Sailing Story - Saumlaki to Babar Island, Nantabun Village

View Our Video

Stay At Our Home

Stay At Our Home In Tasmania

Find All Our
Sailing Adventure

View The Map

    Saumlaki to Babar Island

A rest from the hectic schedule...
    Whimoway, in company with SV Riki Tiki and SV Galaad, anchored for a night at Nustabun Island for a rest from the hectic schedule of the rally, then sailed next day to Nantabun village on Selaru Island.

A gorgeous anchorage lies inside the reef, but a clear day and local knowledge is required. We clipped our first reef here and so anchored outside for the night.

Finally we felt like we were cruising as these islands had relatively clear water, some reefs for snorkeling and we were away from the bustling crowds.

The children accompanied us on the beach, the locals cooked us up crabs and played native tunes on handmade instruments.
    Traditional Ikat weaving was for sale in the village and whilst onboard we were left in relative peace. The children here sail on outrigger canoes and we exchanged a ride for a t-shirt from a most competent crew.

    The locals here are farmers and fisherman and as with Yamdena, are hoping for an increase in tourists and plan to construct some form of accommodation for them in the future.

    By calling in at these places, you are able to contribute a little to their livelihoods and enable them to have contact with people from other lands.

    This was the beginning of Mike’s search for Boat Building Islands and so he was quick to find the local shipwright and exchange knowledge on wooden boats. He gave the man an electric drill as he was amazed by what these people do with limited tools.

    He was flattered by a return gift of an Ikat weaving.

The rest of us visited a few schools and purchased some odds and ends that had been made for us. They requested that on our return visit, second hand typewriters would be most appreciated along with English dictionaries.

All of us enjoyed our few days here and it was made easier as Higi, a local man who had invited us originally, spoke fluent English which made communication possible.
    Babar Island was to be our next port of call but daylight was running out so Riki Tiki and Whimoway made for Masela Island where anchoring is possible but only in the fairest of weather. It was the beginning of Indonesian anchoring whereby the deepest seas suddenly rise to 200 ft then 15ft with reef.

    Luckily it was crystal clear so with some clever maneuvering we found our sandy patches to drop the pick and enough light left enabled us to wallow in the waters and onshore we found makeshift huts used by Trepang fisherman, a sea-slug considered a delicacy by some.

    Babar Island was again suggested to us by a local we met at Saumlaki but it was to be a different experience than Nantabun.

    Here we discovered karaoke, unusual drinks made of a combination of coconut milk, red cordial and crushed sweet biscuits and high pressure from our guide.

    We went on a bus trip to a village and were lunched by a King, we saw caves containing ancestors, watched volleyball played on a rocky field, saw how sopi was made from coconut palms and signed lots of paperwork for the local officialdom.

We thought we were going to see ‘schools” in caves but we discovered that our guide meant “skulls”.

I wondered why the children were so quiet once we got near, but ancestors don’t make much noise!

Once we realized, we were humbled as this place is sacred to these people and warrants respect.
    All yachts were requested to take some of these officials and families to an island across the bay but we could not get through the reef and as the weather cut up, most including our guide, were seasick and could not wait to get off!

    We did manage a getaway stroll through the village and met some lovely locals before we were sighted by our guide’s spies and herded back for another function.

    Here we parted ways as the other yachts were heading north to the Banda Islands and we steered for Damar Island as the Babar village chief gave us a personal invitation and recommendation to go there.

Map Of Babar Island And Saumlaki