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Old 04-03-2013, 03:50   #1
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Indonesia's Spice Islands

2013 Marks the 29th running of the iconic Darwin to Ambon Yacht race which these days incororates a Rally Division for those of a less competitive bent but none the less like the camaraderie engendered by a closely fought yacht race. With more options open to boats wishing to visit Indonesia's fabled cruising grounds,returning to the halcyon days of 110 yachts in Ambon is unlikely just yet but strong support is seeing the event growing into a major sailing/cruising event. Characters like Berti of Berti's Bar and the legendary raconteur, north Australian sailor,Peter Charles whose never ending stories ensure the approximate truth is recorded, make this party unmissable.
The Darwin to Ambon race departs Darwin 11am 17th August 2013 with the presentation in Ambon on the24th august. info@darwinambonrace.com.au
Also this year is SAIL MALUKU in which you can depart from any port you wish, just aim to be in Ambon for the joint presentation ceremony 24th August. Best of all SAIL MALUKU is absolutely FREE which means we're giving each participant approx $750 worth of CAIT etc [match that vendors] malukusailor@gmail.com for details.
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Old 05-03-2013, 16:34   #2
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Re: Indonesia's Spice Islands

You header mentions Spice Islands - does that mean the Indonesian's are allowing vessels back into the real spice island of Palua Banda. We were there in '76 along with Kai and Aru. The aroma of cinnamon and nut meg growing on those volcanic hillsides was overpowering.
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Old 05-03-2013, 20:20   #3
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Re: Indonesia's Spice Islands

You're quite correct, Banda along with Ternate & Tidore was the premier spice growing island. I also was there in the early 70's but l don't remember the Islands being off limits apart from a short while in 1988 when the bulk of the population was evacuated as the vulcano, Gunung Api erupted. I was back in 1989 and returned every year until 1998 then not until 2007. Banda truely is a paradise although now the modern world is encroaching, they even have internet. The history is fascinating and the diving quite spectacular. Well worth a visit.
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Old 05-03-2013, 20:45   #4
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Re: Indonesia's Spice Islands

I'm not sure how I formed the opinion that the Indonesian Government had limited access - Even to Ambon for a time when there was internal troubles.

It's off the track from Darwin, but a visit to Aru Island was like a jump back in time to the stone age. The island is split in two by a deep, high side channel with only one village I recall. They had a jetty of sorts, poles in the ground so steep we nearly touched our hull on one side, and had heaps on the other. Most of the village came down and squatted, peered in our windows, and watched us eat. In the morning they "herded" a white lady towards us along the flats. We thought a missionary until we saw she was albino and thought it was time to go as their was quite a crowd and the lady seemed distressed. That would have been 1976 and we had our two sons on board, aged 5 and 6.
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