Anchor under puffing volcanoes in Volcano Alley, with gentle breezes blowing through the palm fronds. Swim deep into a mountain cave with the cave entrance guarded by the ancient graves of village elders. Hike inland to a local village to see how Ikat Textiles are created from cotton bolls that are carded, spun, dyed and woven by hand. See the Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat in its only known home on earth. Swim in clear warm waters with gentle huge whalesharks. All of this and more is possible in the diverse huge country of Indonesia on private yacht charter where exotic, exciting, and outstandingly unique experiences are available from the decks of your luxury charter yacht, your home away from home, your 5 star hotel with top level service and outstanding cuisine, that you bring with you to every remote anchorage for these experiences of a life time.
Sail down Volcano Alley looking to the left and the right and on either side see volcanos each with smoke gently puffing from each peak. Anchor for the night in the shadow of a puffing volcano and watch as the sun sets. On the usual perfect clear day, as the sun sets into night, the reflection of the sun against the smoke particles gives a unique orange glow to the sky. Meanwhile
the world is your own, with no one else around as it is extremely rare to see another yacht, even another boat, unless perhaps it is a dugout canoe belonging to a villager or the ingenious dugout canoe “fishing boat” with “outriggers” weighted by stones lashed onto lengths of bamboo. Here there are miles of deserted sandy beaches and little cays, filled with sea shells, sand dollars, and sea urchin shells. Here there is a glorious view of nature unlike anywhere else where one is easily reminded, at the same time, of both the strength and fragility of nature and what it really means to be perched directly on “The Ring of Fire”.
In the Eastern Flores Archipelago are many little villages where the women have perfected making natural dyes from the surrounding forest. After growing their cotton, harvesting, carding, spinning, (using a spindle and their toes) and dying the strands, the women weave unique Ikat Textiles by hand, where warp and weft cotton strands are “lost” to coloring by natural homemade
dyes, through wrapping those strands in resist fibers such as the fibers of palm leaves. Weaving is done on small looms made from wood and tree branches, with women sitting on the ground. Anchor nearby and visit Ikat Textile Weaving Villages for weaving demonstrations, dancing exhibitions, and the chance to purchase beautifully hand dyed, hand woven textiles from the hands of the weaver.
On the other end of Flores Island in the Komodo Archipelago, part of which is a National Park, is the only known home of the Komodo Dragon on Komodo Island reachable only by water. For centuries, the Komodo Dragon has made this island its home. How the Komodo Dragon evolved and ended here is a mystery, but here the Dragon is and remains. As the Komodo Island is a National
Park, a National Park Ranger will guide you around the island to see the Komodo Dragon via either a short trail or longer trail, your choice. All visitors walk single file behind the Ranger, who will have in his hand a long stick with a fork at the end to shove in the nostrils of any charging Komodo Dragon to ward off the attack. Up to you how close behind the Ranger you choose to walk. You will see Komodo Dragons and smell the Komodo Dragons as they are quite odiferous. There are several Dragons that just loll all day around the Ranger Station. Others are out and about the island hunting, mainly around the watering hole, lying in wait for other island wild life that also need water to survive. The Komodo Dragon does not actually kill its prey immediately, but rather bites its prey with its many rows of teeth sunk into its gums filled with bacteria. The Komodo Dragon then waits until the stricken animal dies from a bacteria infested bite wound before feasting. Komodo Island is but one island in the Komodo Archipelago, all of which are lovely, with beautiful beaches, including a pink sand beach, surrounded by orange, red and copper striated mineral filled mountain sides and lovely water.
In Raja Ampat, guarded by two centuries old graves of Village Elders is a deep water filled cave that disappears into the bowels of the mountain, while on either side of the cave entrance, in various little cubby holes washed into the limestone cliffsides are graves of other villagers from long ago, where today only skeletons remain. At the cave entrance, pass by the two ancient
graves of the Elders of what was assuredly a resting place of honor and down a set of very rickety steps to plunge into the cool waters to either swim or sea kayak far into the depths of this cave. The water colors created from bits of sunlight that peak through various places in the mountainside are beautiful and it is a unique even if somewhat eerie experience to swim or paddle way back into the middle of the mountain and wonder just how many others, for how many centuries have done the same. Certainly, those buried at the mouth of the cave and in cubby holes around the cave entrance were well aware of and spent time in the cave. It is a refreshing change to spend time inside the cave as a relief from the hot sun outside reflecting off of the white limestone cliffs. This is long deep cave taking a good hour to swim to the end and back out again.
On the northern side of Papua and West Papua, New Guinea is the very large Cenderawasih Bay. Included in the Bay is Teluk Cenderawasih Bay National Park, the largest marine National Park in Indonesia. Also, in the bay are Biak, the Padaido Islands, Supiori and Numfor, Yapen Island, and the smaller islands of Num, Rumberpon , Waar, Roon and Kurudu. The area is lovely and
excellent for cruising with beautiful and extensive coral reefs and an enormous amount of natural and marine life. However, the real draw of Cenderawasih Bay is to be able to swim with the whalesharks in the southern area of the bay near Nabire. Here the whalesharks live year-round, gathering nearly every single day to circle under fishermen platforms called “bagans”, in the hopes of sucking some fish out of their storage nets for a snack. This is the location to swim with the whalesharks as the whalesharks are far more interested in dining on the fish they might be able to steal than dining on you. Swimming with these huge creatures is an extraordinary experience. This is a remote location however where the best accommodation and restaurant will be your private charter yacht. While swimming with the whalesharks is outstanding, the area also offers excellent cruising in a remote pristine location where few others have ever been.
Indonesia is a country where private yacht charter is often the best and may be the only way to experience that which is unique, and exotic, creating once in a life time memories. Luxury yacht charter offers the opportunity to explore Indonesia, a country offering extraordinary yacht charter itineraries, in comfort, style and luxury from the decks of your 5 star floating hotel and restaurant.
Missy Johnston is Owner of Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters Newport. Northrop-Johnson Yacht Charters is a luxury crewed yacht charter company offering top notch private yachts with great crews in every worldwide cruising destination.