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Sailing among Indonesia’s wild islands

August 15, 2009

Tiger Blue PHINISI_streamimage 9.phpThere’s no more evocative way to explore Indonesia’s 17,000 islands than by traditional sailing boat

“There’s no more evocative way to explore Indonesia’s 17,000 islands than by phinisi, a traditional teak sailing boat,” says Claire Wrathall in the Financial Times.

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These elegant wooden vessels have been plying the waters of the archipelago for centuries, during which time the techniques used in building them have scarcely changed. But today you can sail in one without leaving the comforts of modern civilisation behind. Thirty-four metres long, the Tiger Blue was built in the traditional way on the island of Sulawesi – and then fitted out with latter-day luxuries by its English and Dutch owners. After thorough testing on their own family holidays, it is available for charter by groups of up to ten.
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The boat has all mod cons – king-size beds, air-conditioning, showers, refrigeration – but its interior design is in keeping with indigenous traditions, says Ivor Wilkinson in Boat International magazine. The cabins are roomy, with “limewash walls and flourishes of folk art”; and there are “delightful” communal spaces, including a dining area on deck with a permanent awning and plenty of “beds for outdoor sleeping”. “Full and attentive service” is provided by nine crew-members, one of whom is an experienced diving instructor, happy to supervise “anything from snorkelling over bright coral gardens” to “energetic hunts” for the evening’s sushi.
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Sailing through Indonesia impresses on you the vastness and wildness of the world’s largest archipelago in a way no other form of travel could. Lying on the equator and stretching over three time zones, it is one of the most bio-diverse countries on Earth. The Tiger Blue is based to the east of Bali, near Komodo Island, a tropical paradise where you can dive, kayak and surf to your heart’s content – but you should on no account miss the chance to go searching for Komodo dragons, the largest lizards in the world
Rainbow Tours Charters from £2,750 a day. For more information:
Source: The First Post

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