70 miles from Bali
North-facing the popular Gili group and directly south of our Gili Aer anchorage is Teluk Nara (AKA Teluk Kombal). This busy close-to-shore anchorage on the northwestern coast of Lombok is the jumping-off point for the Gilis and even Bali. Regional tourism has grown exponentially since the first editions of this book.
On entry don’t cut either of the north corners because the reef extends further than you’d expect on both. Favour the mid channel and motor right inside to anchor in the southwest corner in 14-22 metres on clay and mud. Teluk Nara is 25-minutes drive from Sengiggi the main tourist beach of Lombok, where there’s more restaurants and better supplies. An hour further south is the capital Mataram, with even more extensive markets, repair shops and the airport with daily international flights.
There are a dozen moorings in the bay, but only a few are available for hire to visiting yachts. There are several small dinghy and shallow draft jetties and floating docs scattered all around the bay for local speedboats, plying mainly out to the Gilis. Each day hundreds of young college-age backpackers get whisked out and back creating annoying noise and wake. If you’re looking for peace and serenity this isn’t the spot.
Directly north a few miles are the famous Gilis – Trawangan, Meno and Aer. At quieter Gili Aer, take the south passage to shelter behind the reef about 300 metres off the main jetty. Continue past the moorings (unless one is free) to anchor on the 6-13 metre sand shelf at 8°21.924S, 116°04.933E. This spot gives great access to everything on the island. To explore, snorkel or dive on neighbouring Gili’s Meno and Trawangan best to pick up a marine park mooring rather than risk anchoring amongst the coral heads in strong currents. The orange ones are generally for heavier boats, but if in doubt get overboard and personally check the tackle.
The Gili locals finally appreciate the value of keeping their reef heritage intact. They’ve started various NGOs responsible for reef protection and restoration in the area. Anchoring on their reefs now irritates them. Trawangan has the most accommodation and caters to young people’s parties and even some isolated rave culture nightlife, although some might say it’s Diet Coke compared to the ‘real’ madness of Phi Phi, Krabi and Koh Phang Ngan up in Thailand.
Five miles east of the Gilis, Medana Bay Marina is run by popular and affable British expat Peter Cranfield and his Indonesian wife, Ace. They have created a small serene haven for visiting yachts in Teluk Dalem or Deep Bay facing north on Lombok’s coast. Located at 8°21.888S, 116°07.766E, it’s a north south entry through the fringing reef from waypoint 8°20.431S,116°07.683E.
There are moorings for hire or you can come alongside the half dozen floating docks if you have an advance booking. Medana Bay Marina continues to host the Sail Indonesia Rally from Darwin each year. www.sailindonesia.net
The restaurant ashore has food and drink at reasonable prices. Laundry, water and other provisions can be arranged through the small bungalow hotel adjoining. www.medanabaymarina.com
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.
The contents of this website may not be reproduced or copied in any form – printed, electronic, photocopy or otherwise – except for excerpts used in reviews, without the written permission of the publisher.