opportunity to enjoy cruising through a diversity of anchorages, events, islands, shore
excursions, attractions, eco-resorts, towns and cultural experiences
in the four countries of
- Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
are scheduled to begin in 2013. Yachts will
begin their cruise at one of the Indonesian entry points for
cruising yachts - either Kupang, Saumlaki, Tual or Ambon -
to journey through some of
Indonesia's amazing natural and cultural attractions, to
exit Indonesia at Tarakan (Kalimantan), then enjoy the
highlights of eastern Sabah
(Malaysia), the Sulu Sea and eastern Palawan (Philippines), then south via
along the west coast
of Borneo, to finish in Brunei.
concept is to operate as multiple small cruising groups of 2
to 10 yachts (approximately 4 to 30 people), in order to
minimise congestion and environmental damage at anchorages,
to avoid overwhelming local transport, guide and other
resources, and to reduce supply/demand pressure on local
prices for cruisers.
can operate in a loose format, with some yachts choosing to
spend more or less time in a town/venue/anchorage, and
slightly different routes. Key stops, local events and
meeting with our local area
will be occasions when all yachts in the cruise group will
probably come together.
By operating multiple
cruise groups, travelling approximately two weeks apart, our
goal is to create a flow of yachts, crews and income to
local communities in
rather than an overwhelming peak - with competition for
local resources, anchorages, transport, fuel, shore
accommodation, etc - followed by almost nothing.
Cruise groups can begin
as early, and late, in the favourable east Indonesian
cruising season - April to November - as they choose. Our
Authority for Indonesian Territory)can be extended/renewed
as required to suit each cruise group's dates and cruising
duration inside Indonesia.
It is expected that yachts
will team up into
small groups of like-minded cruisers to explore together
along a similar route and similar schedule, under the
can choose to integrate selected local events, cultural
festivals, celebrations, attractions, shore excursions - and
other yacht oriented events - into their route and schedule,
to create a cruising experience that suits their personal
preferences, their starting date, their desired speed of
travel, interests and departure date from Indonesia.
is a journey with
like-minded cruising friends, not a strict schedule.
support network of
local area co-ordinators
in the region, in combination with our overall cruise
management, will provide participating yachts with the
on-site and external support networks to help facilitate
their journey, assist with problems, and give guidance about
the route, stops, shore attractions, boat repairs, fuel
supplies, markets, supermarkets, spare parts etc.
At key shore venues, a variety of shore
activities and visits will be available to help enjoy the
particular area's attractions. Our
local area co-ordinators will be available to
assist participants with information abut tours,
attractions, travel and accommodation options, plus boat
repairs, fuel supplies, CIQ and port formalities. And where
feasible, options to leave the yacht securely while
travelling further inshore on a day, overnight or
multi-night basis. And suggestions about places to
visit on route to the next key shore venue.
office will update each
cruising group's yachts with additional information, local
area contacts etc via email as their journey proceeds. Email
will provide a direct communications link between each
yacht and our
office, and each yacht with our
local area co-ordinators.
1. Wakatobi, at the southern tip of Sulawesi
- which hosts a research base from where a succession of
young scientists have been studying the marine and
rainforest ecology for the past fifteen years. A variety of
strategies have been developed for sustainable marine and
land based food production suited to local communities.
Participating crews will have the opportunity to see the
research centre and learn about their projects.
2. Conservation groups, (eg: there is a turtle conservation
group that wants yachts to stop for a few days - and bring
chain saws - to cut up logs so turtles can get ashore to lay
eggs), education groups (eg; briefings about projects
undertaken by communities and researchers), a mother ship
(eg: a live-aboard dive boat to tie alongside for diving,
snorkelling, shore excursions, tank refills, meals and
relaxing on board), and startup community based
Timing of the
is designed to integrate
Favourable sailing conditions and wind
The "winter" SE wind flow will help push yachts north along
the east coast of Australia, and east from the South Pacific,
to reach Indonesia.
SE winds will push participating
yachts from south to north through the east Indonesian
cruising area to northern Sulawesi.
