlike as well as the depths of water at one metre contours right across the bay. We also had environmental data, social impact and flora and fauna, and of course plans and drawings of what we will build.
“In late March we submitted a detailed feasibility study to Jakarta Sea Communications, who has final responsibility for all matters relating to permits to use the national sea”, explained Ace. “We have been following up on a regular basis with detailed answers to questions they ask. When the Department in Jakarta is handling it like this, we feel we are very close to receiving our final permit,” she said, and a big smile lit up her face.
Truly, a dream coming true.
This article was prompted by “Sail Indonesia 2009” which will use Medana Bay as their base on arrival in Lombok from 24th to 28th September. PT Wisata Alam Samudera is hosting the fleet as a means of introducing the bay to international sailors. Some 135 yachts are registered to participate this year, originating from 24 countries around the world.
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Dateline Senggigi – September 2009
Sail Indonesia 2009 – Yachts Fill Medana Bay
The sailing ships of the regatta that began in Darwin on 18th July have spread across the eastern archipelago of Indonesia, and some already arrived in Medana Bay in North Lombok on 4th September – three weeks earlier than expected. Some sixty two yachts have visited so far, with thirty three in the bay as we go to press.
In the event this has turned out well – with the sailing visitors able to stay longer in Lombok and visit many parts of the island from Tetebatu to Kuta, and Banyumulek to Pringgasela, for scenery, pottery and weaving. Very often they have called in to Mataram for extra supplies and then headed back to Medana via Senggigi on the coastal road. On their way they call in to restaurants and Wi-Fi hotspots to catch up with the news and post messages. Many have mentioned Cafe Alberto and Asmara Restaurant for good grub and a warm welcome.
H.Lalu Bakri, Bupati of North Lombok, welcomed the sailors at the official welcoming ceremony on Thursday 24th September afternoon, accompanied by traditional drums and dancers. He assured the guests of a warm and friendly welcome by the people of Lombok.
Lalu Bakri went on to praise the joint efforts of Ibu Ace from Medana Bay Marina and Pak Raymond Lesmana of Yayasan Cinta Bahari Indonesia who were responsible for bringing Sail Indonesia to Lombok this year. “Without their efforts, the rally would have by-passed Lombok this year,” he said. “We are so happy that so many boats and foreign visitors have come to North Lombok, and tasted our warm hospitality.”
Most boats carry a crew of just two – often husband and wife going all the way around the world following retirement – while others have had their young children with them as well. The village children of Medana had great fun playing with ten year old Elliott off 42’ sloop ‘Neptune II’ out of Brisbane, Australia, skippered by his dad, Gary. “Bagus fun,” said Elliott playing football under the coconut trees with his new found mates.
David Hutchinson was sailing ‘Harmonica’ from Vancouver, Canada with his wife Janet on their way to visit UK. A very fit David had already trekked up to the Senaru side Plawangan of Rinjani and taken photos of the volcano inside the caldera, “Fantastic,” he said, of Rinjani “and what a treat to land with dry feet on the pontoon at Medana. Fresh water showers and smiles at reception – great.”
Norwegian couple, Vegar and Lisbeth sailing ‘Pomona’ a 39’ sloop had taken a three day trip down to Kuta and elsewhere and loved the Indonesia food. They expect to spend the next three months in Malaysia, where they will leave their boat, and then rejoin it next year from Norway. “We would live to stay here,” said Vegar “but the Indonesian regulations won’t let us. You have beautiful cruising waters – I hope the rules will change in the future.”
‘Desert Rose’, another 39’ sloop with lovely lines, is owned by Peter and Ella, originally from Poland but now a retired mechanical engineer from Rio Tinto in Australia. They were headed for Bali, but have now stayed two weeks in Medana. “The anchorage is so calm, we are looked after so well, Lombok is lovely. Why leave?”
Brian and Jacquie of “Songster” from UK, one of the few twin masted ketches in the bay, had joined Ace Robin and family on Eid ul-Fitr to be introduced to the Governor of NTB and enjoy lunch at the Pendopo. The Governor will be attending the festival dinner on Saturday 26th at the Boatshed, Medana Bay Marina – just a day before Lebaran Topat.
The local village rock band has been practicing for the event. “That’s great, that’s so much fun, I love it,” said senior sailor Brian, now 75. “After Malaysia, we head for Turkey,” said Brian. “There I will retire and sail amongst the islands.”
