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8°36.47S, 122°13.09E, 220 miles from Kupang

MAUMERE. 8°37.012S, 122°13.205E

If travelling north of Flores, the only significant commercial port of any note is Maumere, about half way along this 300-mile east-west running island. Maumere is the international check-in port for a lot of international yachts arriving the northern route around the top of East Timor. It’s also the fast-growing live-aboard scuba diving tourist hub for this region.

Anchor in 15-40 metres to the southeast of the commercial piers. This is a wide-open port with no real protection from the northeast. Anchoring can be difficult especially for smaller yachts with less chain and smaller machinery, because the average depth in front of the town is extremely deep. It ranges between 20-40 metres, even right in close.

However, from our anchorage yachts drawing 2.8 metres or less can motor in very close to find the 4-metre ‘shelf’ at 8°37.100S,122°13.175E. It’s only 20 metres off the tiny beach wedged between the two concrete breakwater walls. Best to run a stern anchor onto the 15-22 metre bank behind as you motor up onto the shelf so you won’t get swung into the concrete later if the wind changes. There’s only room for one boat in here but we reckon it’s the best spot in the bay.

The town faces northeast in Maumere Bay and has all the usual tourist amenities. The harbour is 30 minutes from the airport and public transport is easy to find. Local restaurants and hotels provide Indonesian fare at a reasonable price and the karaoke nightlife scene revolves around pretty Javanese working girls. There are half dozen dive shops that arrange tours to the islands north of here, where sightings of pelagic species are almost guaranteed.

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