Winds varying from
SW to SE and perhaps NE are expected for passages along northern Sulawesi and across to
Tarakan, the Borneo (Kalimantan) exit point from Indonesia. As yachts progress
north to Sandakan and
north-west across the Sulu Sea to Puerto Princess ( Palawan
- Philippines), the last of the SW Monsoon
is expected to exert it's influence and the NE Monson to
begin. The NE monsoon begins in early October in northern
Palawan, and progressively extends south to the west coast
of Borneo; where is is actually NW along the coast. The
last part of the journey - island and coastal hopping south
along the east coast of Palawan followed by the west coast of Borneo
- to Brunei, is expected to be in the establishing NE Monsoon as it progressively extends from
northern Palawan down the west coast of Borneo.
April to October is the dry season in northern Australia,
and the off-season for tropical storms in the southern
hemisphere. The same period is the northern hemisphere
tropical storm period, with most storms developing in the
warm waters to the north of PNG/Irian Jaya, and east of the
Philippines. However, since tropical storms do not
occur in equatorial areas - from 10 degrees south to 10
degrees north - and the most northerly point of the
is Puerto Princesa, the rally route is clear of the direct
impact of any Tropical Storms.
2. Existing events
departing northern Australia.
Darwin to Ambon Yacht Race,
Darwin to Dili Race/Rally provide organised events, great venues.
Each can be used as an
initial departure from Australia to
yachts, or establish another cruise group.
However, it is also
possible to enter direct from the South Pacific, through
Torres Strait to Indonesia, without stopping in Australia.
An increasing number of yachts are choosing this option to
avoid the landing requirements - eg: advance notice, proof
of recent anti-fouling etc - in Australia.
Options after the
finish in Brunei:
1. For yachts
heading to Singapore/Thailand.
The NE Monsoon (actually NW along the west coast of Borneo) provides a fresh breeze to push yachts down
the west coast of Borneo (Sarawak - Malaysia) to arrive in the Singapore,
Peninsula Malaysia or Thailand areas for Christmas and New Year.
The transition from SW Monsoon to NE/NW Monsoon normally occurs
November or early December on the west coast of Borneo. This fresher
NE/NW Monson - normally 15 to 20 kts afternoon
NW sea breeze along the west coast of Borneo and lighter NE wind overnight - facilitates a quick passage south
in a persistent sailing breeze.
- starts from
participants' choice - either Miri marina, Labuan marina,
Sutera Harbour marina, or the Royal Brunei Yacht Club in
Brunei. This cruise hops south along the west coast of
Borneo - including stops for shore excursions - to Kuching.
Shore programmes and support services are arranged by the
Sarawak Travel Association. Yachts choosing this cruise are
expected to begin late November/early December and finish in Kuching
about the 20th of December, in time for participants to
reach Singapore or Peninsula Malaysia by the 25th.
Participants therefore have the opportunity to enjoy the
Christmas/New Year period in Kuching, Singapore/Peninsula
Malaysia, or to leave yachts in marinas to travel home to Eupore, North America or Australia/New Zealand for the end
of year holiday season.
2. For yachts
planning to spend more time in NW Borneo.
Following the mid/late
cruise finish in Brunei, there is the opportunity to
further explore shore venues in north west Borneo - Brunei,
Sabah and Sarawak.
Marinas in this area - at Miri, Labuan and Kota Kinabalu -
and the anchorage off Royal Brunei Yacht Club, along with a variety of international flight linkages,
provide options for those people planning to leave yachts
while they fly home to Europe, North America and
Australia/NZ for the Christmas and New year period.
NW Borneo provides a number
of options for haul-out and boat maintenance of yachts
while owners are away.
3. For yachts
planning to cruise the Philippines.
A growing number of
use the NE Monsoon period
(approx October to March) in the southern Philippines, to
cruise north along the less developed and beautiful western coast of
Palawan - when the coast is a protective weather shore. This
route takes yachts from north-west Borneo along the Palawan
island chain to Coron area.
cruising yacht reports confirm the fresh NE wind shifts E as it comes
across Palawan, providing good sailing in relatively flat seas
between beautiful anchorages. Numerous anchorages
allow day hop sailing with the afternoon sun from behind
when picking a route through shallows to an anchorage. November to March is also the peak
scuba diving season in
Palawan because the dry season creates the best water
visibility. A number of dive resorts along the coast welcome
cruising yachts with access to their facilities.
provides yachts with a similar cruise-in-company event from Brunei
to Coron - via the west coast of Palawan - from December to
March each year. Some cruisers take the opportunity to capitalise on the Christmas/New
Year events at Royal Brunei Yacht Club, the duty free
advantages of nearby Labuan, and the relatively untouched
and beautiful scenery of the west coast of Palawan to create
a memorable cruising experience during the NE Monsoon period.
