Sailing from Sumbawa to Lombok was a really sloppy sail. The winds ranged from none to too much, and they came from every point on the compass – often changing direction by 100 degrees in less than 100 seconds. The seas were never large, but they were very inconsistent and often confused. Fortunately, we never had more than two knots of countercurrent, and we actually had some current with us for a few hours.
Our consolation was the scenery which was wonderful. We saw pilot whales and an active volcano shortly before sundown our first night. The north shore of Lombok was a sight for our dry and dusty eyes when the sun rose the next morning. All the islands we had visited thus far in Indonesia had been relatively dry and brown, but Lombok was green and covered in palm trees and fishing villages. Very pretty. We headed for Teluk Kombal on the northwest corner of the island – a long day sail away from Bali.
One small village’s local fleet
We had been traveling west in the Flores Sea, and we had to go a few miles south in the Lombok Channel (between Bali and Lombok) to reach the anchorage. What a confused mess when we reached the junction of those two bodies of water. The seas were 3 to 4 feet tall, steep, and from every direction. The wind was 27 knots and right on our nose. Of course the current was against us, and salt water was everywhere. We were tired, and we were not amused. But we made it around and were glad to see the calm anchorage.
This anchorage has moorings, and they prefer that you use the moorings rather than anchor. We motored up to the outermost mooring and picked up the pennant. Someone in a small boat near shore was shouting at us and waving us off. He was directing us to another mooring. Although we aren’t exactly sure how we did it, we fouled the mooring pennant on our prop. So Bud donned a mask and snorkel and spent the final 30 minutes of daylight disentangling the two. We made it over to the second mooring as daylight was fading. This trip had been too much of an adventure for both of us…
We were both tired enough that we did not want to sail to Bali the next morning. We decided to spend a day in recovery and explore this corner of Lombok a little.
Lombok is a tourist destination itself. It is not nearly as popular as Bali, but it is an escape from the maddening crowds on nearby Bali. Most visitors to Lombok go out to the Gili Islands – about a mile north or our anchorage – at least once during their stay. However, most stay in Senggigi – about ten miles south or our anchorage – or further south in the surfing town of Kuta (not to be confused with Kuta on Bali). That means that there is lots of boat traffic through the anchorage ferrying visitors back and forth. But there is more to do than the usual water sports. There are Balinese temples which can visited (one has ‘holy eels’ which are fed hard-boiled eggs), and the beautiful volcano, Gunung Rinjani, can be visited. But water sports still reign supreme.
Because we were still somewhat hurrying towards Bali, we chose not to explore around the island. Instead, we just walked around the local village a bit. It was a charmingly simple village, and the locals were characteristically friendly. But after only two nights at anchor, we were off to Bali.