Darwin is the Capital of the Northern Territory and is situated in a cyclone prone area. The most famous to hit the city was Tracey in 1973.
It is generally the point of departure from Australia for yachts cruising through Indonesia and on to the Andaman Sea. There are other major ports to the west, but in very isolated parts of the Northern Territory and Western Australia. There are now several locked marinas operational in Darwin.
There are three main routes between Darwin and Singapore. The first is checking in at Kupang, West Timor then leaving Savu and Sumba to the south and crossing through the island chain via the Komodo Strait. A westerly route can then be followed to the north of Sumbawa, Lombok, Bali, Java, and then north to Singapore.
Alternatively, leaving Darwin and laying a course for the Northern tip of East Timor before turning west to follow the northern reaches of Alor and Florres joining the same route north of Sumbawa. It is possible to use any of the straits between the Indonesian Islands to traverse from the Indian Ocean to the Flores Sea but particularly the Lombok and Alas Straits have significant current and tidal races. The rule of thumb is it floods to the north and ebbs to the south.
For those not wishing to check into Indonesia, the best route is west to Christmas Island (which is Australian territory) some 1,600 miles from Darwin, then north to the Sunda Strait past Krakatoa and onward to Singapore.
There are currently three yacht races and rallies organized from Darwin into Indonesian ports. It is commonplace for yachts to join these events because they offer a security clearance and mass check-in facilities including immigration clearance and cruising permits for Indonesia.
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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