After arriving in Coron
area, further Philippines cruising options include to cruise to Puerto Galera
Puerto Galera Yacht Club), and from there to Cebu region, returning to
Sandakan or the east coast of Palawan before making their
passage down the west coast of Borneo, to Singapore,
Peninsula Malaysia and Thailand prior to heading to the Red
Sea; or in the present situation, to Chagos, Madagascar and
Some yachts have sailed
from Puerto Galera through the islands of Mindanao to
General Santos and Davao prior to making passages back to
Australia or New Zealand around the top of Iranian Jaya and
PNG to the Solomons. From Coron area, it's also
possible to sail north to Manila and Subic Bay.
A combination of the traditional craftmanship of the Philippines
and western boatbuilding technologies is utilised in yacht repair
and haul-out facilities in numerous parts of the
Philippines, with Subic Bay and Cebu being the most
active areas for yacht haul-out and maintenance..
The SW Monsoon is the
period most yachts cruise the Southern Philippines because
it provides a favourable wind with relatively
slight seas and gentle breezes in the Sulu Sea. This SW
Monsoon period is also the northern hemisphere Tropical
Storm period. Tropical Storms can impact the Philippines
during the period May to November. The Philippines is well
organised with Typhoon
shelters and there is plenty of advance warning these days
if TSs begin to develop in the warm water north of Irian
Jaya/PNG. Numerous yachts have successfully
cruised the southern Philippines during the TS season.
is the tourism
destination name adopted by the BIMP-EAGA Tourism Council (BETC)
following extensive work on the part of two key BIMP-EAGA
supports - the Asian Development Bank and GTZ - and
subsequent market research by BETC members.
The NE/NW Monsoon on the west coast of Borneo is also referred to as the wet season;
characterised by evening storms and overnight rain, with
mostly clear days, but less visibility for diving and
water-sports because of the increased muddy runoff from
rivers. The afternoon sea breeze is about 12 to 20
knots. This is also the right time for exciting white
water rafting trips ashore!
3. The SW Monsoon season
on the west coast of Borneo is also referred to as the dry season, with fewer
overnight storms and rain. The afternoon sea breeze is about
10 to 15 knots. Sea water visibility improves
substantially so it's generally the preferred season for
sailing, diving, snorkelling and fishing around NW Borneo.
4. The NE Monsoon season
in the Philippines is their dry season. Water visibility is
at its best so this is the most popular time for scuba
diving and other water sports in sheltered areas. It
has not been the popular yacht cruising period in the
southern Philippines because of choppy conditions in the
Sulu Sea and surrounding islands. But it has become the
preferred season to travel the attractive west coast of
Palawan; mostly day hopping between comfortable anchorages.
The clear water makes approaching sometimes poorly charted
anchorages much easier, and more so because an afternoon
approach has the sun from behind.
5. The SW Monsoon
period is the main cruising season in the southern Philippines.
It is also referred to as their wet season, and is also the Tropical
Storm season. A number of Tropical Storms can be expected to
start in the NW Pacific, west of Guam each season. Some of
these can track west to cross the Philippines, or run
parallel with the eastern coastline of the Philippines.
While a considerable part of the southern Philippines
cruising area is south of 10d N - the theoretical southerly
limit of Tropical Storm activity - there will still be
significant wind changes in these areas if a TS approaches
or crosses the
Philippines. North of 10d N - in the popular cruising areas
around Mindoro, Panay and Negros - it's possible to have a
TS tracking through these areas. Cruisers need to keep a
close watch on potential TSs and act accordingly. As can be
expected in an island nation with so much commercial marine
traffic, the Philippines has
established many facilities to shelter boats during TSs,
along with advanced weather warning systems.
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