Where is SV Merakai

Vessel Name: Merakai
Vessel Make/Model: Adams 15.2
Hailing Port: Townsville, QLD, Australia
Crew: Rick and Bette Willis
About: Home and Away
10 November 2019 | Pulau Moyo, Nature Reserve, Sumbawa
10 November 2019 | Pulau Satonda, Sumbawa
09 November 2019 | Enroute to Kananga, Sumbawa
08 November 2019 | Kilo Bay, Sumbawa
07 November 2019 | Pulau Sangean
06 November 2019 | Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo Islands
06 November 2019 | Sebayor Kecil, Komodo Islands
05 November 2019 | Puri Sari Beach Resort, Labuan Bajo
05 November 2019 | Turtle Bay
05 November 2019 | Taka Makasar, Komodo National Park
05 November 2019 | Komodo Island
05 November 2019 | Pink Beach, Komodo National Park
05 November 2019 | Pulau Padar, Komodo National Park
04 November 2019 | Puri Sari Beach Resort, Beach BBQ
03 November 2019 | Cunca Wulang Cascades
02 November 2019 | Labuan Bajo, Flores
01 November 2019 | Puri Sari Beach Resort, Flores
30 October 2019 | Gili Bodo, Sabibi Island, Flores
29 October 2019 | Budding entrepreneurs, Lingeh Bay, Flores
28 October 2019 | Damo Bay, 17 Islands National Park, Flores
Recent Blog Posts
10 November 2019 | Pulau Moyo, Nature Reserve, Sumbawa

Pulau Satonda to Pulau Moyo, Nature Reserve, Sumbawa

Onwards to Pulau Moyo, a large island that is a nature reserve, except for an exclusive diving resort in one bay. A pod of about 6 dolphins frolicked in and under Merakai as we came around the NW corner of Pulau Moyo. We anchored in the southern part of the bay in the centre of an endless white beach, [...]

10 November 2019 | Pulau Satonda, Sumbawa

Kananga to Pulau Satonda, Sumbawa

After a rolly night, we dinghied the 2 nm over to Pulau Satonda, which is basically a saltwater lake inside a caldera on its way to becoming an atoll when sea level rises.

09 November 2019 | Enroute to Kananga, Sumbawa

Kilo to Kananga, Sumbawa

Off early again (7:00 AM) heading for Kananga. Motor-sailed with headsail whenever the wind permitted. Passed by Gunung Tambora - the volcano responsible for the year without summer (1816) after it erupted in 1815 - it affected the climate worldwide. It was the most explosive eruption in recorded [...]

08 November 2019 | Kilo Bay, Sumbawa

Wera Bay to Kilo, Sumbawa

Motor-sailed in patches, mostly only motored as winds were light. About mid-morning we came across 2 boats with flags and a net between them stretched across our course. We altered course and sailed seaward parallel to the net, which was at least 0.5 km long (!), and around it.

07 November 2019 | Pulau Sangean

Gili Lawa Laut to Wera Bay, Sumbawa

Away by 6:00 AM, heading for the NE coast of Sumbawa Island. Motor-sailed with headsail most of the way. Encountered a 2+ knot current in the strait, which slowed us down considerably (Ave: 5.5 kts). Sailed towards and past Pulau Sangean, which was belching smoke at frequent but irregular intervals [...]

06 November 2019 | Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo Islands

Sebayor Kecil to Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo Islands

Two hours later, we checked the bay at Gili Lawa Laut for boats and saw it was empty. We headed in to a waypoint in our cruising guide under a half moon, monitoring our charts and depth sounder. The Navionics charts have been reliable within metres so far, although we do find ourselves anchored on the green bits occasionally :)

Pulau Satonda to Pulau Moyo, Nature Reserve, Sumbawa

10 November 2019 | Pulau Moyo, Nature Reserve, Sumbawa
Bette Willis
Onwards to Pulau Moyo, a large island that is a nature reserve, except for an exclusive diving resort in one bay. A pod of about 6 dolphins frolicked in and under Merakai as we came around the NW corner of Pulau Moyo. We anchored in the southern part of the bay in the centre of an endless white beach, in 14+ knots NWesterlies. Fortunately, the breeze and waves faded together, to be replaced by the typical SE zephyr overnight. A good night was had by all!

11th Oct: A beautiful calm morning - I watched an octopus resting on coral (initially thought it was a strange starfish) and swimming over the bottom from the boat through 7m of water! Lovely pre-breakfast swim, and then periodic dives into the clear water from Merakai over the course of the day to cool down and snorkel over the reef between catch-up chores. Can't exchange or refill our Australian gas bottles in Indonesia, and our third and last bottle was nearing empty. Rick assembled this bits and pieces he's assesmbled for some weeks and bodgied up a connection between and Indonesian bottle and our Aussie ones. Hung the Indo bottle upside down from the rigging and managed to fill one empty Aussie bottle and top-up another - coffee is saved! and tacos and tea back on the dinner menu.

