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BANDA (SPICE ISLANDS)

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BANDA (SPICE ISLANDS)

120 miles from Ambon

BANDA. 4°31.498S, 129°53.583E

Anchor off the capital, Banda Neira, in 28-33 metres or on the shallower bank on the Gunung Api (Fire Mountain) side at 4°31S, 129°53.498E.

Most of the harbour’s protection comes from the 1,000‑foot live volcano last erupting in 1988. This cluster of 10 volcanic islands is the famed ‘Spice Islands’. They have a long and fascinating history in relation to the centuries of European conflict over their cultivation and export of cinnamon, nutmeg and mace.

At Banda Neira, south before the village, is a long revetment wall and wharf with deep access available to tie alongside at the famous Maulana hotel, or even stern-to with anchor in 18-24 metres on the slope.

Ashore on the main island town are forts and historical architecture, small hotels and, for the history buffs, an eclectic and fascinating museum. Hire a bicycle rickshaw to get taken around to see all these amazing sites. The island has a small airport with semi-regular flights back to Ambon. This is the historic jewel of the Banda Sea and once visited − it’s never forgotten.

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