I’ll be honest. Six months ago, I had never heard of the Anambas Islands. This remote and isolated island group, located roughly halfway between peninsular Malaysia and Borneo in the South China Sea, is most definitely off the beaten track. It’s only very recently being opened up for tourism. Yachts didn’t use to come here because the area was plagued with piracy. The Indonesian navy started patrolling the islands a couple of years ago and it’s now considered safe. Hotels are still few and far between; we noticed a few backpacker-type places in the main town and there is one luxury upscale resort that started running less than a year ago. So, perfect timing for us to discover these islands.
For the first time in a very long time we also had some friends visiting us from Belgium and we were so glad we made it through the Malacca strait, just in time for them to join us to the Anambas Islands.
The crossing from Batam took 24 hours and was extremely pleasant downwind sailing. Such a difference from the hard slog that was the Malacca Strait! During the first part of the night, we were kept very busy keeping clear of all the traffic in the South China Sea. We had a few very friendly VHF conversations with some of the big container ships who politely notified us that they would cross our stern or, another one, wanted to pass us on our starboard side and please could we keep our course.
We saw land early morning and arrived in our first anchorage just before lunch. We found a gorgeous spot to drop the anchor, next to a desert island and spent the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, walking along the beach and gathering wood for a campfire. Doesn’t get much better than that!
A few more stunning anchorages followed. More turquoise water, great snorkeling and a dinghy trip up the river in between the mangroves. We had a few days of cloudy weather and some rain, but that didn’t spoil the fun. Yes, yes, yes; this is exactly what we were looking for and we found it. It’s good to be back in Indonesia!
After a week of remote locations we headed into Terampa, the main town, to drop our guests off who were catching a ferry back. We had a wonderful week together, special memories we will never forget and were so happy to share.
Now, where are all those other kid boats and let’s go explore some more remote anchorages. There are too many to choose from and we only have a few weeks left!