Local company, PT Wisata Alam Samudera, has a licence to operate a marina for pleasure vessels in the bay at Teluk Dalem. This was recently issued by the Minister in Jakarta said Ace Robin. “All final sea permits must be issued in Jakarta,” she said “Indonesian waters are a national asset”.
“For Sail Indonesia 2009 we are offering a totally free service – to introduce Lombok, and our site, to cruisers from around the world. They will spread the message by word of mouth and internet,” Ace said. “This is just the very beginning.”
Ace then added, “I am so thankful to Raymond Lesmana, and his wife Dewi, from YCBI, who work so hard to keep this event alive.” “The Rules and Regulations in Indonesia make it difficult for foreign cruisers to enter and stay in Indonesian waters. All these boats only came because Raymond and YCBI cleared the path for them as a special event. We are lobbying to change this in the future, and open Indonesia as a cruising paradise. All the sailors say the eastern islands are absolutely beautiful.”
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With kind acknowledgments to:
Dateline October 2009
Ninety Sailing Ships of Sail Indonesia 2009
Moored in Medana Bay, North Lombok.
Over a hundred sailing ships from twenty five countries in Australasia, America and Europe participated in Sail Indonesia 2009 and ninety stayed in Medana Bay Marina, North Lombok, NTB. The cruisers, mostly sailing in single mast sloops, twin mast ketches and catamarans had earlier participated in the Sail Bunaken event which set off from Darwin, Australia on July 18th. According to the plan they were scheduled to arrive in Medana on 24th September, but many arrived days and even weeks before and then stayed for the official greeting ceremony on 24th September.
Acting Bupati of KLU, H. Lalu Bakri, was on hand to greet the participants on Thursday 24th with a welcoming ceremony organised by the Head of Communications, Culture and Tourism Department of KLU, Eko Supanto. This included gendang beleq (big drum) players, stick fighting displays and a mock marriage parade with the sailing participants lined up behind the ‘bride and groom’, all greeted personally by H.Lalu Bakri. The Bupati delivered a welcoming speech assuring the sailors of a warm and friendly welcome by the people of North Lombok. He went on to thank the organizers of Sail Indonesia for making Medana Bay Marina an official stopover, after his visit to Bali with Ibu Ace Robin in April to meet the organizing committee and press their case. He particularly thanked Ace Robin and her team from PT Wisata Alam Samudera for making the jetty and pontoon and other facilities suitable for the sailors to stay and enjoy the beauty of Medana bay and other sites in Lombok. He also thanked the field organisers of Sail Indonesia, Raymond and Dewi Lesmana for all their hard work.
One of the participants, Brian from the ketch ‘Songster’, responded on behalf of the sailors and thanked the Bupati for his warm welcome and said “That was a splendid show, the best we have seen in Indonesia, clearly from the heart. Thank you so much.”
The Head of Culture and Tourism Service of NTB Province, Lalu Gita Ariadi, also attended the welcoming ceremony and said that he was very pleased to see that the sailors stayed at Medana bay for quite a long time and visited many parts of Lombok, such as Kuta, Tete Batu, handicraft villages and Sendang Gile waterfall of Mt.Rinjani.
Lalu Bakri also gave a speech on the evening of 26th September, Festival Night, which was attended by nearly 400 guests; the foreign sailors, government officials and their wives, and other guests from Senggigi, the Gilis and Mataram, who enjoyed music, dinner and dance. Music was provided by a ‘Gambus Group’ from Gondang and also ‘Gandrung Dancers’ and gamelan music from Tanjung. This was all watched by hundreds of local villagers gathered around the open arena, who really enjoyed seeing all the foreign visitors join in with the dancing.
The Provincial Secretary (Sekda), H.Abdul Malik, addressing the Sail Indonesia Participants and guests directly in English said “We look forward to your next visit in Sail Indonesia 2010 as we build up to our special Lombok-Sumbawa 2012 Promo”.
The events of the evening finished about 10pm with the release into the northern night sky of several ‘komloy’ (large glowing paper lanterns from Thailand) to wish all the participants safe and happy sailing on their way to Malaysia and Thailand. The sailing participants watched in amazement from the edge of the beach as the lanterns soared high into the sky carrying their dreams.
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