Let’s go fly a kite!

People who don’t sail might think that those who do spend their time staring at the sea for hours at a time in a state of perfect contemplation but at least on some days that certainly is not the case.

There is always so much to see and observe, especially when doing day sails along the coast as we have been doing recently.

Gorgeous rock formations

Take yesterday for example. We were sailing merrily along when we saw three fishing vessels dead ahead. Not at all unusual as of course we see fisherman every day. But what was unusual was that these three were all flying kites. 

Some beautiful stops along the way

We were intrigued – do they do this to stop themselves getting bored? Is it a novel way of attracting fish from the hidden depths of the very deep ocean shelf in these parts? Or a new way of propelling their dugouts?

Stunning turquoise water often means danger- reefs, shallow water etc

Fortunately we have excellent Internet reception in these parts and were able to look up “kites-Indonesian fishermen” and found out that it is a traditional method of fishing around here.

Apparently the kites are most often flown from the end of a long pole, and operated by the fisherman in the front of the canoe. A line extending from the bottom of the kite carries the bait. There is no hook, only a loop of line. 
The bait can be played on the surface of the water, a long distance from the boat. When the kite dips the fisherman knows the fish, usually garfish cruising in shallow water, are ready to be snared and pulled in.


Gunung Sangeang


We marvelled at the sight of the live volcano Gunung Sangeang on our trip to our next rally stop, Medana Bay on Lombok. It was amazing to see the smoke puffing from its summit and to watch as the clouds formed around it in the afternoon. We can understand only too well now why this area is called “the Ring of Fire” – we have seen so many live volcanos!


The clouds gather around Gunung Sangeang


 We really enjoyed Labuan Bajo – the lovely harbour, the Phinisi boats, the Komodo Dragons and the calm anchorage were just a few of the things we liked, but time was running out so we had to keep moving to arrive in time at Medana Bay.


Labuan Bajo with lots iof ships at anchor
The menu at the restsaurant where the photo of the ships was taken – how appropriate!


Sailing through the islands of the Komodo National Park we vowed to return to this area to explore it properly. The scenery was stunning and there were so many little bays and reefs to visit.


Loh Gebah with Dream Maker 2, Alllure of NZ and Amity


The area is renowned for its incredible dive sites and wonderful snorkelling – sadly we didn’t have time to even sample these delights so we have to go back!

Farewell to the party boats!

From Loh Buaya on Rinca Island we sailed in day hops to Medana Bay on Lombok, stopping at Loh Gebah on Komodo Island, Were Bay and Kilo on Sumbawa Island, Medang Island and Gili Lawang on Lombok.

A Phinisi Boat near Komodo Island

The scenery has been amazing, each place seemingly trying to outdo the last. 

The boys settle in!

At Were Bay we were overrun by children on canoes when we arrived but they were great kids and I enjoyed our conversations – me asking questions in guidebook Indonesian and them trying to answer in English with Jonathan and I helping with pronunciation. 

The children loved our boat stamp in their exercise books but most of all, they loved it on themselves!

The thing I did not appreciate was that they came back in the morning when we were still in bed and would not take the hint to go away. At one point I was washing up (still in night clothes) and turned round to see a row of kids standing up in their canoe waving at me through the window. 


The children help Jonathan put the snubber on


After that we decided to hightail it to our next destination even though Jonathan had wanted to go ashore to see the work of the boat builders in the village. Were Bay is famous for its wooden boat building and some of the boats are as large as 30 metres – all built with wooden pegs and not a scrap of metal!


Waving goodbye but they werent’t done yet!


At Kilo we were inundated with canoes again. We still enjoyed chatting to the children and loved hearing them sing the Indonesian National anthem after one of the spotted the courtesy flag we were flying. It ended up with about 15 young boys belting the anthem out in their canoes, all saluting the flag! Former President Sukarno, who was a founding father of a united Indonesia would have been proud!


Making an impression!
Things were much quieter at Medang Island and we enjoyed a good sail, with an even better one to Gili Lawang the next day.


Lovely Gili Lawang
The scenery at Gili Lawang was breathtaking – folds of hills and mountains stretching as far as the eye could see – again photos cannot do justice to its beauty.

The channel into Gili Lawang

The final leg to Medana Bay was disappointing as there wasn’t enough wind to sail. We ended up motoring but enjoyed the changing scenery along the genuinely lovely Lombok coast.

Medana Bay

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Salty tales from Bali Hai

In 2015, after a break from cruising of almost 30 years, my husband and I sailed off into the sunset - this time to the wonderful Islands of Indonesia and beyond. Three years passed and we swapped sails for wheels driving through Scandinavia and Europe in a motor home. Now we are on the brink of another adventure - buying a Lagoon 420 Catamaran in Athens. This is our story.

3 thoughts on “Let’s go fly a kite!”

  1. Looks fantastic, Dot, and as you say, each place seems better than the last! The use of kites for fishing is a new one on me – great idea, though.

    Not sure whether these comments are getting through as still unable to read any others on your blog, so will email soon as well.

    Lots of love to you both, Sarah x


    1. Thanks so much Sarah, lovely to see your comments – I’m not sure why you can’t see them but will look again to see if I can change something in the settings. Not sure if you saw the post about the Komodo a Dragons? I thought Martin might be interested in the photos – amazing animals but not my favourite creature I have to say! Arriving in Bali today which we are very much looking forward to! Much love from us both xxxx


  2. Gosh, arriving in Bali already – it will feel as if you are back in civilisation again, not sure whether that’ll be good or bad! Are you going to see Jackie? Your recent blogs and photos of the volcanoes, komodo dragons and fabulous scenery have been fascinating – Mu enjoyed them too.Lots of love


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