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Old 30-08-2011, 17:47   #1
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Merauke, Indonesia

Arrived a couple of days ago, we had rough weather from Thursday Island and we lost our dingy.
Merauke is quite a culture shock.
We had our Cait and Visa's etc but it is obvious that the authorities do not want us here. It is a frontier town with Javanese authorities and Irian Jayan natives.
Very few people speak any English at all.
Fuel is cheap 50 cents a litre and food is cheap. The river is very muddy. People are friendly, but very difficult to communicate, a Native who can speak "some " english helps us.
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Old 30-08-2011, 18:12   #2
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Re: Merauke Indonesia

Selamat malam,

Everyone in Indonesia understands Bahasa, and it's street version is easy to learn. It's pronounced much like Spanish and EXACTLY as it's written. Doesn't take much effort to learn a few words and phrases which will stand you in good stead.

Have fun...Indonesia is a fabulous place.

Selamat tinggal,

Bill
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Old 30-08-2011, 20:52   #3
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Re: Merauke Indonesia

We are learning Bahasa, slowly.
We came here for a fuel topup, but other than that we can't wait to visit the malucca's.(not Irian Jaya)
As I said this is a frontier town, not many cruising boats come here, I am sure it is safer than Papua New Guinea, but we are required to pay the police a "securite" fee, which is probably needed.
The Indonesian authorities are polite and try to help but the communication is difficult.
Do not come here with a gun onboard, they think you will sell it to the natives. You WILL go to Jail.
I followed Mark J's advise and went to a computer store with my laptop and asked for Indonesian modem and handed then some rupiah. Very cheap compared to Australia, We now have phones and Internet. Great.
Everything is very cheap compared to Australia, makes you wonder why australia is SO expensive.
Our DIY watermaker has been fantastic, as long as you use clean seawater.
We use the air conditioning every night, which is a 9,000btu panasonic inverter system and start the 2kva Honda generator. When the fuel runs out, it is cool enough to sleep the rest of the night, plus it keeps the mosquito's away (malaria)
A great system, throughly recommended.
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Old 30-08-2011, 21:04   #4
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Re: Merauke Indonesia

Pleased you arrived safely. It would have been a good test for boat & crew!! Did you ever get time to make a sail?

Regards Bill
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Old 30-08-2011, 21:12   #5
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Re: Merauke Indonesia

Mahal.

That means expensive and you use it like an shocked exclamation: Mihaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallll lllllllll!
They will get very shy and say: "Oh not mihal. You pay half price?"




My favorite word in that country!

Now, Merauke is right on the boarder with PNG! What the hell are you doing there? No wonder the authorities don't like you being there. Thats a serious area.

You are vastly more intrepid than me

Post a few photos for us because I doubt too many other cruisers have ever been there.

Have fun

Mark
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Old 30-08-2011, 23:00   #6
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Re: Merauke Indonesia

Thank you Bill,
It really has been too windy 25-30 knots to use a sail with Christine as crew.
Thank you Mark, as I said we used your advise to get our Indonesian modem etc.
Thank you for Mahal, I willl let you know how it goes.

The Police etc. do not like us being here, but they have been very polite and helpful.
As I said this is a frontier zone.
We needed to come here for fuel (petrol) because the weather has been 25-30 knots and not suitable for sailing with an inexperienced crew.
Once we get closer to Agats the weather eases considerably, 5-15 knots.
As Merauke is our first stop in Indonesia it is very interesting, and we are enjoying it.
The shallow draft has been great.
Also, i asked about crocodiles, we saw plenty in Northern Australia, however they are very rarely seen here, they killed them all.
We should send all our "greenies" up here for "education"
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Old 31-08-2011, 00:06   #7
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Congratulations...

Congratulations on a most intrepid trip.

For those who don't know where Merauke is look here. Not on the beaten track. Not on any track really.