Kananga to Pulau Satonda, Sumbawa

10 November 2019 | Pulau Satonda, Sumbawa
Bette Willis
After a rolly night, we dinghied the 2 nm over to Pulau Satonda, which is basically a saltwater lake inside a caldera on its way to becoming an atoll when sea level rises.


Dinghy ride to Pulau Satonda


A lovely Park Ranger met us at the beach, asking for 100,000 IDR (~$10) each to hike up to the lake. We hadn't anticipated this and had no money, but promised to drop it off on our way out. He was happy to accept our word and off we went. Note to self - don't leave home without at least a million in your pocket!


The Park Ranger helped pull our dinghy up on the beach.



The trail, wooden park buildings and steps over the rim and around the caldera were all nicely done.



Over the rim and down to the saltwater lake, which has been isolated from the sea since it filled in the tsunami after the 1815 eruption of Tambora.


Swimming platform for accessing the lake - meant to be saltier than seawater, but we didn't test it out.


Hiked up to a high point on the caldera rim.





View towards Kananga Bay


After weighing anchor in Kananga Bay, we stopped back in at Pulau Satonda on our way to Pulau Moyo and Bette kayaked ashore through the swell to pay for our hike - much to the astonishment of the park rangers.


Google Earth Image of Pulau Satonda

Kilo to Kananga, Sumbawa

09 November 2019 | Enroute to Kananga, Sumbawa
Bette Willis
Off early again (7:00 AM) heading for Kananga. Motor-sailed with headsail whenever the wind permitted. Passed by Gunung Tambora - the volcano responsible for the year without summer (1816) after it erupted in 1815 - it affected the climate worldwide. It was the most explosive eruption in recorded history, rating 7/7 on the VEI Index (Krakatoa rated a 6)!

Cruising past Gunung Tambora - shrouded by clouds


A pod of spinner (?) dolphins accompanied us into the bay - full body leaps out of the water! Love seeing them play!

Kananga is a tidy green village, complete with beach umbrellas. A brief shower after anchoring, followed by a rolly night - no protection from the swell rolling in from the NW.


Sunset over Kananga Bay, Sumbawa

Wera Bay to Kilo, Sumbawa

08 November 2019 | Kilo Bay, Sumbawa
Bette Willis
Motor-sailed in patches, mostly only motored as winds were light. About mid-morning we came across 2 boats with flags and a net between them stretched across our course. We altered course and sailed seaward parallel to the net, which was at least 0.5 km long (!), and around it.


Another net stretched across our course, but so difficult to see! Boat at the extreme left of photo marks the other end of the net, but is barely visible.


Cruising along the north coast of Sumbawa

Anchored by Kilo Village mid afternoon. Within 10 minutes, a mother with 2 kids paddled out wanting books, sugar, masks..... followed by about 4 more boatloads of kids over the next 2 hours wanting similar. We gave everyone pencils with koala toppers and notepads - running out of bikkies!


One of the boatloads of kids paddling out to Merakai for handouts. Unlike kids on islands we've encountered to the east, these kids expect something and don't offer anything in return


One lightening flash when anchoring and a very brief shower in the later afternoon - harbingers of the coming wet season?

Gili Lawa Laut to Wera Bay, Sumbawa

07 November 2019 | Pulau Sangean
Bette Willis
Away by 6:00 AM, heading for the NE coast of Sumbawa Island. Motor-sailed with headsail most of the way. Encountered a 2+ knot current in the strait, which slowed us down considerably (Ave: 5.5 kts). Sailed towards and past Pulau Sangean, which was belching smoke at frequent but irregular intervals into the otherwise clear blue sky.


Sangean Api has two cones and is one of the most active volcanos in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It last erupted in 2014.


The jumble of hills and cones that constitutes the north coast of Sumbawa.

By early afternoon, we anchored in front of Wera Village, where they build huge wooden boats without metal fastenings - one very impressive boat is under construction on the foreshore. Would have liked to go ashore to check out the boat building, but the bay was getting quite rolly as it is not very sheltered from NW swells, and the breeze has increasing amounts of north and west in it. We can no longer count on consistent SE trades!


Wera Village with mountainous backdrop


Sunset over Wera Bay, with Sangean Api on the left still spewing smoke and red lava (seen at night).

Sebayor Kecil to Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo Islands

06 November 2019 | Gili Lawa Laut, Komodo Islands
Bette Willis
Two hours later, we checked the bay at Gili Lawa Laut for boats and saw it was empty. We headed in to a waypoint in our cruising guide under a half moon, monitoring our charts and depth sounder. The Navionics charts have been reliable within metres so far, although we do find ourselves anchored on the green bits occasionally :)
Merakai's Photos - Main
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Boardwalk trail to rock paintings by Yiithuwarra people
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