Good thing you had your "special clearance" organised in advance.
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Old 03-09-2011, 05:29   #8
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

Beau - well done !! Just remember to keep smiling - sometimes in Indo the spoils go to the longest lasting smile!! You are not far from where the cannibals ate the young Rockefeller back in the 60's but rumour has it they have given up that practice these days!! It is beautiful country the further north you go, up around the Maluka and Halmahera - I spent a lot of time there, working mostly, in the 70's and will sail back there one of these days. The locals have a rough time of it from the Java-based government and military while the mineral and other wealth is extracted. Enjoy it - and smile !!
Cheers
Paul
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:03   #9
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

Some useful sites:

http://www.asmat.eu/ruzne/bahasa8c.pdf

Indonesian in 7 days page
English - Indonesian Lookup help

Indonesian Words and Phrases - published by the AWA in Jakarta, Indonesia
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Old 06-11-2011, 19:39   #10
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

well if you think Merauke is off the track, try FakFak Irian jaya. No tourists come here. Nobody speaks english and the Internet doesn't work.
We blew up our inverter, I asked a local Chinese store owner could he get one for me. His reply was that he could order one, but it would never arrive.
WE left the boat with the port police in Fakfak and flew to Ambon, makassar, bali, Darwin, australia. and we are now waiting for the inverter to arrive, before continuing our trip to the northern mollucas and malaysia.

The coast north of Kaimana is beautful. however do not even think about coming here with a sailing keel boat. the coast is very shallow and there is NO wind. The west papuans are NOT friendly however the Indonesian police have been wonderfull.
No meat is available, other than imported chicken.

When we left Fakfak to fly to Darwin, I asked the indonesia port police to look after our boat while we were away. They asked for wine or vodka when we returned. I said to them, but you are Muslim, their reply, "we are only a little bit muslim"

Fuel is cheap, and food is cheap, but I would not recommend coming here to anybody (Irian Jaya)
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Old 06-11-2011, 20:17   #11
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

Quote:
Originally Posted by beau View Post
well if you think Merauke is off the track, try FakFak Irian jaya. No tourists come here. Nobody speaks english and the Internet doesn't work.
We blew up our inverter, I asked a local Chinese store owner could he get one for me. His reply was that he could order one, but it would never arrive.
WE left the boat with the port police in Fakfak and flew to Ambon, makassar, bali, Darwin, australia. and we are now waiting for the inverter to arrive, before continuing our trip to the northern mollucas and malaysia.

The coast north of Kaimana is beautful. however do not even think about coming here with a sailing keel boat. the coast is very shallow and there is NO wind. The west papuans are NOT friendly however the Indonesian police have been wonderfull.
No meat is available, other than imported chicken.

When we left Fakfak to fly to Darwin, I asked the indonesia port police to look after our boat while we were away. They asked for wine or vodka when we returned. I said to them, but you are Muslim, their reply, "we are only a little bit muslim"

Fuel is cheap, and food is cheap, but I would not recommend coming here to anybody (Irian Jaya)
I loved Irian Jaya...met some crazy peeps that lept from tree houses with vines tied to there feet and smacked the ground with a thud and wore little cones on there dicks and smiled like little children all the time... then went sailing and surfing on the north coast and ate BBQ pigs and, and ,and well I dont know what that other stuff was but it was good ..sort of...piss on the thugs from Jah-(not)car-ta..DVC
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Old 06-11-2011, 20:56   #12
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

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I loved Irian Jaya...met some crazy peeps that lept from tree houses with vines tied to there feet and smacked the ground with a thud and wore little cones on there dicks and smiled like little children all the time
The same as the people of Pentacost Island Vanuatu?
Really? Home of Original Bungee Jumpers – Pentecost Island, Vanuatu


Glad you got there OK Beau, sounds like jump off from Darwin would be better next time but hey, sounds like quite the adventure
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Old 06-11-2011, 21:12   #13
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

Sounds a bit game leaving the boat in trust there!!! Hope it does not appear with a load for Xmas Is. Hope you still have the still when you get back.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:11   #14
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

Everything I've read suggests that Merauke should be avoided. Is Fakfak a port of entry? I'm planning to exit from Australia via Thursday Island after the cyclone season and travel up the west side of Papua on my way to the Mollucas and Davao.

Thank you,
Jim
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Old 12-09-2012, 15:28   #15
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Re: Merauke, Indonesia

I was in Merauke August last year, Monohulls with keels are not good here, all shallow mud for miles out to sea. The entrance is difficult at Merauke, look for the large beacon miles out from land.
You can check in here, not so at Fak fak, Authorities in Merauke were difficult but not impossible, nobody speaks english.
The area is called West Papua and the locals are stoneage, controlled by Indonesias with sub machine guns.
The Indonesian police put a guard on our boat to protect us from the locals
Fuel is difficult to buy.
I would not recommend it.
If you do go, expect to pay small "bribes" and Turu island on route from TI goes underwater at high tide.
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